How to Bore Your Reader

1) Start every sentence the same way. Especially if it can sound like this: Walking to the door, she spied a hunk of cheese. Reaching out to grab it, she discovered her ring was missing. As she focused on her fingers, she began to panic. While panicking, she…(You get the gist.)

2) Describe every detail about your protagonist, right down to what he/she ate for dinner the night before. Then do the same for your antagonist.

3) Give us as much background information about the story as possible. Right upfront is best. Make sure you mention lots of names of people who will never show up in the novel again.

4) If you begin to lose steam in the middle of the novel, add non-dramatic tension. Like, the phone rings and your protagonist receives upsetting news. But then don’t share this news with the reader…keep it a mystery. For chapters. It will be so opposite of enthralling.

5) Make sure you use as many -ly adverbs as you can fit on each page. That way, the reader won’t feel any emotional impact.

6) Explain the obvious…such as: The doorbell rang. Dennis answered it knowing someone was probably waiting outside his door.

7) Don’t give us the setting. Let us guess: is the character on a bus? In a bar? Oh, wait. Maybe she’s on an airplane. No? The reader will be so busy trying to figure this out, the storyline will become secondary.

8) By all means, don’t let your characters make any choices. Let things happen. Which leads me to the next tip:

9) Only have good things happen to your protagonist.  Your protagonist should be nice. Live without problems or troubles of any type. Always think kindly of others. And like animals and babies.

10) And last but not least, make sure you end your story with: “it was all a dream.” After all, they won’t read on to the ending any way, so it won’t matter.




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7 responses to “How to Bore Your Reader

  1. Lisa Scott

    All very good points! Also, using the same words over and over. Or fillers that you don’t need, like “just” and “really.” Those are two of my crutches.

  2. SAY

    I want to tell you how much I like this post. I’m not sure others will get as much out of it as I did. I do think that they could, but they would have to put in as much effort as I did.

    I do think it’s important that you know a little about me. I stand 6 feet 1/2 inch after I have been awake for three hours. I am a full half inch taller when I wake up, and (perhaps) a half-inch shorter after I’ve been up for eight hours. I am over twenty-one stone, and I am not proud of that. I am bald, but that is by choice. I am three score and five years of age, and I am happily retired.

    I would like to give you some more background information on me, but as I eye the space available I don’t think there is enough room.

    When I saw your post I read it. I was very excited.

    I do appreciate the lovely font you have chosen.

    I didn’t know whether to respond to this or not. I took a coin and flipped it. I decided heads would be to respond. That meant that tales would be not to respond. When I flipped a coin it came up heads.

    When I got done reading, I wasn’t sure what was going on. It was almost like I was in a dream. But I was able to wake myself up, and realize that it all was true. I feel much better that it was not a dream.

  3. Hah!!
    super topic, enjoyed it very much–and agree with what you wrote.
    Steve clearly paid attention.
    I did too

    • K.L. Gore

      Thanks! I’d just finished critiquing someone’s work (no one anyone here knows) and the author pretty much did everything I mentioned here…

  4. Pingback: My Adventures in Researching for Writing | Nayak Brothers

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