I was at an outdoor restaurant over the weekend and I was sitting at the table of a musician I know watching him play. As he took a break, someone from the audience came up to him and started talking.
I overheard the man asking questions about a vocal microphone amplifier and soon he was telling the musician all about the guitar books he had read on guitar playing and his practicing. On and on he went while the musician listened, hoping for a chance to get to his table to take a break.
The man reminded me of a column that Private Eye magazine used to run on Great Bores of the Day.
In conversation you need to be a good listener. Research shows that people like you more when they feel you are listening to them. However, it gets difficult when people won’t let you get in a word edgeways.
In writing, you have to begin with listening to people, what they want and what keeps them reading.
There are many ways to hook your reader and keep them reading. But these are only tools. You need to use your own common sense and make sure that you don’t bore your reader.
One tip is to keep your writing short. If you don’t have anything more to say, stop. Don’t pad your writing with word salad and sweet nothings. Otherwise you might end up being one of the Great Bores of the Day to your reader.