Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jazz It Up

We've all reached that point in our story where it just isn't going well.  Writing is getting harder and harder, and you feel like your characters are getting sick of you.  Let's face it: you're bored. 

What, Annie?  Bored with my own story?  Never!

Oh, admit it.  It happens. 

While getting a tad bored of your own story is perfectly normal, it isn't a good thing by any standards.  If you're bored with the story...then what about readers?  They'll be asleep at this point.  And we don't want that.  We want them to stay up all night reading, without the help of coffee or MLIA.   

If you're bored with your own story, then there's really only one thing I'd suggest.  Make something happen.  Why do you get bored with books?  With anything?  Because nothing happens.  So make something happen.  Jazz it up a little.  Make your reader think twice.  Or three times.* 

For example: Last night, I was having trouble with my book.  I felt like a certain part was dragging on way too long, but I couldn't think of how to get myself through it.  Sighing, I closed MS Word and left it for the night.  Today in study hall, the idea hit me.  My MC is standing with a king, on the corner of a castle wall (long story...).  There are dragons in this world.  The dragons aren't happy with the nobility (again, long story). 

So why not have my poor MC and the king get kidnapped by a dragon?**

Yes, I know it's rough.  And spontaneous.  But it works in my story, and it definitely spices it up and gets me out of my little boredom trench. 

I'm not saying you should make a guy with a chainsaw randomly invade your contemporary romance.  This wouldn't make any sense, and it would just end up sounding ridiculous.  Your event doesn't have to be that drastic.  Nobody has to die.  Nobody has to get kidnapped.  But let's up the stakes for your characters, shall we? 

Add something unexpected.  Introduce a new character.  Get rid of an old one.  Send your MC a mysterious letter.  I don't care, as long as it makes sense and adds tension and furthers your plot.

All I'm saying is this:  Jazz it up.  When all seems boring...make it interesting.  Make something happen.  Anything.  Trust me; you'll find a way.  

*Or four, or five, or six, depending on how many times you read Pathfinder.
**I mean, really.  "Hey, let's stand in a high, isolated place, with our guards not even in sight!  Great idea!  And we just happen to be very assassinate-able people, 'cause we're so awesome and important!  That's not stupid at all!"  ...Now whose fault is that?
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