Interesting turn in the thread to storytelling ideas. I have one friend, Amy, who will tell me stories in excruciating detail--she will list every single person who was in the group with her, or every single thing she ate at a restaurant, for example, when those details are completely unnecessary for the story. I'm nearly used to it, though, so I just nod and wait for her to get to the point.
Another friend, Emma, kind of annoys me with her stories, though... I find them extremely difficult to follow. Even without me interrupting at all, she will tell parts out of order, go off on tangents, and use pronouns like "he" and "she" without explaining who she's talking about. I would feel like a police interrogator trying to straighten out the stories, I'd need to ask so many questions; so usually I just listen and nod along and react more to the emotional content (which seems to be the important part anyway), even if in the end I couldn't tell you who it was who said what, or when it happened, or what the real sequence of events was. It's really difficult to get a straightforward, linear answer out of her.
I think with my friends there's a lot of, Person A is telling a story, so they're doing most of the talking; but Person B is doing "active listening," where technically they're interrupting or at least jumping into pauses, but they're saying stuff that goes along with the story. Like (thank you, Raintree):
A: This woman came into work today, and told me she was a professional rider of pink elephants in the circus--
B: That's so cool! I love elephants.
A: --so I was chatting with her about the circus, and she said she had once been in a show and this tightrope walker fell 300 feet and landed right on top of her elephant!
B: Gasp! Crud monkeys! During a show? Was anyone hurt?
A: Luckily nobody was injured, but as compensation she was given all these free tickets to the hockey game--
B: Oh, wow, that's good. Free hockey tickets, that's random.
A: --and since she was so grateful for the work I did for her today, she gave me two free hockey tickets! Want to go?
B: Wow, that's awesome, that's so nice of her. No, I don't really like hockey, thanks though.
But probably with even more interruptions, actually. If it looks like the person is getting annoyed with me, though (like I'm talking to someone I don't know very well, and the interruptions seem to throw them off), I'll stay quiet longer.
My boss has yet another style, where she likes to do monologues about something that has irritated or worried her, and mainly I'm just supposed to sit there and nod, occasionally throwing in short, supportive comments. Another co-worker is "the Arguer" who will turn every conversation into a battle even if she actually supports what you're saying; and I'm "the Agreer." The boss likes to talk to both of us in turn, depending on her mood.