[Python-authors] intro and looking for writing tips

will willg at bluesock.org
Fri Jun 12 05:32:15 CEST 2009

Doug Hellmann wrote:
> I'm fairly new to writing and still looking for ways to improve, so I'll 
> start off with a couple of questions from that perspective: What books 
> or articles have had an impact on your writing style?  What advice would 
> you give a new writer?

I'm a big fan of the Little Schemer series.  Dive Into Python is Little 
Schemer-like in some ways--I liked that book.

I tend to like books that are heavier on technical specifics and details 
and light on reader-pampering.  Reader-pampering is all the fluff where 
the author tells you it's not hard to understand this stuff and as soon 
as you read the next paragraph it'll all be clear and how the author had 
a tough time understanding it the first time, too, so you shouldn't feel 
bad...  I find that tedious.

I've done a bunch of technical reviews recently, lots of documentation 
over the years and some book writing for books that were mild failures 
at best over a decade ago.

I keep thinking about writing for Python magazine, but haven't done it 
yet.  I also keep thinking about writing a book on project management 
for Python projects and self-publishing, but haven't done that yet either.

As an aside, the PMOTW is fantastic.  You should talk those articles, 
edit them a bit (if they need editing), toss them into Sphinx, generate 
a PDF and sell it on Lulu or some other self-publishing site if someone 
else hasn't done it already.  If you need help, I'd be happy to help.


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