There are many different criteria used to judge whether a writer is great at what he does or merely adequate. Like most other things in life, end results are a good gage. If readers more often than not follow articles to their completion, and if they understand what they’ve read, I believe it’s safe to say that the writer has at least been minimally successful. But whether or his work can be considered great is another question entirely.
One of the things common to all great writers is the fact that their work is interesting. A great writer knows how to capture the attention of his readers and keep that attention throughout the entire piece. This is true regardless of whether we’re talking about a novel, a political piece, a sports report, or a general knowledge article. The ability to make things interesting is indispensable for great writing.
Being Interesting is not Topic-Related
As writers, we tend to think that we can’t make interesting reading out of topics we find boring. Fortunately, that’s really not the case. For example, I
find genealogical studies to be extremely boring while other people find them fascinating. To make an article on genealogy interesting I can employ several techniques that will capture my readers’ attention and keep them attentive all the way through.
As an example, if I’m writing about the joys of doing genealogical research I can include anecdotal stories of others who found long-lost ancestors after years of diligent research. Those anecdotal stories alone are usually enough to catch and hold a reader. Sometimes facts and figures are relevant, but most of the time those are kept to a minimum. The point is, whether a topic is interesting to you or not, you can make it interesting to your readers.
Be Careful of Length
When focusing on making your writing interesting, always be careful about
length; especially if most of your work revolves around articles or blog posts. In today’s fast-paced, drive-through world, text that is too long can be counterproductive – regardless of how interesting you’ve made the information.
Unless there’s a specific reason for making your content longer, a good rule of thumb is 500-750 words. This length is just about what the average reader will tolerate before losing interest. Where longer lengths are required be sure to break up the content using headings, subheadings, chapter divisions, or whatever else is appropriate.