1. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    How Do You Tell If Your Book Is Boring?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Flying Geese, Nov 9, 2013.

    Or maybe I have read it too many times? I have been told that my book is great by those who have read it, and that it'd make a great movie. Of course I like my book too. But as I am doing the 2nd to final read-through, I find myself getting distracted by the littlest things - a symptom of boredom.

    Have I read my own book too many times now? Or is it boring? How do you guys tell if your book is boring? Or what's the amount of time before you begin to grow weary of a certain work of fiction?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first guess, based on no evidence whatsoever, is that perhaps your book needs a little tightening, trimming of beautiful but unnecessary phrases and paragraphs.
     
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  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    ooo I had this problem as well, and guess what... It was totally boring (my book not yours) so I left it a while, thought about nothing else. I gave it to 2 avid readers and the silence was deafening but one told me something, a whisper for fear of offending me and it stuck and it was the best piece of advice anyone has ever given me.

    So to answer your question, maybe it is boring maybe it isn't, I would suggest leaving it a while, think of nothing else, be obsessed but don't open the cover, come back in a month and read it again - then answer your own question.
     
  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you are reading it over and over, it can get a little boring, but if after leaving it for 2 months you still think it's boring, then you might need to work on it a bit more.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm not bored by my book and I've read it over and over.

    I'd say find a beta reader, someone who won't just be nice because they know you. Look to see if you have page turners in the book. Is there a growing problem that builds even if small problems are solved along the way. Is the ending what you want it to be?

    What is the genre?
     
  6. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    The genre is just fantasy I guess? or General fiction. No one has yet to even mention being bored to me. I have had at least one very honest person tell me that they loved it. I wouldn't really say it's boring to where I couldn't read it. But I already know every line in the book and it makes it hard to read for like the millionth time...

    Is it possible to become bored with your own work in the final stages?
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Well sure, it's possible. What's left to be done? Is it time for a professional editor? Maybe it's done?
     
  8. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Ginger is right. If you know every line in the book, that means you're not changing anything. It might be that your book is ready to submit to publishers/agents, or whatever you have planned for your manuscript.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Of course. With the amount of editing you need to do to put a manuscript into publishable state, it's hard to stay excited. Writing is work.
     
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  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'll be glad to take a look at your first chapter and give you a neutral, professional editor's opinion, if you want to email it to me, along with a brief summary of the plot...

    congratulations on getting an entire book written!... it's no mean feat...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
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  11. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sometimes folks ask me if how many times I've read my novels since they've been published.

    There's a reason many authors don't re-read their published works, except maybe to verify some small aspect for a sequel, etc. Because they've already read it a dozen or more times. Plus, they're busy on that next project--reading and editing and writing.

    You can try little things, like changing the font type or size to make it 'appear' a little bit different, helping you focus and catch any minor plot holes, typos or grammar gaffs.
     
  12. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    If my book sounds boring usually it's because I'm getting tired of going over it. Editing can be a killer
    because you just want to fling the thing after a while. And it gets dull fiddling with nearly every sentence.
    But sometimes the book sounds boring because something is really off - repetition, triteness, mundane
    choices.

    If my character isn't making tough enough choices, if the dilemmas are weak, I usually go in and ax a scene and add something juicer. Although, it sounds like it could screw up your entire story believe me it doesn't. I just altered a scene in my nanowrite story. The CDC's ( center for disease control ) come in and my hero was supposed to hold them off at gunpoint for a bit. I decided to have them sneak into the house and startle him as he's trying to decide whether or not to kill his infected brother. The tension in the former scene has less juice than the new one. And it didn't mess up any following scenes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  13. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    When you've read your own work ten times or more, it will get a bit boring, yes, so at that point listen to your betas' opinions. Make sure you also have betas who aren't your friends or think they need to please you so that you'll beta-read their stuff in return. It might also be a good idea to get betas who don't usually read your genre of choice. You'll get fresh insights that way. The ms I'm working on right now with @T.Trian has bits that can bore people who aren't gun-savvy but are appreciated by those who read more action-y literature, so remember to take that into consideration as well. If nothing in your book is boring according to your betas and you can't find anything in there to improve, then it's time to let go and start sending out queries :)
    Good luck!
     
