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Writer's Room => Chapter Books, Easy Readers, and Middle Grade (MG) => Topic started by: Bunnynut on December 27, 2015, 12:12 PM

Title: The Little Subplot Who Wouldn't
Post by: Bunnynut on December 27, 2015, 12:12 PM
I am SOOOO close to being done with my MG Fairy Tale.  The overall story is great.  However... I have two little chapters that are giving me FITS.  Both of these chapters involve a specific set of characters.  They should be amusing and whimsical.  They are so not.  The characters are important to the story, and the events that happen in these two chapters are important.  However, I find the chapters to be extremely tiresome and dull compared to the rest of the book.  It's like... when you're around a friend who just whines a lot.  I am thinking maybe I should just switch pov on these scenes. 

Anyone here ever been in this predicament where they thought this ONE scene or chapter was boring but necessary?
Title: Re: The Little Subplot Who Wouldn't
Post by: SarahW on December 27, 2015, 03:23 PM
Well certainly looking back on it I would have written the introductory chapter of The Hatchling Song a bit differently. For one I would probably made the tone more consistent with the rest of the work, among other things.

The big thing is I write tragedies with happy/sad tone shifting chapters, the first chapters looking back on it might make the reader thing it's going to be happy family adventures about Owls, Railroads, and Hot Chocolate. I didn't browbeat the underlying philosophy, although that might be a good thing. Who knows.
Title: Re: The Little Subplot Who Wouldn't
Post by: Bunnynut on December 27, 2015, 03:48 PM
I know the feeling.  I didn't feel that my first chapter of my first published book was the strongest.  Now that it's behind me, I probably should have entered the pool with a little more style.   :shovelsnow
Title: Re: The Little Subplot Who Wouldn't
Post by: AnneB on December 27, 2015, 04:22 PM
Mod stepping in to nominate Bunnynut for the Topic Title of the Month award  :goldstar 
Title: Re: The Little Subplot Who Wouldn't
Post by: Bunnynut on December 27, 2015, 08:31 PM
Thank you, AnneB!   :bunnyshake
Title: Re: The Little Subplot Who Wouldn't
Post by: dewsanddamps on December 27, 2015, 09:20 PM
Seconding AnneB, who knows a good topic title when she sees one.

Bunnynut, I sometimes ask myself where the fun is in a scene/chapter/book. What's the part that makes your eight-year-old self chortle? Work straight toward that.

Word play and clever banter can add some sparkle. If that's not enough, can you put in a small plot twist? Or monkeys on a roller coaster?

Those dull chapters are sometimes too expository--make sure the reader is right there with you, not being told about it later. And sometimes they're just too predictable. Maybe take away whatever your MC needs most, and see what happens?   
 :goodluck
Title: Re: The Little Subplot Who Wouldn't
Post by: DebraG on December 28, 2015, 07:27 AM
Can you alter or play with the setting? An example that pops to mind is weave in a thunderstorm or hail storm - each comes with its own vivid characteristics.  Consider setting based on the subject matter of the dialogue. For depressing or scary - what about a dark place like an basement/dungeon or something confined like a windy tower or attic. Or you could have the setting be contrary to the dialogue tone, such as a discussion about death and a rainbow appears in the sky which makes your protag feel even worse. Just quick thoughts coming to mind.
Title: Re: The Little Subplot Who Wouldn't
Post by: Marcia on December 28, 2015, 07:28 AM
Great advice for this awesome Topic Title. Good luck!
Title: Re: The Little Subplot Who Wouldn't
Post by: Bunnynut on December 28, 2015, 10:41 AM
I think I'm finally getting a vision.  I'm not able to change the location.  However, I can change the pov and the tone.  I think this just might work!  When I get this finished and printed, I'll have to explain the evolution of this scene.  :-)
Title: Re: The Little Subplot Who Wouldn't
Post by: austen on December 29, 2015, 07:20 PM
I've had this exact same problem with a couple of scenes in my WIP. It's a mystery, so I had to have them, because it was where certain clues needed to be, but they were so boring. I think one thing that helped me was retyping the scenes. I printed them out and then just typed in what was absolutely necessary. They were also dialogue heavy, so I tried to add some setting details and other things. One thing that also helped was adding a bit of humor. I'm still not totally blown away by these chapters, but I think they improved.