1. TheApprentice
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    TheApprentice Contributing Member

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    Writing the Boring Parts

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TheApprentice, Apr 18, 2016.

    I have just begun writing my first novel and am psyched how it will turn out. That being said, there are some parts that are necessary to correctly portray the characters and bridge scenes.

    I have been told that a good way to get past this is to jump to a more exciting scene. Hell, I have even been advised to write the story all that way, skipping over boring parts. If I do this, how will I avoid making bunch of errors?

    What do you guys do when you hit writer's block at a boring scene?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    If I'm bored writing it, I assume the reader will be bored. That's bad. I rewrite it until it's not boring or else cut it.
     
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  3. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    If it's a more mundane scene, find the interest in it. If you're doing it because of relevance to the characters, it shouldn't be boring. Bring out that interest for you and the readers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
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  4. TheApprentice
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    TheApprentice Contributing Member

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    @Steerpike But its a bridge scene. And where I am is the opening of the novel, where I got to introduce my characters. The protagonist being a womanizer is big in my story, and there is a specific main female character he tries to get with throughout the novel who is in the opening scene with him and I want to make sure to give the readers a clear idea about this early on.
     
  5. TheApprentice
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    TheApprentice Contributing Member

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    I think I may be asking the wrong question here
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm confused. Why would skipping the boring parts produce errors?

    Can you give some more specific examples?
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm confused. Why would skipping the boring parts produce errors?

    Can you give some more specific examples?

    (Do you know that you posted this twice?)
     
  8. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    So why is it boring? It sounds interesting to me. Why should you or the reader be bored with something involving such obvious drama and importance? I would hope few people are that impatient and action-obsessed. There's plenty of interest in slower things. What is it about the scene that is dramatic, emotional, relevant, intriguing? Find that.
     
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  9. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Apparently at least one of the scenes in reference is a character-establishing scene. So it would be leaving important establishing elements out.
     
  10. TheApprentice
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    TheApprentice Contributing Member

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    Ah crap...
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah. In that case, the establishing scene should be not-boring. :) I realize that's easier said than done, but there are many ways to do it.
     
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  12. TheApprentice
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    TheApprentice Contributing Member

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    Can't believe this thread was posted twice. Must be some problem with my connection or something.

    Anyways, I shouldn't have made this thread as what I have is the wrong question. The real problem is that I am trying to portray him as smooth and charismatic, good with the girls, and...don't really know how so I am stuck.

    Here is that thread: http://www.writingforums.org/threads/how-to-portray-flirting.145614/#post-1435487
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Skip the boring parts. I'm in the process of thinning my WIP and I have come to the realization that I don't need every detail of the story as I had previously been including. I can skip hours at a go, leave getting from here to there out, not describe every kilometer of travel or every minute of my protagonist's day.
     
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  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Write past it and come back to it.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    PM the mods to close one thread or merge them. You can do it my reporting your OP in this one. It will ask you to explain why you are reporting the post.
     
  16. Cat Cherry
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    With my first completed novel manuscript, I forced myself to write the parts I wasn't super excited to get to before I allowed myself to write the fun parts toward the end (although actually writing the conclusion itself turned out to be more difficult than I'd anticipated). The funny thing is that my first beta reader sometimes picked out the scenes that I had had to force myself to write as some of his favorite ones in the book, because they were the ones that moved the plot from point A to point B and developed the characters so that what the characters did in the climax scenes made sense. By the time I got to the climax itself, it turned out that writing the journey was as much fun as writing the destination.

    Finding ways to make those "boring" scenes fun to write will also make those scenes fun to read. That's not to say that you're required to write everything in order, of course. I like to write things in order, but a lot of novelists don't. That's just to say that if you think the point-A-to-point-B chapters in your book aren't as interesting as your showpiece chapters, then it's time to brainstorm how to spice them up. Ideally, your reader should never notice which chapters are which.
     
  17. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Yes. Yes. Yes!
     
  18. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    This seems a very different question to the one about creating charismatic flirting characters. They're both questions worth asking, even if you're more bothered about the flirty one right now. I'll struggle to answer the flirting question, so I'm going to give this one a shot.

    As others have said, sometimes you can remove boring parts and sometimes you'll have to work out how to make them not boring.

    Its worth paying attention to the bridges and character building in your favourite books. See how they build characters without the story losing momentum. Some of it is about getting a handle on pacing, learning when slower scenes feel appropriate and how long they can go before you need some more action. Some of it is writing scenes that are achieving multiple things at once. Often the plot will be advancing in some way at the same time as world building and characterisation is happening.

