Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

How to write the most boring scene in your novel

Writing
Can’t force yourself to get excited about writing your next scene? Start by writing down the reasons why the scene is too boring to write. | Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

Last night, I sat down to write chapter 10 of my novel, and I just couldn’t get into it. I knew what the chapter was supposed to be about, but I simply could not get excited about it. Then I remembered author Rachel Aaron’s advice  on getting excited about what you’re writing.

“If I had scenes that were boring enough that I didn’t want to write them, then there was no way in hell anyone would want to read them.” ~Rachel Aaron

So, I sat down with my notebook and began to scribble my thoughts about why I thought the scene I was about to attack was too tedious to write.

Here’s the set-up: My protagonist is moving from the world she has grown up in to a new, scary world that is unlike anything she even knew existed. My plan was to have her new step-mother’s style team come in and tear the character’s old self apart and build something new. But there was something about this scene that was holding me back from writing it. Here’s what I jotted in my notebook:

I don’t know about this style team. I’m just not excited to write this particular scene. So, what do I hate about it? I think what I had imagined is a little too much like the Hunger Games scene where Katniss is first attacked by her style team. That scene has already been written, so it feels like I’m just trying to freshen up someone’s else’s work when the author already did an amazing job to begin with.

I need to write something original, something that is mine alone, and not some regurgitation of someone else’s scene. So what can I do with my scene so it’s not something that’s already been written and turned into a blockbuster movie? What do I really want to have them do to her?

After writing this, I jotted down several ideas of what this team could do to my protagonist to indoctrinate her into her new world. I don’t want to give you any more details at this point, but let’s just say I ended up writing a total “ew” moment into my book: one of those moments that will leave the reader feeling dirty and thinking, “I can’t believe you just did that to your character.”

I have no clue where this idea came from. If I’d sat and stared at my keyboard waiting for this scene to come to me, I would have never gotten through chapter 10 last night. This small moment of questioning what was wrong with the scene I had in mind helped me to very quickly get over a common writer’s hump that might have cost me several hours of frustrated mind racking.

Have you ever forced yourself to write a scene you just weren’t that interested in? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

~Mandy Webster 

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4 thoughts on “How to write the most boring scene in your novel”

  1. Hi Amanda, I have received several messages on my blog that you are trying to leave me a comment or do something with my site. Your messages or your intent are not clear. If I can do something for you please let me know at kimcox37@yahoo.com. Thanks, appreciate it and all the best!

  2. This is great advice. I quite often get stuck with flat bits in my plot and I plough on through them and then when I come back to the same bit during revision I scrawl REWRITE all over those exact bits. I should just stop during the first draft and work out why that bit feels flat in the first place, particularly because I’m rubbish at editing!

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