Two Tips For Creating Your Own Repeated Scenarios

On repeated scenarios in fiction.

When you write the same basic scenario multiple times into your novel, an opportunity for humor and frolic erupts.

  1. Don’t let the scenario be boring.
  2. Do have your characters notice and react to the sameness of the happenings.

Bad Repetition:

 Joe finished combing his hair. A blue insect-bot flew through the open window and tangled into Joe’s auburn locks.

“Tcha!” Joe exclaimed, teasing the bot out of his long hair. The blue insect emitted a groaning hum, and buzzed out of the window.

(flying bugs tangling into hair never repeat again)

Good Repetition:

(later on in the book)

Joe drew his blaster, and flung his luxurious hair behind his shoulder. Just as he took aim, a green, luminescent butterfly-bot alighted on his hair, and opened its shimmering wings softly. The alien mercenaries pointed at the butterfly, and laughed. Joe patted his hair, and the green bot tangled in his fingers.

Joe let out a growl of annoyance, and shot one of the mercenaries in the face.

(and once more, for a final payoff)

“It’s been a long, hard road,” Galen said. Joe smiled, and nodded. With a shivering spin of tiny wings, a bumblebee-bot collided with Joe’s loose hair.

Joe’s smile melted away as he carefully untangled the robot’s wings from his auburn mass of hair.

“Maybe you should braid it or something,” Galen observed. Joe pretended he hadn’t heard this; he extricated the bot, and flung it up into the air.

This is a very silly example, but the point is that when you repeat small things, you build rapport with the reader, and open up the possibility for humor and inside jokes that create comeraderie between the readers of your work.