How to Write a Divergent: An Adventure Scene
1. First establish what faction the character is in, and if they have a partner. If so what faction is the partner from?
A. Use quirks and habits to show how your character is like and what they might be like on the adventure.
I. How do they react to things, what is their purpose in life, who can they trust with their deepest darkest secrets, do they even trust themselves? What keeps them motivated?
II. How does the partner connect with them? What are their flaws, their talents? Why are they good pair, how do both of their personalities come together to make something great?
III. How are they different from the faction they come from, what rules do they need to abide by, what makes them straight from the rest of the group, who do they listen to if not the leader of their faction? In other words besides their partner, who can knock some sense into them?
B. How does their partner and/or friend compliment them?
I. What is their partner’s backstory and why are they tagging along with this main character? What do they have to lose?
II. What talents does the partner have that the main character doesn’t have, how can they be their aid along the way?
III. Is the partner fully agreeable, does the partner try to back out or change their mind? Is the partner trying to get people to join in on their journey?
C. What is the policy of their faction and how do they escape or sneak out?
I. What tools or skills or equipment do they need in order to get over that wall/ that barrier. What teamwork is used?
II. Are there any injuries along the way? Can anyone left behind get in trouble for their main character’s actions such as the character’s parents or children? How do they leave their faction is it in a good state or a bad one?
III. Do they ever plan on returning? What is it that they will miss the most in their faction? What about their home, what memories lie there?
2. Where are they going and why?
A. What is their goal and how much is it worth? Life or death? How about money, how about status?
I. What life-changing Journey are they on? What will happen if they do not succeed? What will happen if they do succeed? Think about both the dilemmas and the blessings that they will have along the way. For instance, they’ll have freedom but they won’t be as protected if they were in their faction with their loved ones.
II. It doesn’t always have to be life or death, but if it is why must their life be taken or risked? What happens if things go wrong and their partner’s life is taken instead? Will there be justice among the factions that will be taken? Will anyone care or notice?
III. What will be the reward and will it be for everyone or just them? Wherever they are going can they return to their faction to save everyone else or will they have to stay there and never return in order to have complete freedom? In other words what bargains do they have to do if they go reach their goal.
B. What are they taking on the adventure and where are they getting their resources such as food, water and shelter?
I. Think about the faction they are from. What skills and/or knowledge can they use for the faction they came from? What about their partner?
II. Can anyone help them along the way? Is there random food scattered around their journey? Maybe the food wasn’t intended for them but for soldiers or those who work for the government, but they happen to find it hidden or somehow they got lucky.
III. Are they fighting against the weather? How do they hide from search parties if they are still behind the wall? Do they use any disguises?
C. What skills do they have and why were they chosen to go or why did they volunteer to go? What is in it for them?
I. How did they get these skills? Was it natural, taught to them, or did they teach themselves?
II. What do they have that no one else has? Was it by choice that they went or was it by force? Maybe add in some dialogue from the main character.
III. Is this a selfish act or selfless act? What are they guaranteed and how do they know it will be given to them?
3. What barriers do they have to overcome and will it be an easy ride afterward?
A. Who is in the way, what are they asking the character for, and what threat do they hold?
I. What weapons are used that the character does not have, what talents and skills are used that the character does not have including their partner? How many people are against them?
II. If it’s not humans then it’s the weather, or it’s creatures? Describe why they are a threat.
III. How is the character holding up? Do they feel like quitting? Giving up, turning back? This is a great time for the partner to reassure them to continue on? Or maybe it’s a reverse, maybe the partner feels like giving up but the main character wants to continue.
B. Is it an object in the way? Could be a wall or a robot… you can create a barrier out of engineered flexible-highly-advanced material, whatever you’d like.
I. What does the robot have that can annihilate the character? Describe high-tech futuristic stuff because, again, this is Divergent. Can this robot move, does it have legs, is it human-like at all?
