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Here’s some writing advice, don’t be so boring!

Life is boring, am I right?

Between reading, television, listening to music, going to shows, drinking, and (oh yeah) writing, I know I try to spend most of my time avoiding it.


That’s why our writing must be interesting.  Nobody has enough time left on this earth to read books that are boring, and the market is so saturated with good entertainment that we all can spare to lose a few bucks to have a better time.

Of course writing evaluates the human condition, but writing that doesn’t suck also must work as an enjoyable distraction. That said, here’s some advice on making your writing more interesting:

Change 
If nothing changes in your book, I am going to put your book down, and go watch the Lego Movie again. A static life is boring and predictable; as entertainment, your book can’t be. If your protagonist starts off as a curmudgeon, have her become a social butterfly. A setting known for its delightful dancing will be more interesting if it swirls into drunken debauchery.  Change is fun for the writer as well, because it allows you to learn something new, makes your story flexible, and reminds you that anything is possible.

Jeopardy 
If your characters are getting everything they want, I am going to put your book down, and watch funny old commercials on YouTube. Jeopardy is the risk of loss for your main character. A risk of loss sets a distance between your character’s current state, and where they want to be. By inserting danger in between your characters and their ultimate goals, you create a conflict that keeps the story moving.  When your character finds the love of his life, giving her a boyfriend, a disease, or a vampiric thirst for blood will certainly make your book more interesting.

Raise the stakes
If I feel like I know everything in your book, I’m going to…yeah, I think you get it. I’m sure your book is already full of conflicts and dilemmas. But books that don’t suck do not let the main character get away with anything too easily. Let your main character almost get everything she wants, and then take throw in a game changer.

Writing about a man overcoming his obesity could be an inspirational read; but, what if, after losing the weight, his doctor finds a tumor. A thief looking to redeem herself by paying back everything she’d stolen could be an interesting read; but, what if, just as she was completing her list, she found one of her victims became a bigger criminal than herself. Raising the stakes raises the conflict, increases the tension, and heightens the emotions, all of which makes your writing more interesting.

Be curious
An easy way to make your writing more interesting is to wonder about something, learn about it, and incorporate it into your story. This could be mechanical, like describing in detail the interworking of a Harley-Davidson engine; historical, like telling me about the battles once fought at your book’s setting; vocational, like describing all the ingredients a chef using to create his secret sauce.  Not only will your book fill with vivid description, you’ll establish yourself as an authority.

Write about something awe-inspiring
It’s interesting to read about a character being awe-struck with something. If your writing is set in Japan, have your character be amazed at the majesty of Mt. Fiji or the blade of a Samurai. Creating an interest in a character will create interest in your reader. An image, a scene, anything that creates intense inspiration in your character will make your reader wonder about its true, deeper meaning.

Think weird 
Like Jayelle Cochran says, “Being weird adds spice to life. Having weird friends just deepens the flavor.” An easy way to go from dull to delightful is to get a make a character or setting a little off. What if the smell of skunk aroused intense memories of love for a character? What if your character was scared of bunnies? Daring to differ will certainly make your writing more interesting.
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