Neil Gaiman on Writing the Boring Bits

I just came across this bit of writing advice on Neil Gaiman’s tumblr and had to share it here. For all of you to read, of course, but also for myself.


infinitetumbleweed asked: For NaNoWriMo I’m just writing the key moments as I picture them. As a result my novel seems super disconnected, but I don’t want boring bits in between. Have you ever dealt with this in any of your novels? How do I smooth it out?

You write the boring bits. You write them with all the skill and power you can, and you find something interesting in each boring bit for a character to do or say. And then, when the book is finished and about to be printed, and you’re rereading it to copy edit and proof it, you find that you cannot always remember which bits were boring bits you had to nerve yourself up to write, and which bits were the exciting bits you were leading up to.

And then people come up to you and tell you their favourite bits in your books, and you are astonished that some of their favourite bits are from scenes you would have thought of as boring bits, scenes which existed only to stop two other scenes from crashing into each other…


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