<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d36329712\x26blogName\x3dWriting+Aspirations\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://writingaspirations.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://writingaspirations.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d3425846030561062794', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
Sunday, December 10, 2006

Interesting Vs Boring

Continued from "On blog content"

What makes one story interesting (or blog post) and another boring? (Thank you to those of you that shared your thoughts... Some great comments and suggestions.) First, you have to consider what people are searching for or the type of content provided.

1. Educational:
People are looking for something specific. They don't need personal tidbits, humor or clever anecdotes. They want to know how to do something and they are performing a targeted search. If the content shows or teaches them what they want to know - they are satisfied. If the source offers ongoing information that will continue to teach them, they'll likely be repeat readers/visitors.

2. Informative/Statistical:
People are looking for data. They want to know the percentage of female to male bloggers. They want to know how many people live in their town. They want to know the rate people die from smoking. Again, the search is fairly targeted.

3. Humor:
A lot of people enjoy a good laugh. Some people look specifically for jokes and funny anecdotes. Many times in stories and blog posts - if you get a chuckle out of your reader, you may have just landed a fan. There have been times when I've visited a blog and I don't really have interest in the main content (like entries about car racing, or politics), but the way the story has been told is funny... or many of the past posts include such a humorous tone that I can't help but: LOL!

4. Emotional/Sentiment:
Most of us enjoy a tug on the old heartstrings every now and then. Especially if it is thought-provoking and gives us something. It could be that we are looking for those with a similar experience. It could be that we want to experience or relive a moment in our past. It could be that we are searching for some cosmic answer to understand more about life in general.

5. Hobby/Passions/Dreams:
I think this is where most of us fall into play. We have a dream or a passion or a hobby and we want to know all about it. We want to find others that like it as much as we do. We want to talk about it. We want to feel a part of it. We want to live vicariously through the internet or publications... dreaming about the possibilities... We are addicted and we have to get our fix. (And then we want to share it with the rest of the world).

To me, this is why there are genres, categories, themes, etc. It's easier to bring people together if you can organize things... course, that could be my OCD (or CDO as a friendly visitor pointed out to me!)

Just because you have a theme or category or genre - doesn't mean you have suddenly hit interesting. I have read books that were boring... and I've certainly visited blogs that were boring (even though they were focused on something I was researching or browsing). To me, the real difference between interesting and boring is...

CREATIVITY

How clever can you be? Can you turn this: [There is a guy. His name is Bob and he has a boring job. ] into something delightful and witty? Can you make someone enjoy reading it? Can you turn: [I've got kids. They are funny. Just yesterday one of them said, "Outer-in-space" and we all laughed.] into an entertaining post about the daily life with children? Repeating information is just that - you are repeating facts or events. Maybe for educational or statistical purposes that's fine... but let's face it... It's boring. It's dull. It's dry.

Thinking about something and then using the imagination or brain juice to say... "you know, that's an ironic situation there and if put this way, it's damn funny." - that's what it's about... To me creativity is synonymous with (or at least encompasses) critical thinking, imagination, wit, cleverness, and insight.

So, by now you may be sitting there thinking, mmmhmmm, ok, where is she going with this?

One of my life's goals is to complete a novel. Beyond that I would like to land an agent and get published, but one step at a time. I'm a fan of Miss Snark and while I may not always agree with some of her comments, I'm a loyal reader. She has an event lovelingly referred to as the Crap-O-Meter.

My meandering rambles on 'interesting vs boring' has led me here... to the situation of a hook. On December 15th, Miss Snark will accept emails of a 250 word "hook" of your story. Have you ever tried to write, in 250 words, the basic plot and why a book would be interesting and why you would want to read it? It's not as easy as you might think.


To be continued with... "On hooking..."

Labels: ,

3 Comments:

Blogger heather said...

i agree, creativity is what turns the mundane into fantastic. what i find interesting is (i'm realizing) i approach blogging differently than i do my other writing. i try to be creative, sure, but i don't give it the same energy as when i'm *working*. i guess because it's sort of for me, but not. a weird hybrid, and all over the map, at that.

started reading you sometime during NaNoWhatever -- good stuff!

2:27 PM  
Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Yeah, I can write a hook. Not sure of the word length; I'd have to dig up the queries to the book attempts long since dead.

That doesn't mean it's easy, though!

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Very cute idea.

2:52 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home