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?”
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.”
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.
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.
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?