How To Make Sure Your Writing Isn’t Boring

By on September 6, 2017
How To Make Sure Your Writing Isn't Boring - Writer's

Every writer's nightmare is receiving feedback on their writing saying that it’s boring.

The trouble is that writing a whole entire book can be difficult! When you are telling a story to someone face to face, you choose your words carefully; you use expressions and gestures to emphasise it, you pause for dramatic effect, you are animated and lively. You can see if your audience is losing interest and adjust accordingly.

With a book the challenge is far more tricky - you want to write a book a reader doesn’t want to put down, a fast-paced page turner that keeps them hooked and desperate for more. However, because writing a book takes time and considerable skill, it’s no wonder that many writers find some parts of their book are putting their readers to sleep.

So what can you do to make sure your story isn’t boring? Here are some helpful tips:

Plot and plan your novel carefully

Carefully research, outline and plan your novel before you begin. Having brief chapter outlines will help you to see your story as a whole, and understand what happens when. Breaking your book down in this way means you can examine each chapter and make sure it includes some action and drama, and that it advances the story in the right way.

Don’t make it overly complicated

If you try too hard to write a complicated story, you could easily bewilder and lose your readers interest. You don’t have to dumb it down, but a story where readers can't follow whose speaking or aren’t sure what is going on, will struggle to capture their attention for long.

Reveal more and more about the characters as the story goes on

Characters need to be unique and engaging from the outset, but they also need to develop over time. By the end of your story your readers should be invested in the characters, they need to care what happens to them - if they don’t your story is dead in the water.

Make sure there is conflict - conflict that escalates

Conflict is essential for every book. Your protagonist is on a journey and must face a series of obstacles, each one greater than the last before they reach the end. Continually raise the stakes to keep the tension and drama rising, and readers hooked on every word of your book.

Make sure it makes sense

Stories that don’t make sense are impossible to read. If there is no sequence to follow or the story jumps about too much or is too illogical, your readers won’t be able to keep up. Reading is supposed to be pleasurable after all!

Pay attention to dialogue

If you write dialogue exactly the way a person would speak in real life, it will bore the pants off your readers. Dialogue should be tight, fast paced and drive the action forwards. Dialogue should be authentic and true to the character so it helps to draw the reader in.

Cut out unnecessary details

It’s so easy to get carried away with details and descriptions. However, readers will soon tire of this. If you overwrite your book, you are taking away from the story. Overly flowery language is too much - and most readers will find this off-putting.

Show don’t tell

Ah, the old classic - show don’t tell. You may have heard it before, but it’s worth saying again. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of telling the reader the story rather than showing them what happened through your careful choice of words. Showing immerses the reader in the story, telling them isolates them from it.
If you can follow the tips above you should be well on your way to writing a story that’s interesting, engaging and keeps your readers hooked until the very last page!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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