Sunday, December 19, 2010

Writing is Boring

One of the authors who wrote one of the weekly pep-talks for NaNo mentioned how sometimes writing is boring. I had never thought about that before, but sometimes writing fiction is boring. It's exciting to start a new story. It's exciting to write the climactic moments where everything changes. It can be boring to write the parts in between those two. (I will do my next post on writing endings, which is a whole different problem for me.)

Obviously, if the story is too boring, it's time to go back and beef up the plot, but some exposition is still needed even in contemporary fiction where a poor author is writing for people who are increasingly Twitter-fied enough to want you to tell them a story in as few words as possible. That is a little scary to me. I love beautiful writing. I love it when authors play with words and describe things in minute detail. I am afraid that beautiful writing is going to lose out to the need for brevity and constant action.

That being said, even if I'm not writing a lot of descriptive narrative, sometimes building up to the "action moment" requires some ordinary stuff to happen: people eat dinner, take a shower and get dressed, before they go out -- and have that encounter with The Other that changes everything. Writing about those ordinary moments can be boring. Really boring.

But, unless you're writing flash fiction there's no way around it. Sometimes it's very difficult to slog through the boring parts, but writing the "good stuff" makes it worth it.  

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