Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Skip the boring parts

The other day I was editing a scene from the sequel to Dark Metropolis and I realized what the problem had been with the original: I had added in boring parts, subconsciously, because "it's more realistic".

Once I noticed this I realized how often I do it.

I will feel the need to add some extra characters no one cares about, because I simply feel like, realistically, more people would be involved in these endeavors.

Or I drag out a scene because, well, come on, realistically things probably wouldn't happen THAT fast.

Or I make characters more boring than they need to be because some little voice in my head says, "Realistically, not all the people my MC comes across would be fascinating and awesome. Some people are just dull!"

I am going to try to banish the word "realistically" from my vocabulary--well, or at least pare it back. It's one thing to get serious research details wrong, but the actual storytelling? Well, it probably shouldn't be TOO realistic.


  1. Sometimes those boring parts are placeholders, because you know that you need to show time passing, but you don't have the right thing to go in there yet. But uh, yeah. I'm revising something right now and chopping out whole chapters of boring and writing whole new parts filled with actual, yanno, PLOT.

    1. They are definitely placeholders at times, but even then, in hindsight I wonder why I put them there. Why need a placeholder at all if it means I'm going to slog through a scene that bores me? Hmm.

  2. Ah, yes, I am having that Placeholder dilemma too!
    I've been working on adding some "slower" scenes to my Temple of Doom paced manuscript, and it's been a horrible struggle. But I suppose if I can find a way to make those placeholder scenes quieter but still engaging, I would lose the "boring" part?

    1. Yeah, that is the trick, isn't it? I love some quiet scenes, both in my writing and other people's, and I have been guilty of the "Temple of Doom paced manuscript" in the past (love that) which is maybe why I'm now overcompensating with boring scenes? I think the thing to always ask ourselves is, is there tension here and do we have reason to care about the people in this scene? Or is this just some people sitting around or whatever?