Sometimes our characters need to go somewhere farther than work and the grocery store. Sometimes they need to go out of state. You could skip the plane ride, but I’m one of those writers who believe in writing everything to make the story realistic. You don’t have to, though. You can start a chapter with your character(s) in the airport after their flight, or you can write out everything but skip the flight. It’s up to you, so take a look at my 4 steps below and pick which phases you want to write about.
People: If you’ve ever been in an airport, you know how chaotic it can be. People traveling for business hurry past with their suitcase in one hand and a briefcase in the other. Families traveling for a vacation crowd together, loud and loaded down with luggage. Tourists, whom we get a lot of in the Orlando International Airport, clutter in packs and often speak a foreign language. Then there are the watchful security guards and pilots walking by in their crisp uniforms.
Size: Airports are normally huge and you often have to go from one section/floor to another to get to your gate. I once got lost trying to find my luggage! So make sure to mention the size and even let your frazzled character get lost, too.
Waiting: And then there’s the waiting, which is what everyone does in the airport. Show your characters impatience and what he/she does to consume the time.
2. Take Off
The take off is actually the most exciting part of a plane ride (unless, of course, it crashes). The plane moves onto the runway with a gentle gliding motion. When it picks up speed, the plane will bump and rattle you around, and when it lifts up, you’ll get pushed back into your seat. After a few minutes, the plane levels out. You can describe the shrinking roads, cars, and houses as the plane rises, and the look of the clouds from the window.
|Image from Pixabay|
TIP #1: If you want to write about a plane crash, read reports, books, and watch as many movies/documentaries as you can to understand what would happen.
TIP #2: Consider whether or not your character is afraid of flying. If so, show his/her fear by having him/her clench the armrests, take Valium, pray and/or jump at every little thing.
What does your character do during the flight? Sleep, read, or watch a movie? You don’t have to detail every minute of the flight, but mentioning what your character does is a nice touch. You can also describe the turbulence that bounces your characters and their belongings.
Usually the landing is smooth but it can also be bumpy. After the landing, follow your character through the airport. Once he/she is outside, you can begin the rest of your story and the purpose for the trip.
QUESTIONS: Are you afraid of flying? Have you ever traveled by plane? Where did you go?
I’ve only been to Michigan, but I traveled there by myself from Florida when I was seventeen and it was my first time ever on a plane. I’m usually afraid of heights, but I did good!