November 26, 2015
When a reader gets bored, it is possible that you are simply telling them something they have no interest in. While this is the case, there’s another really important thing to consider – the inferential steps.
You may say something that requires too many inferential steps. For example, if you talk about “epistemology” without pointing out that this is related to the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge, a reader may lose track of what you are talking about. If a reader cannot understand, he won’t read on.
It is also a bad idea to talk about something that requires no inferential step – something that the reader has already known or can easily imagine. For example, if you are writing a story, it is usually a bad idea to directly write down your opinions or comments of the story – you should let the reader feel it. Readers are humans. They are those who already know how human thinks (although technically, they don’t understand it well, but that’s another topic). If you tell them opinions or comments directly, it’s like teaching them how human thinks – they just hate people repeatedly telling them things they have already known.
It takes efforts to avoid getting readers bored. I struggled a long time on this issue until I met someone who has used her writing to appeal many people.
“How do you know when the writing is finished?” I asked.
“When the writing makes sense to me.” She said, as if this was the most common thing that everybody had already understood.