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Any Advice on Writing Labyrinth Scenes?

Discussion in 'Creative Zone' started by The Eccentric Axolotl, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. The Eccentric Axolotl

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    For those who don't know, I'm writing a Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, and I'm in the progress of developing a chapter for Labyrinth Cave. Given the name of the dungeon. I wanted advice on how to incorporate dungeons in a Labyrinth fashion without it being boring or bland.

    Any suggestions on how to make it interesting for readers?
     
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  2. BraviaryScout

    BraviaryScout Way of the Wind

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    One thing I would suggest is have a bit of lore behind it. Since you'll need something to fill in the gap without making all the turns boring and bland as you say.

    Have some rumors or stories passed down from other past explorers or even the saying that a horrible monster lurks in the deepest depths and stalks exploration teams until they leave. Something like that will boost the palpable nervousness and have your characters enter inside already on high alert from remembering all those superstitions.

    At the same time, you can also evoke a sense of wonder and mystery since I'm guessing the reward at the end is what is keeping the team motivated to push forward.
     
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  3. SyWry

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    One thing I do when making a labyrinth is to map it out. Specifically when I was making my labyrinth chapter, I had some idea of plot points I wanted and areas I wanted to reach but not clear indication on how to get to them. I started at the beginning and created the map of the labyrinth as my character walked it. This can lead to a random result for a layout that feels natural, but hits all the points you want. This also means that I can easily tell if travel is getting stale because I'm traveling with the character and can tell when things are slow. To keep your readers following in the labyrinth in slower sections, add things people will find interesting/you find interesting like previously suggested lore or just skip ahead a bit. You don't have to walk you reader though every step the character takes.

    If you have a lot of combat, or received a lot of lore all at once, it would be good to add a break scene. One where the characters just rest from adventuring. It allows your reader to have a break from the story and it allows you to flesh out the characters a bit more. You can even easily skip to break scenes by saying something like, we fought/traveled the rest of the day before we set up camp. Breaks are almost necessary for any adventure story to give the readers a break.
     
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  4. The Eccentric Axolotl

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    Appreciate the feedback, but say if I wanted to to simplify things a little. You see Labyrinth Cave isn't even that big of a challenge (or dungeon for that matter), and it wasn't until when the OVA was made, that it had that much of a focus, not counting the side-quest in the aforementioned games.

    I want to keep it interesting to the reader, but I don't want to over-glorify/over-complicate it. Any advice for that?
     
  5. Wolf Expert

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    It would probably come down to the description of the labyrinth. How narrow and high are the walls? It's in a cave, so presumably it's made of stone, so what do the stones look like? Normally in the mystery dungeon games, the corridors are so narrow that Pokémon have to walk in single file. If that's what the whole dungeon is like, or at least the majority of it, that might provide an additional challenge. How would you move through a dungeon like that? Any time you wanted to change direction, the team member who was in the back would end up leading the group, unless they take time to try to push past each other.
     
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  6. SyWry

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    Apologies. I got a little ahead of myself. To keep the reader interested in the dungeons lore, combat, and intimate descriptions are all ways to make it interesting without making anything fancy. All of these things have been better described above. As for over complicating it, you have to decide how much of a focus you want on the labyrinths. If the dungeons aren't the main focus, then you want to keep the time spent in and on these areas to a minimum. If the dungeons are the focus of your story, then there's no such thing as over complicated. It really depends on how you want to handle the story.

    To keep things interesting you can take a page out of the story telling from the mystery dungeon games, have a dungeon that the player has to slog through, but put a plot related element right after to grab their attention. If the dungeons aren't the main focus of the story, then you have to try really hard to make them interesting. The games suffered from this since they weren't focusing on the dungeons in the story. However, they made the dungeons more interesting by building the scenery, setting mood, having the characters need to rush through areas and many more. These are all subtle methods that the games employ to keep you invested in the grind. I suggest that you review the games with a more critical eye for some more inspiration in getting your readers interested. I hope I didn't ramble about nothing again.
     
  7. The Eccentric Axolotl

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    Far from it. Your advice has been very helpful.
     
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  8. RegionRunner150

    RegionRunner150 PKMN Breeder

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    I would say create a variety of tricks and turns to your labyrinth to make the reader guess what's coming next. Since your doing a PMD fic, maybe have a bounty hunter hide in the labyrinth and now go in to raid explorers. Your characters beat him, and he offers to guide the main characters through the labyrinth in exchange for freedom or to not be hurt anymore.
     
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