5 Ways to Bore Your Readers

5 Ways to Bore Your ReadersWhat’s the one thing every writer wants?


But not just any readers.

We want readers who are hooked from the first word of our novels. follow the plot breathlessly, and stay up into the wee hours of the night because they can’t put the book down.

Readers who then wait eagerly for our next book.

I spend a lot of time helping other writers improve their writing with goal of capturing the hearts of readers.

This week, I thought I’d come at the problem from a different direction.

Let’s take a look at five surefire ways to bore  your readers.

Field of Purple Crocus1: Purple Prose

This is one of my favorites! I love purple prose. Tell everything. If you’re describing a field of flowers, list all the colors, the shapes of the flowers, how many petals they have, and their names.

If you really want to bore a reader and do it fast, use a lot of flowery prose in the first paragraph, then stretch it out to a page or two. Don’t wait!

Cookie Cutter2: Cookie Cutter Characters

Don’t bother with character development or character background. Who really needs all that back story anyway? Your readers will never see it so why should you spend time with it?

In fact, if you really want to turn off your readers, make every character the same. Same voice. Same pet phrases. Same reactions, same motivations, same… everything.

3: Unbelievable Plot Choices

Don’t worry about whether or not the choices you give your characters are believable. No one will notice if you have your characters do something that will clearly worsen their plight AND for which there was an easier and much simpler option. Whenever possible, also make sure that that easier, simpler option is also obvious.

4: Explain Everything

Leave no detail to chance or the imagination.

If you character has to get up from the table to answer the telephone or the door, describe every movement, every gesture, every expression and thought.

5: Use all the Ten Dollar Words You Know

Why mess around with plain speech when you can fancy it up with big words and technical jargon?

If you happen to have technical expertise in some area, make sure to let your reader know all about it down to the smallest detail.

There are many more ways to alienate your readers. I’m certain most of you have your own list of pet peeves when it comes to the ways you’ve been bored, frustrated or maybe even alienated by writers or storytellers.

Share them with us and tell us how your experiences with those things have made you a better writer.

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