Zettelkasten Forum


On writing for both the layman and the specialist

edited November 2020 in Writing

A note that may be interesting for the writers out there.

201702081239 Technical shadow version in the appendix

If you want to write a non-fiction book that is accessible to the masses on the one hand, but on the other hand stands on an extremely sophisticated foundation, you can design it as follows:

  1. you write the book for a lay public.
  2. you create a special appendix which is a technical shadow version of the book [10/11][#csikszentmihalyi2002] Here you give all the technical, scientific and abstract background for the simple presentation in the book itself.

[#csikszentmihalyi2002]: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (2002): Flow. The secret of happiness, Lick: Velcro cotta.

It's a double strategy. One increases the optionality for the reader and can offer so more people good (suitable) contents.

I have observed this strategy in two books:

  1. Flow. The secret of happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  2. Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
Post edited by sfast on

I am a Zettler

Comments

  • Thanks for that. I am always questioning myself about how to create multi-layered content addressing topics for readers at a different level of experience.

    I found the structure of the book "The Timeless Way of Building" by Christopher Alexander to provide an effective tool to discover topics in a hierarchical way. Each title summarizes the content of the chapter. A small introduction of each chapter expands its content. So the reader can make sense out of the entire book by reading of the index.

  • I am not a writer, but i find rechaptes helpful: every chapter ends with a list of the most important things to look out for. The advanced user can skip the chapter and read only this section. Additionally, it serves as a checklist for every kind of reader, to assure understanding or to assure complete implementation.

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

  • And if you want to satisfy a former English teacher, you would say "writers" not "writer's" :)

  • @Massimo_Curatella said:
    I found the structure of the book "The Timeless Way of Building" by Christopher Alexander to provide an effective tool to discover topics in a hierarchical way. Each title summarizes the content of the chapter. A small introduction of each chapter expands its content. So the reader can make sense out of the entire book by reading of the index.

    Oh, Alexander is great! As a programmer, I naturally dug into his Pattern Language book. The patterns unfold in steps, too; and the approach from there that programmers picked up is like this (I'm leaning towards the "Head First" books here):

    1. descriptive name
    2. 1-sentence summary
    3. illustration to bring the idea across
    4. short summary of a scenario where it's applied
    5. short description of what it does
    6. short summary why you need it, benefits and drawbacks

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • @ctietze said:

    1. descriptive name
    2. 1-sentence summary
    3. illustration to bring the idea across
    4. short summary of a scenario where it's applied
    5. short description of what it does
    6. short summary why you need it, benefits and drawbacks

    This seems pretty juicy. Too bad I will have to wait for the ebook...

Sign In or Register to comment.