    I wrote my first novel in order. I also consider myself a hybrid planner/pantser. That means at the early stage of a project you're at, I tend to consider the 'boring scenes' not to be boring scenes, but scenes where I only know one thing that is going to happen, so I pants my way through and discover the rest. Some of them turn out no to be so boring after all.

    Some parts might still turn out a little bland, but that's not something I overly worry about in my first draft. It might turn out later on I think of some things I needed to add for foreshadowing/setup, which happen to add some spice to the quieter scene at the same time.
    In the second draft the truly boring scenes can get removed, and because I know the rest of my story better, I'll know better where I can re-insert the few vital bits it contained.

    That's a method that works for me anyway. Different people have different ways of working. If you're just starting out, you're still to discover what works best for you, which you can only achieve by trying stuff out and seeing if it works.
     
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  19. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'boring.' It's as @Oscar Leigh Leigh said in his first post above: "If it's a more mundane scene, find the interest in it. If you're doing because of relevance to the characters, it shouldn't be boring. Bring out that interest for you and the readers."

    Sometimes, though, it's best to wait till your story's first draft is all finished before writing the bridge scenes. Sometimes it turns out that these bridges don't actually require a scene at all, just a couple of sentences to get readers into the picture. This will all become much clearer once you look at the whole first draft. Where is there a gap that needs to be filled? Sometimes you don't know this until after you look at the whole thing.

    The danger in plodding ahead and writing 'boring' bridge scenes when your heart isn't in it are many. Chief, of course, is that if they bore you they are likely to bore your reader as well. If you have no interest in the scene other than getting from A to B, that's probably going to show.

    Another danger is that, once your draft is finished, you will feel these scenes are set in stone and can't be left out or changed.

    I feel (from my own experience) that it's best to leave these links till later on. If you know for sure how your story has unfolded, you may want to steer the scene in a particular direction that did NOT occur to you at the planning stage. You may also discover that all the detail you felt you needed to include actually isn't necessary.

    I'd say write the scenes that you find the most exciting to write. (Not necessarily the scenes that are full of activity, but the scenes that move you, the scenes you feel immersed in.) Jump right in, and keep going till you reach the end of your story. Then go back and create the links. It's a lot easier that way, and you won't have wasted time writing stuff you actually don't need.
     
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  20. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I'm struggling with this too at the moment. My first novel had two POVs so bridge scenes weren't so much of a problem: time could pass interestingly in one POV and then when we were back with the other, it didn't feel to abrupt for change to have occurred.

    Now I'm writing single POV and finding it much trickier.

    I think, in my case, it's because I haven't fully explored my sub-plot (the character arc outside of the romance). I like writing the romance bits and I'm impatient with the scenes where the MCs aren't together. Now I'm in the revision stage I'm fleshing out the sub-plot more, mostly during bridge scenes, and I think it's going to help. Could you do something similar?
     
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  21. Elven Candy
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    I never like writing the scenes where my characters are in a town or village. I don't know why, but no matter what I do, I always find those scenes boring to write. I can't just skip the scenes, either, because often times I get ideas from them that change the way the story flows. I have a few family members as beta readers, so what I find helps is to say to myself, "How can I make this scene interesting to them?" It helps keep the scene interesting to read, even though I didn't enjoy writing it. It works, too, as I've asked them if they found anything boring in it, and they said it was enjoyable the whole time.
     
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  22. Pauline
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    Pauline Member

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    I'm not sure about this writing of boring scenes. Getting people from point A to point B, is that what you mean? I guess you could just waffle on and tighten it up in revision. But if a scene bores me or doesn't advance my plot or develop character, I dump it.
     
  23. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tell, don't show.

    (No, this advice is no better than the more standard "show, don't tell". But if there's no need to go into details, don't go into details. Just tell us what happened and move the hell on.)
     
  24. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep!

    Shore leave followed the usual pattern. Six bottles of rum, two brawls, three lost teeth, and oaths of undying love to three girls.

    John was trudging up the boarding ramp on Monday, trying to remember the third girl's name, when the cannon fired... (and scene begins)
     
  25. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Well, you could do that, but I think the whole point was showing that specific girl and setting up their interaction later on. And that's the kind of thing I think you should show in detail. It's important, you can reference it later if you put details, and it should be interesting enough that people want it.
     

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