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  14. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I doubt I'll ever be able to tell if my story is boring. I have a draft of a novel I haven't looked at in fifteen years or so, and I can still quote whole passages from it word-for-word because I read it so much while I was writing/editing/rewriting it. I do that with most of my stuff. Waiting a month before rereading doesn't help because no amount of time is enough to clear my memory.

    I just have to go on faith in my own work.
     
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  15. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Usually it's truly boring when you find yourself actually unwilling to read it. I don't mean the usual kind of procrastination we all go through when we're editing and just really don't wanna work. Not like that. You don't wanna read it because 1. you don't wanna work, 2. you've read it before and just don't wanna do it again, 3. you're tired, 4. just not in the mood for editing - that's pretty normal.

    But when you find yourself refusing to read something because you really, really don't want to read 1000 words about a guy eating a cheeseburger - that's a different reason. It's not because you're bored due to over exposure. You're bored because the content is boring.

    In such a case, deleeeeete. Lob the whole scene off. (of course save it somewhere in case you do change your mind, but I find that those scenes have always needed to go - at best I save a sentence or two)

    But if it's just boredom due to overexposure, then what you need is probably take a break, read a good book, and then come back and carry on.

    So I guess what I'm saying is, it's all down to why you're bored, and if a scene was actually boring, rather than that you just know it too well, the truth is you usually know in your gut.
     
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  16. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    This is a very subjective question. To answer it I will express my opinion about published literature and then get to your question.

    Majority of the books I read and favor by genre are science fiction/urban fantasy/romance/coming of age. I find these types of books to appeal to my tastes. However there are several books in these genres that I have read, that I have found to be not so good reads and boring. Currently I am reading "Red Headed Stepchild" by Jaye Wells. It is a USA today best seller and I have been recommended to read this novel. So far reading 1/2 way into the novel, I have to push myself to read it and if I could I would return it.

    To answer your question: You cannot label your book boring without telling us why you think it is boring. The book I am reading now is boring to me because the storyline is not what I would find interesting and I feel the author was trying to hard to make the character seem like a tough girl.

    Before I write a book I create a rough brainstorm, which allows me to breakdown the storyline by chapter. From that when writing my initial draft I come across several ideas to where I end up drafting more alternative scenarios that could lead to my ideal conclusion. If I find the story is trailing off then back to the drawing boards.

    However, since you did mention you have been reading your novel millions of times, you could just be overwhelmed and bored with the repetition. I have had the same problem and I end up having people read my work and critique it. No matter what in the publishing world, if the editor thinks the book will sell, it may sell. All in all it is subjective.
     
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  17. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Thanks I will take you up on this offer. My email may go to your spam or something. Look for one from FlyingGeese@gmx.com
     
  18. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Im glad you said that. This reminds me that I have read the beginning sooo many times over. Much more than I have the second part.
     
  19. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Thanks everyone for your responses I read them all!

    After doing some more work today I decided that the scene is good to go, and that even if it is actually boring, it only lasts two pages. The rest of the beginning I love, and I have received compliments on. The reason I asked is because my main goal is to entertain. I want to be able to have the reader sucked in throughout the book. I want them to believe it.

    Recently, I finally decided to read a book that is an international best-seller. The beginning was quite interesting. But as I reached the halfway point, there were about 40 or so pages that felt like such a drag. I wanted to continue but the boredom was breaking my heart. It's sad because I am genuinely interested in how the conflict is resolved, and I have heard that the ending is great, but there is no telling how much more uninteresting things I will have to read through. I even resorted to skimming pages just so I could say I read them. Still didn't work. I have put the book down for now. And I have decided that I never want anyone to be able to say that about my work.

    I will take cliche, generic, nonsensical, cheesy, weird, ugly, and fat. But one thing I cannot allow is boredom.
     

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