The problem here is pretty obvious. If you can’t bare the thought of sitting through a story your wrote, what makes you think a publisher, editor, or reader will feel any differently?
So what’s the solution?
First off, figure out what makes your story so boring. As much as you may dread the idea, you’ll have to read your story (regardless of how much is actually finished) again. Mark every sentence, description, piece of dialog, or entire scene that causes you to lose interest.
Pick out a scene that you marked above and read it over a few more times.
- What makes it boring?
- Is it predictable?
- Is it cliché?
- Is it forced or phony?
- Is it too mundane? (For example, does anyone need to see your protagonist brushing her teeth?)
So now, ask yourself this: Do I fix it or kill it?
If the scene doesn’t add anything to the story, or help advance the plot, delete it.
If it does add to the story, then rewrite it until you get it right. And you’ll know you got it right. It’s when you could reread the scene all day long and smile every time.
And now pick out some good stuff.
Now try this: Pick out a short stories or a scene you love (preferably one of your own works) and look it over again. Take special notice of the parts that are really good and ask yourself what makes them good. Pay attention to the language and pacing of the scene.
What separates the good parts here from the bad parts in the other story?
Something else to look out for:
Your scene might suffer from a plot problem. Does anything actually happen in this scene or story? Truthfully ask yourself this question. Remember that two characters exchanging dialog for 3,000 words doesn’t mean that anything happens.
It actually means quite the opposite.
If plot is your problem, think back to the old playwriting adage:
“Get a man in a tree, throw rocks at him, get him down.”
I’ll add that it’s a good idea to spice up your plot a bit by adding a few more obstacles along the way down.
The final problem your story might be facing is simply dull characters. This is a big problem I find in my own writing all the time, unfortunately. A dull character could be perfectly written, but if it is one that a reader can’t find a way to care about, or relate to, it’s a useless character that needs to be rewritten.
Give your characters character.
For example, a flawed, realistic hero with some baggage is much more believable than a perfect, attractive good guy with saintly morals. Likewise, a slightly sympathetic villain, whose heart started in the right place before turning evil can make a protagonist a lot stronger.
I went over a lot in this post, and tried to keep it general, but you get the idea: If your story can’t keep you interested, find out why that is. And then fix it.