#A-Z Challenge: B is for Boring, boring, boring….

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For the A-Z challenge, I am posting writing and editing tips to help you improve and enhance your writing.

B is for Boring, boring, boring….

bored

Your job as a writer is to entertain, inform and engage your reader. If this isn’t your goal, then you may be in the wrong job. You don’t want to bore your reader or they’ll simply close your book and go and find another one on Amazon (there are millions to choose from after all). So how do you avoid sending your reader to sleep?

  • Increase the pace. You can do this by using a variety of sentence and paragraph lengths. Short sentences will add drama, suspense and pace, moving your reader forward with your character.
  • Get rid of passive voice. Passive voice can be too wordy and can put a distance between your reader and your words.
  • Include drama, conflict and events. You’re writing fiction. Things need to happen. Your characters need to have experiences and develop, change and be affected by what is happening.
  • Ditch the clichés. Clichés are boring, lazy and add nothing to your writing. If your work is riddled with clichés you are showing no respect at all to the readers who will invest time and money in your book. Give them something fresh, something new.
  • Be honest with yourself. Do you need all that description? All those lovely adverbs and adjectives? All those clever, clever metaphors? Who are they for?
  • Read, read, read. And when you’re reading make a note of what bores you as well as what excites you. Learn from other writers – from their mistakes as well as their successes.

How do you keep your writing exciting? Share your thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment below.

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27 comments

  1. Agreed on passive voice. I know a lot of people who overuse it in academic writing and it makes everything WAY more confusing. Occasional passive voice is fine, but active is preferred.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a B for brilliant blog. ! have spent far too long here reading…. Nice to meet another editor–oh wait, am I allowed to say nice? 🙂 I’ll be recommending your posts to more than a few authors I know. lol And thanks for the tweet–greatly appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was on a deadline yesterday, so marked this to read as i think Alison is a brilliant editor, who really gets to grips with fundamental issues we writers ignore/misunderstanding/are ignorant of! Oh dear, that was a boring response …meant to say brilliant, insightful blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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