I’ve observed that most people fall into two categories – they either tell long, detailed stories or are very quick and to-the-point.  When you speak with someone who has a different style than yours, does it make you crazy? Just like my writing style, I’m  very succinct (which probably isn’t going to work to my advantage as I write my next book, a novel).

I don’t like to dominate conversations which seems to make me a target for prolific talkers. Take my ex-husband, the king of verbosity. When I would ask him what he did that day, the typical response was “I woke up. I got out of bed,” and at that point, I had to cut him off by singing the lyrics of A Day in the Life by The Beatles, “dragged a comb across my head…” But he never got my subtle hint and continued to tell me that he showered, shaved and had breakfast. Okay, okay, tell me what you did that was INTERESTING!

When someone asks me about my day, I give them the Cliff notes version, no details to bore my listeners. Or could it be that my friends who are more long-winded get annoyed by my brief synopsis? Come on, I can’t imagine that not boring people with unnecessary information would be as irritating as listening to stories about someone’s mother’s next door neighbor’s cousin’s girlfriend’s boss. Yes, I have friends who will talk endlessly about people I’ve never heard of. I feel like screaming “Who cares!” But I restrain myself so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. And besides, if they don’t talk then I would be forced to fill in the lull in conversation that I so try to avoid. To me, that’s worse than speaking in public. Really.

I suppose that two people who ascribe to brevity would have difficulty sustaining a conversation, making the perfect match out of one who likes to talk a lot and another who doesn’t. But imagine if you get two big talkers together? You could be waiting for hours to get to the crux of the story.  No thanks.

Is there a happy medium when someone tells a story with just the right amount of detail not to bore someone but enough to hold interest? That’s the trick and skill of a good writer! How did I do?

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