I've been reading a book about how to write from the really ground up, but this book doesn't teach how to compound a chapter. I wanna write for my own blog, but I wanna do it by posting chapters. What I want is how to write for a blog by writing chapters.

I'm only a 4 weeks old at the subject of writing. Thanks for your charity.

  • 1
    But you are well familiar with the subject, right? – Alexander Sep 25 '17 at 21:33
  • It's an interesting area that I wanna exploit. It's this free book 2012books.lardbucket.org/books/successful-writing that I'm reading. – helmet19802 Sep 26 '17 at 15:01
  • this book could be a good resource, but I can't comment on that. My point was that I expected that you know what to write, only not sure how to write. – Alexander Sep 26 '17 at 18:07
  • Yes, the how to. I wanna make it nice, like any other book about programming. I don't know how to structure the paragraphs and the chapters. And thinking again, It comes to me the idea that I don't know how to express theses paragraphs. I know that a book is the work of an whole team. I think it should be posible to write it myself. – helmet19802 Sep 26 '17 at 19:40
  • Might that what I want is to write is a technical blog book. So many ideas, and I wanna know my path to the book blog. :) – helmet19802 Sep 26 '17 at 19:52

In the comments you mentioned that you want to write a blog about differenct technologies, for example about different programming languages, and are having problems with how you want to structure the chapters, that are represented by your blog posts.

Here comes the frame challenge: you are not writing a book and therefore you are not writing chapters - you are writing a blog with individual blog posts.

It's a different medium and it deserves a different approach. For a book you would collect all the topics you want to discuss and then order them. Afterwards you would flesh those out and make each topic that you have identified a chapter of its own. For example your goal could be to teach people how to write a simple text-based game they could play on the console in C++. You would then identify topics you need, such as "What is a variable?", "How can I output something to the console?" and "How can I get input from the user?". Then you go through and order them. For example at first you might want to output something, otherwise your user can't see anything. Then you might want to give information about variables and then how to store input into variables. Afterwards you flesh out the chapters and make an example that starts simple and in each chapter the new example application builds upon the previous one.

In a technology blog you normally try to give your readers interesting information that they may be missing when they are doign something or you are talking about something interesting you recently discovered.

You could for example start a tutorial series. This would be similar to the book approach and you could try to get a rough outline before publishing your blog post so that you know the direction that you want to go. Then you flesh out each chapter and publish it once you are done.

But you will probably switch between languages or write some articles about stuff that you recently learned yourself, stuff that is more appropriate for users that have more experience. You don't want to bore people once they know what a variable is. So you should think about annotating your articles with tags such as "For beginners" or "For experienced users".

That way you can easily switch between articles and get a broader readerbase. You should also think about your schedule - do you want to focus on exactly one language and write a little tutorial series of probably 5 to 6 lessons to make a text-based adventure? Or do you want to show two languages, alternating between each with similar topics, and work towards making a little graphic based game like pong? Randomly switching between stuff can also be okay, though it might be not-so-easy for readers to follow.

All in all the approach would be to set yourself a goal that you can realistically achieve in a reasonable time. Maybe a quarter year with two blog posts per month about the series you planned and a few more about random stuff you encountered? It's up to you, but you don't need to plan stuff the way you would plan a book before publishing. A rough outline and then getting stuff out there for the world to see in regular intervals is better for most usecases.

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One of the inherent challenges you will face in converting a serialized approach to information (blog, published articles etc) into a book is that episodic articles or blogs are, or should be, largely self-contained.

That is, each article or blog post can stand on its own as a piece of writing - though concepts touched on in a previous article or post may be needed, if a reader comes to article 4 of 5 and has enough general knowledge of the topic, they shouldn't have to return to the earlier post for the current article to read as a whole piece, to be satisfying and feel complete.

Although chapters can have a certain stand-alone quality, and can be used as an information category organizing tool, there should, in a book, be enough flow; that is, enough ties from one concept to the next, building from one proposition or explanation to the next, that there is a discrete and effective narrative or conceptual arc which brings the reader through from a lower level of comprehension or sophistication to a higher level.

This is a struggle many technical writers face today, as much of our content is now created using a modality called "single-sourcing" or "topic-based writing", in which discrete chunks are created as "topics", in order to be re-used in multiple places or articles whilst being maintained and edited only in the original topic. This minimizes both rework and error.

This is of course ideal for online help systems and other digital consumption tools.

However, as a result, creating "flow" for longer articles or books per se requires adding transitions or conceptual framework elements to help tie related concepts together in a cogent and progressive fashion.

It's by no means impossible, or even that hard, but it's a structural issue with episodic to long form conversion which you should consider and have a content framework or model in mind for before you start to write content.

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In most technology books, a chapter tackles a single subject in depth. For example, "looping" in a language, the FOR loop; WHILE loop, DO WHILE, DO UNTIL, etc.

In beginner books, syntax and the reason for it are discussed. What is the importance of the semi-colon in C, or the curly braces {}? What is a FUNCTION in C? What is a SUBROUTINE? What is a MACRO?


Typically, multiple chapters can exists on these topics: One for beginners that show the basics of syntax or functions, another that shows advanced uses of functions. In C, you might want to begin with simple functions, but have functions with variable numbers of parameters (like the PRINTF family), or recursive functions, discussed in a later chapter about more advanced topics.

Likewise, a beginner chapter on variables may not get into pointers * and addresses &, but a later chapter probably would.

You could devote a chapter to how to DEBUG a program, both by adding code or print statements, or by using a debugging tool.

You could devote a separate chapter to parallelism, including different flavors of it: PTHREADS vs MPI, for example.

You could devote a separate chapter to memory handling: MALLOC, CALLOC, FREE, etc.

You could devote a separate chapter to File handling, and perhaps a more advanced chapter on DATABASE handling.

You could devote a separate chapter to handling time, processing dates, timing operations.

You could devote a separate chapter to optimizations; making code run faster.

You could devote a separate chapter to sorting.

You could devote a separate chapter to constructing and using indexes.

In some languages, like Javascript, you might want a chapter on graphics, or using various libraries that provide interactive graphical charts and such.

You might want a chapter on DEVICES, capturing sound, snapshots or video, and what you can do with those things. Communicating with a printer or some other external device.

Chapters group together the things that naturally go together.

Once you figure out your topics, you can use your programming ability to arrange them in a dependency tree: Some topics depend upon previous topics, so the previous topic chapters should come first. You don't want to have to explain the rules of syntax when you are explaining how to manage memory.

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