Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Killing Me (or your reader) Softly

Boredom.

It's the easiest way to kill momentum. The best excuse for your reader to drop the book.

And it's so super easy to get there! On my seventh read-through of my MS, about seventy pages in, I jumped out of my chair and bolted from the office. Why? Because I'd been sleep-reading/revising for about six pages. Holy hot dog, Batman! I'd bored MYSELF. If I couldn't read my pride and joy without nodding off, how could I hold someone else's attention?

Do you find your attention span getting smaller every day? Struggling to get interested in a book without immediate action? Falling asl-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Hehe. Just kidding. Is it a death sentence when your own story bores you?

In the spirit of NOT boring you, this is a shorty post. Thanks for hangin' with the Cheetah!

-Marie

9 comments:

Siv Maria said...

So funny. Don't despair you just needed more coffee :)

Gina said...

When you've re-read your own story a million times, it's easy to be bored by it! You just needed some fresh eyes :)

Hannah Kincade said...

I hope I've spun a good tale. I enjoy reading it and I've read through it a dozen times already! LOL! And this is the first draft! So maybe...I'll have to ask the CPs and then later, the (cue organ intro) BETAS!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm with Gina, though sometimes you love your story so much, you don't get bored because you know a good bit's coming soon. Only your betas can tell you if it's boring because they don't know what's coming next. Of course now you have to hope your betas will tell you they're getting bored. ;)

Christa said...

I agree with Gina and Stina. Sometimes, it is best just to step away and get better eyes on it. After revision 56, I could recite passages verbatim. This is never good because it kept me from seeing flaws.

The Writing Goddess said...

I have a fab critique group, and they pointed out where I did this in the first chapter of my latest work (basically, it was fine as was, I threw in a couple of paragraphs to add "heart." Instead, I stopped it, and not in a good way.)

At the risk of being forever ostracized in the literary community, I could not get through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Bored stiff with the first 25 pages, read another 25 - still bored. Thought, it must be me, this book is such a big hit. Read another 25, then decided I couldn't do that to myself anymore. I would bet half the buzz on those books is by people who want to seem cool by being au courant, not by people who've actually read them, all the way through.

Though I did have one friend say that if you get past the first 100 pages, it gets better. I'm not patient enough to slog through 100 pages of dreck in hopes there will be gold at the other end.

Alicia Gregoire said...

If you get bored by your story on your first read-through, then it's a problem. Let's hope none of us have that problem!

Cheree said...

I definitely need a book that jumps straight to the action. I hate waffle. If you're getting bored on the first read, then there's a definite problem. I only got bored after my 8th revision, then I needed to let it breathe before going through it again.

AllMyPosts said...

It may not be so bad after all.

Probably it is boring because you are reading it seventh time!! No book can grab a person's attention for seventh time (that too when you are the author yourself)

with warm regards