The Number One Rule Of Writing You’re Probably Overlooking

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What glues the reader to your words?

Curiosity compels your reader to go from one sentence to the next. We know the importance of it, at least intuitively, but we often brush it off in favor of other considerations.

Curiosity — The gap between what you know and what you want to know

You can also think of it as an equation.

Curiosity = What you desire to know — what you know

Writing in the second person (you and your) works well in blogging; it makes your reader the center of attention. You can’t go wrong with that approach, but it doesn’t fit all styles, and you have other tools at your disposal.

Invent a desire for knowledge

What if I told you that I know of a cure for dark circles under your eyes and it doesn’t involve creams, dietary changes, supplements, or surgery?


No doubt, you come across meaningless secrets every day. You don’t remember them because they fail to resonate with you.

Turbocharge your secrets

A secret that someone or some group tries to withhold from you generates insatiable interest. Compare these two sentences.

Ask Answer Ask

Maintaining a bit of mystery works well to sustain curiosity, but you run the risk of irritating your reader. We’ve all read stories or articles and thought, enough with the manufactured suspense. Get to the point already. You can get away with this in a novel (maybe) because a reader invests in it; they expect it.

Taking pleasure in the less fortunate

My former sales manager used to remind me of this tenet of human nature.

  1. I ate lunch at a five-star restaurant today. The chef asked for my autograph. I then closed a seven-figure deal on my way back to the office. One question remained. Would the commission pay for that new Tesla?
  2. I experienced an embarrassing digestion issue at lunch. The manager asked me to leave. On my way back to work, my boss texted me: you’ve been terminated. I still had five hours before meeting with Kim. She wanted to have a “serious talk.”
  1. Stories of heartbreak, injustice and bad luck also allow us to learn from these unfortunate experiences without living through them.

The Curiosity Test

Ask yourself this question after each sentence during the editing process.

Does this sentence compel the reader to the next sentence?

Experimenter in life, productivity, and creativity. Work in Forge | Elemental | Business Insider | GMP | Contact: barry@barry-davret dot com.

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