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Exercise #114

Exercise #114: Craft
Posted 7/1/05

How do you handle boring or repetitive sections in novels?

This is one of the places where television or film and books differ. You'll notice very few characters in print going to the bathroom or brushing their teeth when they get up in the morning, fewer still who shower or bathe regularly. Do these characters not do these things? Or do we just assume they do and the author chooses to skip that part of the day?

When a character waits for a bank teller, renews their vehicle registration, picks the wrong line at the supermarket, cleans the house, or sleeps, we don't see every second of these times.

For this exercise, show us a character doing something boring. No exciting twists allowed! The bank cannot be robbed while the character is in line, nor can the supermarket have a fire in the avocados. Keep our interest: Don't show us all the details or make the piece as long as that supermarket wait. Do give us enough so we know how long the action is taking. You may come up with your own scenario, or use one of these:

 * The morning ritual
 * The bedtime ritual
 * Getting ready for and going to work
 * Buying a new car
 * Signing mortgage papers

The piece submitted for this exercise does not need to be a whole story.

Word limit: 600
Please use the subject line
       SUB: Exercise #114/yourname

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