Monday, May 16, 2011

Bored With Your Book?

Does this happen to you, where you're working along well on a story concept and suddenly something that happens later in the story catches your interest? Or even worse, a different idea entirely catches your interest?

Personalities with short attention spans, ala mine, tend to jump around on ideas a lot. Heck, I've met a lot of artists who never finish anything because they either aren't content with it or another shiny idea distracts them. I'm surprised I can dedicate myself to one idea for so long and actually get projects finished, considering I have one of those personalities. To help temper that tendency, I have to have a very linear writing process where I can't skip ahead and write the scenes I want to. I have to write the in-between-scenes before the big confrontations. I have to write the development scenes before the action goes down. The lulls have to be the hardest part to write because of the potential for distraction.

Unfortunately this has happened and I've been plagued by the urges to rewrite, revise, skip around, deviate from my outline until the entire WIP is not salvageable. Resisting these urges is a trial in itself. When one of them proves necessary, like rewriting the opening, I can take a break from new material to fulfil it. However, the strong revision bug always inspires the same question, if this is boring me, then won't it be boring for my reader?

I've read on plenty of blogs that if a scene is boring you, you should change it to something that doesn't bore you. The writer's boredom is obvious to the reader through their writing. Of course, these train wrecks can be cut in the editing/revision stage, but getting through them is a test in itself. So, if a scene isn't interesting to me, in theory I should change it. Change it to what, though? That makes for either many hours of delightful brainstorming that renews enthusiasm, or many hours of sitting there, staring at a blank word processor and slowly killing your eyesight.

The two best solutions I've found, so far, while investigating ways of ending these creative dole drums, is rambling on for a paragraph or two about nothing until an idea hits and you roll with it, or rewriting the scene from the beginning from a few experimental angles to see what sticks. It's like spaghetti noodles! You see it's ready when it sticks to the wall. Or that's how the wives' tale goes...

What are some of your ways of breaking the infamous 'writer's block'? Do you think it even exists? Your thoughts are much appreciated! :)

On a side note, I have good news and bad news. The good, I have been searching for summer employment and finally landed a cashiering job at Borders! The bad, my Kobo screen turned all black and I can't read a thing on it. So, unfortunately I have to spend a good amount of money getting it's going to be awhile before I can revel in portable ebooks again.


  1. My personality hops from genre to genre. There is no stopping it at times. I used to get so annoyed, however after going through a 5 month stint of no writing thanks to waiting and freaking OUT I don't take any moment for granted. Even the crazy ones. So these past few weeks I've been writing chick lit and paranormal. Surprisingly enough my characters are not being mixed together.

  2. I have a lot of these same issues. Sometimes when you're really familiar with your own work, it becomes boring, but to new eyes it can still be fresh and exciting! But at the same time, Elmore Leonard's advice still holds true to me-- "Skip the boring parts." I always try to do that if I can.

  3. I too do this and it bugs the tar out of me. But at the moment my problem is not being able to get my hands on a book I need for research for the 'baddie' in my book. as my it needed... so ~le sigh~ I am stuck. Do I skip ahead to fun stuff, alass I cant.. so my book lies untouched in the abyss of my external HD. Oh well sooner or later I will finish it.

  4. Hi hun the abbove was from me but I didnt realize i wasnt logged in. Having laptop issues still...~pouts~

  5. ...I've gone back and forth on the idea of "writer's block." Truly not sure if it really exists. If there really is some form of mental restriction associated with preventing a writer from pushing out the next Pulitzer. I've experienced episodes of "dull" output, when the muse takes a day off, but never an actual block. It's definitely a subject I'd be interested in hearing more about:)


  6. I'm sorry to hear about your Kobo- I hope it is better soon. As far as writers block I think it exists just in different ways for everyone. I do short writing spurts daily just randomly talking to myself or making fun of myself until something comes out, or I go out and see my city for a while either shopping or out to lunch with friends and usually come back with a fresh mind.

  7. Mmm I get this too, the bored with certain scenes but I can't agree that means that the reader will be bored. Some of my favourite scenes to read are the ones where characters potter around their homes doing their thing. As a writer its rather boring to write but I really love to read those bits, so I get a better 'vision' of the character and their place :)
    Ooo that sucks about the kobo :(