Writing Advice

Skip the Boring Parts

I discussed this idea with a fellow writer not long ago and was surprised that not many people seemed to have thought of it. So, I’m posting it here for your consideration.

I rarely write in a linear fashion. I’ll start into the book on page one, but it doesn’t take long before I start to get bored. You writers out there will know what I mean; you just don’t feel like writing a particular scene, and your mind is preoccupied with another scene that you just know is going to be awesome. Thus, I say: write whatever you are compelled to write at the time. If you don’t want to write a scene, or you don’t know how to get from one scene to another, SKIP IT. When I’m working on a manuscript and get to a section like that, I just make a line break put “Insert (whatever) here” and move on.

If there’s a scene you’re really fired up to write, write it! It doesn’t matter if it’s chronologically time for it to happen in the book or not. Write it in a new document and save it for later. I have a whole folder on my computer called “Fragments” for such files. Just write it, stash it away for later, then when it actually comes time for it to happen in the manuscript, all you have to do is paste it in. Similarly, you’ll need to go back later and fill in the holes where you skipped things earlier. However, I’ve found that it’s sometimes much easier to figure out how to get from one scene from another if you’ve already written one that comes later. If you already know where you’re going, it’s easier to know what you’ll need to do in order to get there.

Some of the most important parts about the actual act of writing is forward movement and staying excited about what you’re doing. If you are bored with what you’re writing, chances are, your readers are going to be too. If you don’t feel energized when you’re writing a scene, it’s likely going to feel forced and flat, and you’ll lose your momentum with the project. You need to harness your creative energy when you have it, don’t waste it on something the Muse doesn’t want to do; do whatever the Muse directs you to do at the time, and your work will be much better because of it. If your Muse is a bit ADHD like mine, you’ll just need to go back and string all your pieces of genius prose together later.

3 thoughts on “Skip the Boring Parts

  1. I keep writing, but I’m always eager to get to the last part of the last book I come up with. So far I have 3 books thought up PLUS an unfinished comic book. So hard to multitask with that stuff. x3 At least I skip some(not all) boring parts.

    1. Have you ever tried devoting X amount of time to each of your projects? A sort of creative scheduling, I guess? Sometimes when I have multiple things going on, I’ll give myself, say, two weeks to work on one thing, two weeks on another, and just rotate through, that way none of them get stalled.

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