Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Boring Books

I have a problem. I hate reading or writing books that nothing happens. Now there are many books that have been considered best sellers that are just plain dull. Nothing truly happens to the character for over ten chapters. At least nothing you can see outright. But I have stuck with them. I have read those works in spite of the fact it took me an awful long time to do so.

However, great works of fiction are not exciting. But they feed you bits, and nibbles of the underlying plot and conflict along the way. There are some genres that are notorious for this type of ‘ease the reader in’ approach and I find that they tend to be my least favorite genre.

As a writer there are parts when I just have to bring it down several notches. I’ve tried over my writing years to weave exciting things into those mundane parts where the character has to learn something, share something or experience something. And I’d be lying if I didn’t reveal that there have been best sellers that I had to force myself to read in pieces just to finish.

I’ve realized that yes, yes, yes, there is a need for those slow parts of a book. It sets the pacing, brings the reader in, and if the writer is really clever, they are a welcomed slow down.

For me it takes me longer to get through them, then before I know it, my character takes over and sets it up for something big to happen.


April Plummer said...

I admit I sometimes skim the boring parts when reading a book. It's hard not to, really. For writing them...I'd like to think I don't write anything boring. :) But I suppose there are dull can't get away from it. Something you write is going to be dull to at least one reader out there - scenery descriptions, fight scenes (I skim those for key words because they bore me), sex scenes sometimes...they aren't necessarily dull but they aren't something someone wants to read in detail. Or they're something that, for some reason, the reader deems unimportant or necessary to the story.

Yet the writer did find it necessary.

so...dullness is in the eye of the beholder.

Rusty Biesele said...

I usually have trouble telling when I have written a boring part. Usually its something that I've deemed the reader must know at this point in the story. Luckily, when I run my books through an editor, they tell me when I reach stall speed. Then one of the tricks I have found to cancel the stall is to have characters sidelined due to the stall to spew out of their mouth comments that must be in the reader's mind when they are reading a section that is action free. It's adds a great bit of comedy to the book---it's the comedy of embarrassment where reader is embarrassed that a character is saying what they are thinking. Basically a few of the characters are ridiculing the book itself.

Ebony McKenna. said...

I used to force myself through the dull bits, but lately if a book doesn't have me by 65 or so pages in, I move on to the next one. Books are there to entertain me and my time is short. It sounds mercenary, but it's how my brain works now.