II. How about the wall that we all know about after watching the movie? How did they get over that wall and what equipment do they use? Is that the last equipment, should they use all their equipment on that wall, is it too dangerous, is it to high, can they be spotted if they don’t rush fast enough?
C. What about nature? Nature can be our enemy too. What challenges comes in nature?
I. There are storms, there is snow, there is rain, heat, droughts, you name it. Depending on the time of the year the character would have to endure this weather. The likelihood that they’ll have to endure all of it is not likely unless they spend a great deal of time on this journey.
II. Nature can also destroy are habitats, food and shelter. Keep that in mind when you’re talking about rain storms and snow storms; other things are perishable and can be destroyed by Nature.
III. Also nature can also be a guide; it can be a helper to the character. Maybe because of the snow storms the government or soldiers couldn’t see the character so they were safe and didn’t get killed or injured.
4. How close are they to the goal and how much longer until they reach it?
A. What is keeping them moving forward? Can they see a glimpse of the finish line?
I. Do they already see their goal and what’s on the other side? Does that somehow make them more energized or faster in order to get there? Does their enemy also see that the main character sees their goal and tries to stop them 10-fold?
II. Add in some dialogue between the partner and the character. Now are they both excited, are they both energized and ready to see the Promised Land?
III. Or maybe they’re on their last dying breath, or they’re so weak they can barely continue walking or driving or whatever… and there’s a barrier in front of them but they need to get over. They can still see their goal so how do they get over that? And does their partner have to help them get over it? In other words, does someone have to be left behind? Does the main character have to go towards the finish line themselves because there’s this barrier kept the partner from going on?
B. Add an unforeseen obstacle that the reader and the character had no idea about. Let it be a surprise and show the talents of the character and how they overcome this threat.
I. Do they have any tools or anything to protect themselves from this obstacle? Is this obstacle alive or inanimate.
II. Do they try to talk talk their way out or do they try to fight their way out? Maybe they do both? Maybe they do both at the same time? Such as dodging a bullet while trying to tell the robot or person to stop fighting.
III. Maybe this last battle or barrier or obstacle can give them what they need in order to get to their goal. It could be that if it wasn’t for this battle they would have never made it in the first place. Decide how that’s possible. An example would be, if the main character is fighting a person then the person has the key/code to get through the gate in order to get to the elevator of where their goal is located. If they defeat them then they can steal the code and use it to go to the elevator.
C. Add in a inspiring quote or thought that the character has at this particular time.
I. What do they say, first of all. Is it to their partner? Is their partner even still there?
II. Then what are they thinking, is it in line with what they are saying or the total opposite of what they are thinking?
III. Maybe they remember a quote that someone once told them which inspires them. Maybe that’s what they say. In most movies someone says something to the main character and later on towards the end of the movie the character says it but in a different way. Maybe use that in the scene.
5. Are they at the destination or is the journey and adventure still continuing?
A. If they’ve arrived then what do they see and what does being able to have the goal feel like to them?
I. What actions are they taking to celebrate? How do they congratulate their partner and themselves?
II. Is anyone there to congratulate them? Can they be trusted?
III. How different is their destination from their faction? Does it look promising for them?
B. If you end the scene with them still on the journey, then leave them somewhere where there is an obstacle ahead or they just finished a gut-wrenching obstacle and it looks hopeful for them, perhaps.
I. How much longer until they reach their goal or is it further than they anticipated?
II. What resources do they have left and how are both the characters contributing to each other and the journey?
III. Describe their well-being, how tired are they or rejuvenate it? How long do they need to take for a break, remember they are human.
C. What lesson is learned and have the character share a conversation with their partner. Let it be inspiring for the reader and for the character. What lies ahead and what have they accomplished already.
I. What sacrifices have they made and how have they became a more mature person?
II. Do they have any doubts left or do they feel like they can accomplish anything now?
III. Are they already planning to rescue their family and friends back at the factions? Or do they regret even coming in the first place? Maybe because they know too much and sometimes ignorance truly is bliss.