We all know to bore the reader is the most heinous crime an author can commit.
You know those days when you sit down at your keyboard to write and know you have to explain something in the book that, to put it frankly, bores you? It could be a little bit of backstory, or scene that you have to write first in order to get to the exciting scene? A bit of narrative that is needed to explain why your character says or does something – or is upset, happy, surprised?
Series of Books
This happens most often to writers of series of books. In all subsequent books, you know you have to tell a new reader (or remind someone who is already familiar with your books) what happened in the previous novels in the series. Rewriting an old scene, or summarising a character’s previous escapades, is at least for me, dull, dull, dull. It’s a total pulling your hair out moment.
Is Boring Narrative Unavoidable?
As a writer, you know you have to tell a story, and sometimes in the telling, there has to be moments when it’s a bit boring, or does there? No, there doesn’t, and what’s more, there never should be any boring passages in your book. As an author, you need to – always – be excited by your own writing. I repeat, always. Because, if you are bored, how do you think your reader feels?
Write Only Exciting Scenes
I cannot tell you how many times during the writing of The Nordic Heart Romance Series I was in a situation where looking at my screen, I took a deep breath. I knew I had to explain what had happened to Kaisa and Peter in the previous books. I’d sit there and think, ‘This is boring, boring, boring.’ Until I thought, ‘What if I think its boring, what will be reader make of the paragraph?’ I was horrified to realise that, of course, if I found the writing dull, the reader would find it doubly, triply, even ten-fold as boring as I did.
I came to the conclusion that in order to make the series exciting, I needed to be excited while writing each book. So I made a rule for myself: If a scene bores me, I skip it. I just go to the one that is exciting, the one I’m looking forward writing, and forget about the boring scene. This way, I can move the story on, and keep my own interest in the novel alive.
Backstory will come naturally
If you keep to this rule of writing only what excites you, you’ll find that the boring parts, the character’s backstory, or the previous plot points in a series, will naturally emerge in your writing. (And no longer be boring!) Or you can add a sentence here or there in the editing process, if you feel that the reader doesn’t have enough information.
Not All Readers Are Equal
Don’t forget, another reader’s boring is another reader’s exciting, and vice versa. Not all readers will love your book, so while you’re writing the first drafts, remember the only arbitrator of what a good story consists of is you. Be the master of your own work and your readers will love your writing.