This week's topic has the SFF Seven questioning a writing adage: 'If you're bored writing it, the reader will be bored reading it.'
Is this true, though?
No. I can tell you that I was bored out of my mind at times while writing the love scene for The Witch Collector. For me, sex scenes and fight scenes are HARD. So hard that they make me nap and I don't nap. There's so much choreography, and I have to not only make both types of scenes easy to read but there's certain pacing for each, along with certain genre expectations. When I'm writing love and fight scenes, my brain is ALL IN. It's tedious, time-consuming work that I will revise several times before it feels right. In both types of scenes, there's an emotional layer as well, so there are times when I have to sit and dig deep into the heart of the story and unearth the deeper meaning. In my stories, love scenes change the dynamic between the main characters and fight/battle scenes tend to end up with them losing something they treasured, needed, or hoped for. Nothing is gratuitous. Everything I write has a purpose for what's ahead.
So, the question is, are these scenes boring just because I wasn't bouncing in my seat while writing them? Absolutely not. If I've done my job, they're kick-ass. The battle scenes are intense, fast paced, gritty, a little gruesome, and they deal my main characters a load of change to face. As for my love scene/s, they're sensual and provide the reader with the climax (pun intended) to the romance arc they've been hoping for, as well as...change.
Change can be key to preventing a story from falling into a boring flow. One technique is to try turning a scene on a dime. This is something I've been working on, and I try to make the ends of many of my chapters change the whole game the characters are playing. It's fun for me, and as a reader, I know I respond to books that do this. This is just one way to avoid the novel doldrums.
But, no. Just because YOU might write a scene or chapter with little zeal in your fingertips, doesn't necessarily mean that the writing is dull. Writing is work, and it isn't always a thrill to sit down and craft a scene. The thrill often comes later, when you've had a little distance and you read it and think...Wow. I did that? Or for me, when my kid calls me and says, "Wait...how did my mother who doesn't even watch violence on TV manage to write THIS?" OR, even better, when a reader writes a review and is so affected by your work that they want to tell the world.
Sometimes writing is work. Sometimes you have to force yourself to sit at the computer and try to get words down, and while that might not be boring, it might also not be exciting. Sometimes it's a tedious writing session that makes a scene tick. Sometimes the words flow like water and we writers grin the entire time. The goal is to write something you love and something you're proud of. How that happens will differ many times over the course of a novel's creation. Writing is a craft, and though there are some rules, few are universal, and most hold different meaning for different writers.
So, go forth and write. Don't let an old writing adage make you feel like you're doing something wrong.