I hate to break it to you, but if you’re a boring writer, you’ve got a tough road ahead. People don’t have time to spend on content they do not enjoy reading in today’s content-saturated world.
Thankfully, there are some powerful antidotes to boring content. I conjure up some of my favourites in this article.
After reading this article, go and write an article of your own. If you follow these tips, your article will be at least 820% more interesting.
Okay, that percentage was made up, but still, this stuff works!
Tell a story
Science has proven that stories produce INSTANT brain activation. As soon as the brain hears a story, it engages in neural coupling, a phenomenon that makes it experience the ideas being set forth in the story. Even the part of the brain responsible for voluntary muscular motion, the motor cortex, is activated by a good story.
During emotional high points in the story, the brain releases dopamine, the “happy chemical”.
Telling a story is a great way to be more interesting and short, simple stories can easily be included in any article to “up” the interest factor.
Write in first person
Writing in the first person is the way you talk, it’s natural.
If you and I were going to go to lunch, I would say something like, “I know of a really good sushi place about five minutes away. I’ve eaten there a couple times, and they have great service. Want to go with me?”
I used the first-person voice — the words I, I’ve, and me. It would sound really weird if I said to you, “Jill is aware of a good sushi place. She has eaten there a couple times with optimal results. She is inviting you to go with her.”
Don’t be afraid of writing in the first person. The third person voice is dry and awkward!
Good writers make use of a literary device known as “foreshadowing” to hint at what’s coming ahead in a story. They’re not spilling the plot. Instead, they’re setting the audience up for what’s going to come.
Foreshadowing assists in increasing the excitement and anticipation in a tale. In the Lord of the Rings, Gandalf foreshadows Gollum’s role in the narrative when he says, “My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before the end.”
Readers will notice Gandalf’s prediction and think, “What’s going to happen? Will Gollum do good or will he do ill?” And so they keep turning the pages.
I often foreshadow in my articles by previewing what I want to communicate and the outcome of the article. I foreshadowed the content to this article when I wrote “There are some powerful antidotes to boring content. In this article, I’m dishing up some of my favorite.”
I even promised a benefit for good measure: “After you read this article, go write one of your own. If you follow these tips, you’re article will be at least 817% more interesting.”
Foreshadowing is nothing more complicated than pointing in the direction you’re taking your article. It helps to prevent boredom by promising the direction of the article.
Be really, really clear
If I had to distill this entire article to one powerful point it would be this: Be clear.
Many times, when writers try to “be more interesting,” they consider techniques like active verbs or sparkling vocabulary. I have nothing against active verbs or cool words, but that’s not the main way to become more interesting.
You become interesting by being clear. Clarity is saying what you need to say — nothing less, nothing more. It’s about using the right words in the right place. It’s about cutting out stuff that distracts. It’s about being plain, not fancy.
If you can be clear, you will be more interesting. It’s that simple.
Great writing isn’t as much about your sizzling hot style as it is about simple technique and a natural approach.
When you go to write your next article, just be natural. You’re not writing for your English teacher. You’re writing for me, for your user, for normal people who just want to read simple stuff.
Don’t try to impress us. Just try to get your message across clearly.