If you haven’t heard, I’ve been on a writing bender. Every night for a week my work hours (8pm when the kids go to bed until later than I should stay up because I have to get up with the kids in the morning) have been filled with the tap of my keyboard as I churn out chapter after chapter. I estimate I’m at least half way through, maybe more. It’s a record for me. I have never managed to write this fast before.
At first I thought it was because I had a rough working outline and was riding out the writing zone instead of letting other things (New season of Daredevil on Netflix!!!) get in the way. And it is, partially. But that doesn’t explain why I’ve stalled out on other great starts and never been able to get back to them. Or why I have been able to pick up old stories and get right back into the zone with them.
Tonight I was thinking about a story I love. When I finish my current project I want to get back to it. But I keep stalling. Because the part I am on now is boring. I feel like it needs to be written, but I want to write the exciting parts.
Cue light bulb.
My current project switches between interview format and first person narrative. The interview chapters make it extremely easy to summarize the boring parts with a simple line of dialogue. Considering that the story has some large time jumps this is extremely helpful and effective in keeping the story moving from big scene to big scene.
There are no boring parts (at least to write). When it starts going slowly and get bogged down, I throw in the next revelation/crisis/conflict/twist and the train keeps moving.
In my past writing, I have always felt obligated to explain how the characters get from one exciting part to the next. I felt like it was cheating to gloss over it. My long languishing “The Singing Cat” manuscript is a perfect example of this. I went through lengths to explain how Kim held the cat in on arm and grabbed the glass of water she was going to drink with the other hand so that no one was confused as to how she could hold a cat and drink water at the same time.
So I’m kinda excited about this revelation. I do not have to mention Kim drank water at all unless it drives the plot. People will assume at some point she hydrated.
I know this has all been said and said before, but it didn’t click for me, really click until I realized that not only do the boring parts make the reader want to put the book down, they make me, the writer want to stop writing it.
I am no longer at the point where I have to write filler just to make my story long enough. I am no longer trying (and epically failing) to write perfect first drafts. If something boring to write is important, I can add it in later.
But when I am writing the first draft and I want to keep going with it, if something is boring me enough stop writing than I am going to just move on to build up or an exciting parts.
Let see how it goes!
Do boring parts to write bog you down? Do you think they have a place? Share your thoughts!