Saturday, April 12, 2014

6 Ways to Spice up that Boring Chapter

I'm sure all of us writers have experienced it before. We're writing along, exciting scenes, developed characters, deep plot, and then, BAM! We're stuck.

Actually, a better word would be, "Bleh," we're stuck.

There is nothing more frustrating for me then going from a scene I'd already planned out in my head that goes almost exactly as it's supposed to, and then hitting that one scene where I still needed to do a bit of work. Or, you know, two or three scenes like that. In a row.

Boring scenes. I hate them. I've figured out that I can sometimes skip them, and it won't even make a difference to the story. (In fact, some of my exciting scenes are like that too...) However, lots of the time I can't skip. They're necessary to the story. Without it, there will be something not quite right about the transition between the two chapters. But the scene is just plain boring.

So how do you spice it up? How do you get your reader's interest (and, more importantly, your own interest) back into the story?

Here are a few tips that I came up with:

Bring in some necessary details. What are some things that your reader is going to need to know by the climax that you can put in this chapter?

Add some conflict. I don't mean that you need to have your main character fight someone. It doesn't need to be literal. Just make their will clash against someone else's. What do they want in this chapter? Who or what could be against them getting it?

Make them fail. What is the main character trying to accomplish in this chapter? How could they fail?

Introduce a plot twist. What would be an unexpected event that could happen in this chapter?

Leave it out. Is this scene really necessary to the story? Would the story suffer if you left it out?

Think about it from a different character's point of view. What do other characters think about the events of this scene? How could they affect what happens?

And when all else fails, just skip the scene giving you trouble and write something else (such as a blog post on what to do with boring chapters...). Taking a break from the scene will give your brain time to subconsciously figure out the problem and come up with a solution.

What do you do when you get stuck on a scene? Let us know in the comments section! I'd love to hear from you. :)


  1. Usually, if you're stuck on conversations, it helps to read it out loud and see what sounds like it would come next.

    1. I agree. A conversation ought to be a reaction to what the previous person said. Sometimes we have a particular thing we want to talk about, but generally we add something on to what was last said, either agreeing, disagreeing, or mentioning a related fact or opinion.