I have a major problem with my stories: I sometimes forget about the fun.
It's not my fault!!! I blame it on being a very plot-driven writer. I outline, I storyboard, I workshop... and then I workshop some more. I'm obsessed with cliffhangers, allusions, easter eggs, pacing, and jaw dropping reveals. And so it's VERY easy to cut scenes, characters, and anecdotes that don't directly contribute to the main plot or narrative.
I also blame it on the genre I'm working in: sci-fi/fantasy (with a heavy dose of dystopia). World-building, concept-building, and atmosphere become very important. Plus, everything is always bigger: the stakes, the characters, the settings, and especially the motivations. Lives are at stake! The world we live in is broken! Who has time for play?
BUT I've realized that those fun details, scenes, or characters can be the most enjoyable moments in a plot-driven sci-fi/fantasy story. When people do things because they enjoy them: games, drinking, gossiping, you name it. The Quidditch chapters were always my favourite in the Harry Potter series — they were a fun escape from the ultimate task of defeating evil. We got to see people being competitive, jealous, and enjoying the thrill of flying through the air on a broom.
This week I draw my inspiration from the simple idea that stories should be fun, and that fun is something that my characters should be motivated by. When they're not fighting evil, of course...
How do you inject more fun into your stories and characters?
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