1. StormWarrior
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    StormWarrior Member

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    How to make boring bits interesting?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by StormWarrior, Aug 13, 2008.

    I want to start my story from when my MC has just moved to a new place. But from that point until she makes a new gang of friends (which won't be very long, maybe a short chapter) nothing really happens. I've planned almost everything else out and I'm ready to start but I think the beginning is going to be a bit boring and tiresome! I'm just so out of practice when it comes to writing, I don't know how to get cracking with interesting stuff right away!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The boring parts should brobably be removed with a chainsaw. Even if the character's plight is boredom, make it a crisis - he's about ready to toss an M80 into a police cruiser just to relieve the boredom.

    Or if it's day to day work, make it interesting for the reader, as you simultaneously reveal how burned out the character is with it.

    Conflict is key to plot. Give your MC some immediate complications to deal with - a registered letter from the IRS, a rumbling stomach and an empty pantry, a burned out MP3 player - something that needs solving.
     
  3. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ditto Cog's reply...that's a good way to lose readers as many will not get past that first chapter. If you want that first chapter to be "interesting" without re-writing it, just print it on good paper, go to this site and start folding! LOL!

    http://dev.origami.com/diagram.cfm

    Lots of interesting designs there.
     
  4. StormWarrior
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    StormWarrior Member

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    Thanks Cogito, you just gave me a good idea!
     
  5. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    I will say take Cogito's advice. Robert Jordan R.I.P. always started his novels of in a very boring faishon, my op. Even though he turned up the heat a lot when you got to the meat it still took a lot for me to go get another novel of his.

    So try to keep it uncomfortably warm at a minimum when you start things out.
     
  6. Ungood
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    I would go with Cogito on this one as well.
     
  7. ParanormalWriter
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    StormWarrior, if nothing really happens at the beginning of the story, I'd skip it, and open straight in the middle of the action...or at least as late into the story as possible. I read a lot of books that devote the first couple slow chapters to introducing you to the characters and letting you get a feel for their day to day lives, so I know that's a common way to start out. I have to say, that doesn't usually hook me into a story, though. I tend to skim those parts, as I read, and rush to the point. I imagine other readers do the same.

    Edit: and yeah, much as I love Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books, it took me a couple tries to get into the first one because the opening chapters were so boring.
     
  8. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    Ok but some authors take it to far and make the begining of every book in a series boring.
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    First of all, boring is subjective. If what you are doing adds to characterization, then I would say it's fine. But if it accomplishes nothing, then get rid of it.
     
  10. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    I have read fiction that is more dry and dull then some non-fiction. Even in the name of characterization I should not have to suffer through something like a biography.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Partially true, but some kinds of openings, like long-winded infodumps and describing the most trivial minutiae of a character's daily routine, are guaranteed to have the reader nodding off.
     
  12. Rastaman
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    Rastaman Member

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    why not be interestingly descriptive?
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you mean static description (i.e. setting, or character outside of action), it's inherently slow, and you need to fairly quickly move into something more active, where time flows. There is a place for description, certainly, but you need to keep the effect of description on the story's pace in mind.
     
  14. Ugh!
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    Ugh! New Member

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    haha. You just described 90% of what Twilight is.
     
  15. illuminati
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    Fight Club would have been boring if it started at the beginning and worked its way up from there. Instead, Chuck Palahniuk began at the end with Tyler's gun in the MC's mouth and then reworked the plot from the beginning back to the gun-in-mouth ending.

    We're okay with this beginning because the gun scene piqued our interest. What's going on? How did he end up in this situation? How's it going to end?

    These questions drive the reader forward and compel him/her to trudge through the somewhat boring character development.
     
  16. Scarecrow28
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    My novel starts off at a slower pace for the first 5-10 pages, but I'm trying to make them as interesting as possible to preserve the readers attention span. Basically, I'm just making it as suspenful and hinting towards future events until the more interesting, action parts take place. It doesn't sound like your novel contains much suspsense or action, judging from your post, but thats okay as long as you, like Cogito noted, create a problem for the character to deal with.
     

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