Recently, I found myself bored by the prospect of sitting down at the computer and getting to work on my unfinished novel, whose due date was fast approaching. I'd while away hours on Facebook, Twitter and email. I'd go for long walks. I'd been in love with this novel for so long, why had I suddenly lost interest?
One morning, instead of sending out tweets bemoaning my literary malaise, as had been my habit for the last few days, I scrolled up through the manuscript and began reading. The writing was good, I thought. Better than anything I'd done before. And that was the rub.
For the last month or so, I'd been spending my days crafting lush and richly imagined bits of narrative-long, lovely descriptions of characters and scenery, page after page of elegant prose in which nothing whatsoever was going on. No wonder I was bored.
Though you won't find it in Webster's, there's a word to describe the kind of meticulously constructed writing that bores even its author. A "bore-geous" novel is one that is packed with gorgeous, finely wrought descriptions of places and people, with entire paragraphs extolling the slope of one character's nose, whole chapters describing another's perambulations through a city. These novels are often historical or set in foreign lands, their bore-geousness inspired by the author's anxiety about making an unfamiliar world feel convincing and true. It's not that the sentences aren't well-constructed, even lovely. They are. That's part of the problem. Bore-geousness happens when you are writing beautifully but pointlessly.
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