I’ve read a lot of writing advice over the years, and this weekend I decided to ditch a tenet that I’d previously thought was hard and fast. You know that philosophy of ‘if you don’t want to write it, then others don’t want to read it’? That’s the bit I’m talking about.
Let me set the picture. There are some aspects of my novel that are powering ahead. They’re mainly about my two protagonists and how they relate to each other, which I find really exciting. And then there’s the other aspects, otherwise known as the bigger plot. These are not quite so interesting to me, but are essential vehicles for setting the scene for the emotional life of my protagonists.
Now, if I followed the ‘if I find it boring to write, readers find it boring to read’ thing, then I wouldn’t write the bits I don’t find as interesting. But in reality, if I did that, I’d have a book only I’d be interested in! That would be fine, if I was writing a book just for me. Which I’m not.
The fact is, sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do and you have to do them well. This is with writing, as it is with life. We as writers have to sit down and hone our craft until we can write the things that don’t interest us personally, but are essential for the bigger picture of our book. If we don’t, then we stall and tread water in one place, without getting anywhere. Ultimately, everything we write will be much better for it.
So I sat down this weekend and after a couple of false starts and getting thoroughly discouraged by the ‘boring’ chapter I had to write, I hit my stride. I feel much better about the chapter now, and have found it wasn’t so boring after all!