Sometimes it happens.
Fillers are something we are all guilty for at some point in any story. Though, it is important to recognise that scenes or character interactions that are irrelevant to the overall plot are not worth it if you want to create a memorable story. A fact that most experienced writers are aware of.
This is clearly, no trade secret, but becomes more evident when we’re questioned why this matters. Especially, in a time period, where most heavy readers and mature adults are rather concerned about the content in YA novels; promoting unhealthy relationships and poor decisions. All of which is a post for another day.
However, to address the topic above, that isn’t difficult to confirm. Think of popular books, like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter. If there were filler scenes throughout these novels, they would not be popular, and the authors of these works would not be held in such high regard. After all, anyone who reads a filler scene will automatically squander their interest in said chosen novel and may become resentful, if they see you’re milking their passion for reading.
In saying that, there are writers who don’t use fillers, and absolutely hate them. To these writers, writing is a craft. An art, that in its own right that they worked years to hone, even if others don’t see it or care to acknowledge it. Rarely are completed works seen, but by some chance, if readers do manage to catch a glimpse of their works they may be in awe.
To have someone be less than impressed by all decently woven scenes that you were once proud of removed, rewritten and revised for the purpose of creating memorable characters and solid backstories is an understatement. Including, the countless amateur writing mistakes like; misplaced commas, apostrophes or poor use of sentence structure which everyone has trouble with from time to time.
Writing, it’s a hard process as it is. Some claim it's almost impossible, which is silly. Though, having people see your work with errors is embarrassing enough, that it makes many people and writers wonder why it was written. Something, I’ve done tones of times in the past.
The words were written for a reason like you had an idea and you wanted to share it. Be kind to yourself because you may enjoy it more than socialising but need practice. Regardless, of the reason, we all need to start somewhere, even if it is just on the internet or in school.
Explaining, why my story has taken so long to create and complete, I’m just not satisfied with the storyline, the character interactions and sub-plots that spans over several books. However, that’s for me to know and you to find out.
All, I have to say is, that it’s not something that can be written in one or two drafts or even five. I’m certain I was on my fifteenth draft before I published the recent chapter on Wattpad. A site, I use not for publicity but rather revision and analysis.
Yet, in a lot of self-published books, there are tonnes of filler scenes or minor plots that don’t really make much sense by the time you finish the story. I think I recall a time, where I was reading a book (which shall not be named) that had a rather parallel storyline and character development, to Twilight, written by Stephanie Mayer. I actually had to re-read the book to make sure that I wasn’t assuming things. To my mild surprise, I discovered that it was a fan-fiction first.
For anyone who has seen works like the City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and others that had come after, was awkward, to say the least. Though, not always terrible as long as no one else has seen these fan-fictions before they became books.
The first reason for the awkwardness; is because the story was originally written for a different audience. Second, the writer potentially may not have cared about how the story was structured (as in antagonist motives), as long as you kept what the reader was interested in–going. Explaining why it was popular as a fan-fiction. In this case, if it was classed romance series which wouldn’t have mattered. However, the series was listed as fantasy and not romance.
This alone, explains why the Mortal Instruments series was hard to follow. I found that every few pages, the main character was crushing hard, mind you over a love interest that was unnecessary or ill-timed. Not to mention, the phases said by characters during fight scenes or at odd times that made me comment – “no one would say that if they were attacked by demons” or “we already know Shadow Hunters are special don’t need to have Jace say it again” and the list goes on, not that I’m complaining mind you.
It wasn’t just one character either, it was multiple ill-timed romances. As the story continued, I couldn’t finish it because well it was heavily invested in romance and personally, I prefer, action and adventure type of stories. Explaining why marketing a book appropriately is very important, again a post for another day and something the advice in my packages offer.
Now, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this … Well, these romances in the City of Bones, could have been delayed because it took away from the overall storyline in the entire series. Making it poor scene fillers. JK Rowling had done well, to delay romances, meaning she had time to build her characters further, the world, the magic systems and everything else that is necessary for a kindle gripping story. This is where I felt the story flopped in the City of Bones, there were too many fillers used as plot devices to be interesting enough on its own, no offence Judith.
If you’ve learnt anything from this post.
You’ve learnt? Those unnecessary fillers can ruin your story.