Hello, again lovely human!
In my latest post: How To Avoid Filler Chapters we looked at ways to focus on the parts of the story that matter instead of filler pieces. I ended that post by saying that fluff and fillers were two very different things and today I am going to be explaining why and when to use them.
What Is a Filler and When Should They Be Written?
A Filler or Filler Chapter is a piece of writing that doesn’t contribute to the story and just wastes words; in essence, filler chapters are pointless pickles the reader has to dig out because they’re lazy writing or there to boost the word count.
Filler chapters don’t show progression in any of the arcs or plotlines in the story. They’re scenes when you waste time dwelling on the easy to write but unimportant.
Ask Yourself: if you were reading your book and you got to this part, what would it contribute to your experience? Would you skim it/skip it? If the answer is that the piece is boring and doesn’t contribute anything you probably have a filler.
Be sure to be brutally honest and check to see if there are any small parts of the overall filler that are good and can be used in a proper scene/chapter.
You may also want to check out my post How To Avoid Filler Chapters where I share how I overcame this nightmare.
What is Fluff and When Should It Be Written?
A lot of sources say that fluff is flowery detail that prevents the novel or articles from getting to the point but I’m talking g about a slightly more modern version of the word.
Fluff is cute, sweet display of affection between two characters that people enjoy reading fluff because it’s cute, sweet and is something that can make characters very ship-able*. Think about it, how many times have you come across fluffy fanfic one-shots?
You should probably use your discretion for when to write fluff and just sprinkle it in, especially if romance** is not the main plot because while it’s very sweet to read too much fluff pretty much just ruins the plot.
To help you decide let me list what fluff does:
- It can provide a break from more action-packed moments in the novel.
- It’s a great way to make people ship/keep shipping two characters.
- It can make your reader have one of those stupid grins you get when something good finally happened.
- It can be developing a character arc or plotline.
*This really should be a real word.
**There’s a more fitting word that I can’t think of it right now.
Fluff can show the development in character arcs by showing the different ways that they interact with the other character and vice versa. Fluff shows the development of a plotline between two characters or that they’re acting affectionately towards certain characters could show growth-eg. leaving behind a bias.
When you write adorable wonderful fluff it can be between two characters who could be just best friends or between characters who are in romantic relationships.
How To Write Fluff
When you write fluff you want to make sure that it’s not suffocating the rest of the story with its soft little hands. Because fluff can be so easy to write, and so addictive too, be careful that you are just sprinkling it in.
You can write small bits of fluff by even Character A buying Character B their favourite cupcake and then the two of them talk about how the heck they remembered that will end me-if I ship them.
Let’s hope that nobody is around your readers when they read the adorable fluff for the safety of others eardrums.
Thanks for reading this post and I’ll cya next week or in the comments, if you want to let me know your thoughts on this matter-and what adorable fluff makes you shatter others eardrums?
One thought on “Fillers vs Fluff: What makes them different and When to use them?”
I really need to learn how to write fluff, because oftentimes I’m an underwriter. I never seem to make word counts, no matter the length of the story. I don’t know if I should improve on it or just accept it at this rate, lol. Anyway, thanks for this post!