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Writing about Journeys

The Big Peat

Darth Buddha
Apr 9, 2016
Late to the party but its all about the balance. Knowing when to describe, when to skip, how much to put in etc.etc. And the rule I'm currently working to in terms of balance here is:

It only goes in if it either
a) Advances the story
b) Reveals something about the characters
c) Gets an emotional reaction

I think that's a good way to approach journeys. I don't have a good rule for knowing if ought is missing though!


Well-Known Member
Jan 14, 2017
Staffordshire, UK
No one seems to have mentioned this anthology: Journeys eBook: John Gwynne, Gail Z. Martin, Julia Knight, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Juliana Spink Mills, Jacob Cooper, Juliet E. McKenna, Steven Poore, Charlie Pulsipher, Davis Ashura, Thaddeus White, Samanda R Primeau, Anna Dickinson, Dan Jones, Teresa Edgerton, Nathan Hystad: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store :)

They are stories where journeys are the focus, so it might give you some ideas when the journey in your story is important and what things of interest to include, or actually give you ideas for journeys. I've only read two stories so far, but enjoyed them both.

Journeys can be useful to portray when the PoV is learning as they go along, or they meet and accompany a character important to the plot. I haven't read the books, but I think the Peter Jackson LOTR films do this really well. If the journey isn't important, I keep it really short e.g. "The car drove them home."


Well-Known Member
Jul 5, 2006
I recently read a newish fantasy book that, it turned out, was ONLY about the journey. Oh my, yes a few interesting things happened along the way but it wasn't clear to me as a reader at first that it would be 98% journey and nothing more. I was always waiting for the main characters to get somewhere with a spot of hope (journey was super depressing) but it never happened. Being a bit vague as don't want to be too harsh on the book. But to me that was a journey done wrong.

Now I'm writing my own WIP with a few journeys in and trying to get the balance right. The characters travel a long way over a few months so I had to give some sense of the journey and time passing. So I began a chapter where it was clear the journey had already begun/some ground had been covered. If you can show that time/journey continues between the chapters, I feel that can work a bit to giving a scale of the journey without having to show all of it.
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Member and remember
Mar 25, 2013
Well, Jules Verne did write a couple along those lines. :)