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|Written by Anna McDermott|
|Sunday, 04 December 2011 15:41|
The accusation that a work is "boring," is a common reviewer remark, but "boring" is a loaded term. This can refer to a number of potential failings, so it's worth finding out just what was thought to be dull. Happily, there are some easy ways to avoid catching that particularly unfortunate label.
When you describe action, make it exciting! Rather than a blow-by-blow account of what's happening, generalize a little about the specific movements and focus more on how people are reacting to one another, what is seen and experienced by the participants. Also, this helps you avoid getting stuck in a situation where an aficionado of whatever confrontation method you're showing gets nit-picky about the details.
When nothing exciting is going on, go ahead and put it in fast forward. We don't necessarily need every moment of the search for firewood and subsequent fire-building exercise. Detailed accounts tedious but uninteresting moments are themselves a tedious and uninteresting thing to read.
The saddle was on a peg by the door of the tack room. After throwing a saddle-blanket over the mare's red and white patterned back, he took the saddle from its peg and hefted it onto her. He reached around and grabbed the hanging cinch strap and pulled it under to the buckles and worked it through, pulling it firm. The mare stood while he made sure the stirrups were hanging correctly. Finally, he moved around to her left, stuck his left foot in the stirrup and swung up into the saddle, and chirruped her into motion. She walked then trotted and finally cantered out of the barn and towards the west where the sun was just going down.
He saddled up the pinto mare, and rode out into the sunset.
Introduce colorfully, not exhaustively. When you paint us a picture: make it a Monet, not a Da Vinci. Show the spirit of the scene, the things that stand out. Give a detailed impression, but do not count the hairs on Adam's nose.
Sometimes, when you are proofreading, you'll hit a spot in your story that you skip over or skim lightly "because you already figured it out." If you find yourself doing this, you may want to take a closer look. It could be that you have unknowingly bored yourself.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 04 December 2011 15:58|