Here’s a secret:
Your readers can feel you.
When you smile, they will laugh.
Write something that makes you tear up, and their eyes will sting.
The bad news? When you get tired and bored with your story (this happens a ton during NaNoWriMo or other long writing “campaigns”)…
…your readers will too. They will use your book as a pillow. They will drool all over the cover. And when they wake up, they probably won’t pick up your book again.
How can we fix this? What should a writer do when they “just don’t feel it anymore?”
How to Fix Every Boring Story Ever
The first rule: do NOT give up on your story.
If you have a tendency to give up on your writing – if you jump from “good idea” to “good idea,” you will never finish anything.
I’ve been there. I have a disgusting history of leaving a trail of half-formed stories for dead. You will learn so much more from finishing a “bad” story than you will from starting a hundred “really good story ideas.”
The second rule: make a wild pivot.
You hate your side characters. You don’t really care where the plot is going.
And your setting is about as interesting as a mud puddle.
Great. No problem.
Here’s how you fix it: make a hard, fast change in your story.
- Lush, green fantasy world growing stale? Light it all on fire.
- Romantic interest too obvious? Throw another girl/guy/alien into the mix (Alien romance? Thanks Wattpad).
- Space-faring adventure too successful? Make the plan blow up in everyone’s face.
The creators of South Park actually have a brilliant rule that outlines this point.
Put simply, you write conflict into every part of your story:
Something goes right, BUT….
Something goes wrong, THEREFORE….
The more conflict you generate, the more interesting your story will be – up to a point, obviously. We can’t all write Telenovelas.
- Don’t quit
- Ruin your story
- Free yourself from boring stories.
When you pick up the pieces you will find the flecks of gold that were there all along. With these, you will turn your boring story into an unforgettable one.
Talk to me: how do you ruin a story?