On Writing Well: Becoming an Interesting Writer

Very often, while I am reading articles on similar topics, I find myself drawn strongly to one, while skimming through or getting bored with others. While these articles often deal with identical topics that I am inherently interested in, there are writers whose voice, treatment of a topic, way of involving the reader are so well-done, that I read their articles right to the end, recommend them on facebook, and tweet them to my friends.

Many Hubbers share my feelings. Cagsil says, “The only thing that matters to me is how the article flows. If it is disjointed in the first few paragraphs, then regardless of the rest, I won’t continue reading.” RebekahELLE says “ I think the most interesting Hubs can be about any topic, but the ones that grab my attention are written with the author’s own unique style. I can almost ‘hear’ the author as I read.”

To belong to this memorable group of scribes, here are a few tactics that I think work well –

  • Use conversation and anecdotes as well as statistics: We are more prone to believe numbers and statistics. Yet, ironically, we are bored by them. Anecdotes on the other hand are less credible, but somehow we land up reading them to the end, and remembering them a lot longer than we remember statistics. To be interesting, use both sets of points – numbers to lend yourself authority, and anecdotes to make yourself memorable.
  • Use stories to prove your point: It’s a part of our human nature to love to be told stories. The driest of details can be perked up if they are presented in the form of a story. Instead of giving more and more information, try to offer your point of view in the form of narratives.
  • Don’t use confusing words: Precipitation and rain mean the same thing. But saying “It’s precipitating ” puts every off, even geologists say “It’s raining” when talking of bad weather. Stick to simple words and a strong voice.
  • Develop your writer’s voice: This is the hardest one and therefore has been reserved until the end. Try to develop a voice worth listening to. As RebekahELLE points out an author’s unique voice goes a long way in creating interest.

8 thoughts on “On Writing Well: Becoming an Interesting Writer

  1. For years I have read many articles on writing well. The four points you mentioned have been reiterated by many writing Gurus. Developing own voice, like you have said, is the hardest of all. What I loved in this article is it is brief, while being very insightful.

  2. I’ve been trying to improve on my writing style for the last year or so. I use articles to promote my web sites. I didn’t realize how difficult writing naturally could be. I’m improving but have a way to go. This was good advice.

  3. @Pia Chatterjee, excellent ideas. The fourth point to “develop your writer’s tone” is quite awesome. That’s the life in it. Thank you.

  4. Pia,
    I have written a half dozen hubs with mute responses and a few appreciated. I’m not interested in money, I need and want criticism to mature and grow. I have experienced reading topics of interest, resulting in never finishing, as you described. My question is why do I recognize this problem in others and rarely see it in the mirror?
    I can’t blame it on my dyslexia history, after living 69 years on earth. However, I still have trouble in spelling, grammar, and punctuation; without a word program on my PC, I’d be lost. I associate writing with chess; stare ahead and walk forward! Your hub is an eye opener.
    Ronnie

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