The epidemic of boredom has attacked nearly everything.
All the new things are boring these days. Innovation in all fields is now at record low levels. New scientific and technological devices may be impressive on a technical perspective, but for the average unimpressed consumer, they’re just more marketing nonsense.
They’ve even managed to make smartphones boring these days. The latest phones from Samsung, HTC, Apple, Nokia, LG, etc. may have new features and sky-high prices, but they offer astonishingly little in terms of actual benefits over older, cheaper handsets.
But what does this have to with magnetic writing, you ask? It’s because writing, by default, is boring. It’s not interactive like a video. It’s not even as interactive as audio. It’s the oldest and safest method of communication, but writing isn’t enough these days.
You could end up writing something which is useful for your readers, but most of them won’t even bother to fully read it.
Why? They’re bored. They need help to turn the page even because there is so much they can do, so many things demanding their attention. Market saturation? Yes. But we can still defeat boredom.
We can still make our writing magnetic by ensuring it isn’t boring first. To change the default condition of a piece of writing from boring to compelling, here are the things you should keep in mind for transformation:
From boring to compelling and magnetic – the transformation of a piece of writing
General Tips: Transform your writing by respecting the reader’s time. If he has five minutes and five minutes only to spend on your content (be it an article, a short story, a novel, an essay, and other writing forms) then respect those five minutes by spreading quality throughout your piece.
Use impeccable sentence structure. Make your writing as readable as you can by knowing all the grammar rules and knowing when to break them. If your writing demands emotive language then use it. If figures of speech like analogies are preferred in your genre, then write fantastic analogies. Tell stories to show your point better, because nothing is quite as effective as a story.
If he has thirty minutes or longer to spend on your content, on the other hand, give him more meat to chew. Go more in-depth, find arguments and counter-arguments, debates and viewpoints, and then find and write your desired conclusion.
Tips for novels: In a novel, make your characters as life-like as you can. Use the old plots and the old ideas – but put your own twist on them. Make your characters do different things, and have conflict going on throughout the novel, because conflict defeats boredom.
Essays: What about essays? Use your powers of observation to write things which impress the reader. Write for your targeted readership, concentrate and solve problems. If the reader senses that this particular essay solves his/her issues, then presto, your essay is transformed instantly from boring to compelling.
Conclusions: Use compelling language with strong verbs and strong calls to action. Vivid description, figures of speech, balanced narrative, strong punctuation and spelling… all these elements have a part to play in making your writing compelling. Same goes for the opening chapters of fiction. Then you have other academic writing forms like letters, and you can make them compelling by being focused. Make formal letters short and sweet, follow all the rules and conventions, keep it simple. There’s no need to use complicated words to prove your worth, it usually backfires instead.
The war on boring writing
Boredom is a subjective quality. So general tips for fighting it won’t help beyond a certain point. For a blog reviewing consumer electronics, boredom could be defeated by using different media. Writing won’t seem boring if it complements a good video review. For a short story boredom could be fought by using a plot which complements the characters instead of the other way around. For a novel, introduce more conflict, don’t let the character attain his goal too easily, the plot should be well-defined, and so on.
For boring writing to be eradicated, awareness must be spread. The authors need to know that the time for flowery, ultra-descriptive writing is past. I don’t think major publishers would publish Oliver Twist now for example, without a major rewrite. Then you have the flip side of the coin: those who think the time for in-depth research and hard work writing is past. They’re wrong. There are some things which can never get out of date, and in-depth quality writing is one of them.
In the end, it all depends on the individual niche, the individual form of writing, the writer’s voice of the author, the likes and dislikes of the readers, other specialised factors such as the changing definition of compelling. Compelling writing is a complex amalgamation of various elements. But right now, we still have some chance, some time before it gets even harder for us to fight boredom in writing…
Compelling writing = writing – boring elements + specialised compelling elements. Or, compelling writing = readers’ subjective appreciation.
Have your say
And the Writers’ Treasure Relaunch continues, so be sure to leave comments on what you want to see next here. Got any tips for combating boredom in writing? Feedback about this article? Was it in the end, boring in spite of all the heroic effort I made? How do you like the new style of introduction? Likes, dislikes, tips and techniques… be sure to share them via comments here or on Google+. If you liked this, share on Twitter, Facebook, Google+. Also, subscribe for free updates from Writers’ Treasure here.