There are books that fire up your imagination and remain in your memory for years. Others are so boring that you can’t wait for the book to be over, and in most cases you end up with an unfinished book. Boring readers is quite easy, so a writer should avoid the following pitfalls.
1. One-dimensional characters:
This is my own special pet-peeve and there are many people who agree with me. Sometimes the author falls in love with his or her character, and they begin to take an idealistic form. Avoid, get some distance! If your character is too nice or too powerful and has no flaws, they are approaching the danger of becoming Mary Sues or Gary Stus. It makes them less human for the readers, who no longer identify with them or care about what happens to them.
2. Streams of consciousness:
If done well, this can be very good. Short bursts of writing that is unfocused and meanders according to your thoughts can serve to endear your character to readers. But pages upon pages of thoughts going nowhere are tedious to read and will end up in a snooze fest for the reader. It is very important to move your character along with their thoughts, as well as the plot. If this doesn’t happen, you get stuck and lose your readers along the way.
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3. Lack of excitement:
If you don’t give readers something to hold on to, they are going to leave. The story has to continuously go somewhere, and the journey should be interesting. Adding sub-plots that don’t have any relevance to the main story will make the book boring for readers. Don’t just tack on a sub-plot because you want to tell the story. They must fit in snugly and all loose ends should be tied up at the end. It is also not a good idea to put in pages and pages of fillers such as irrelevant descriptions or thoughts. Every word must drive the plot ahead.
4. Lack of logic:
You think of a story that appears interesting and logical at first sight, but when you get down to plotting out the details, you cannot find a way to logically reach the place you want to reach. So you take a flying leap of logic and land where you wanted to land hoping no one would notice. Don’t! This sort of thing puts readers off and bores them to tears. Character motivation is also important in driving the plot. One of the most boring things for a reader is seeing characters rushing around doing things that make no sense. Give your characters a reason to perform a certain action, and that reason shouldn’t be that you want them to do it.
5. Lots of telling, very little showing:
Readers get bored when they have to read a story that is more like an essay. Don’t just tell readers what is happening; show them with dialogues, actions, and emotions. Put in plenty of dialogues and let the emotions seep out of the pages. Make them believe in the story, rather than just tell them a story. Give readers the opportunity to interpret the story in their own way. This keeps them interested and thirsting for more.
Image credit: Erich Ferdinand on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IMG_20141217_101736441.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Kavitha is a freelance content writer and French translator, and has been working in this field since 2008. She has degrees in computer applications and international business and has a background in business and international trade. She enjoys learning languages and is currently learning Japanese. Her interests vary from books and writing to travelling and history.[/author_info] [/author]