How to write a book that holds your reader's attention

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Me too. Pretty sure the answer is to include lots of graphic sex scenes.


That and violence lots of violence.


Look anywhere online for a primer for “beginning” programmers. You’ll
quickly find that programmers consider you to have reached beginner
status once you’re a third-year comp sci student familiar with all the
opaque conventions of the command line.

Thank you! Such a common problem! But in my experience, it’s always been this way with computer people. Thanks, too, for suggesting a way out.

Rule 1: If you’re going to write naked, put down a towel; you’re not a goddamn cat.


How to write a Boing Boing post that holds your reader’s attention:

Naked woman as header image.


The difficult lesson that people seem to not want to learn is that:

“No, there is no real reason people should read your book!”

This applies to other media, business, and social interaction generally. People can, and perhaps it’s nice if they do. But it doesn’t actually matter. If you are programmed to assume that it does matter, this suggests that you are more interested in people’s personal attentions than you are in writing books. Otherwise, you would not need to be validated/bribed to do so.


“So, when next you sit down to write, let go of your assumptions and begin to intentionally design the experience you want your readers to have.”

This doesn’t mean someone will pick up and read what someone else writes, but, if done properly, will definitely hold their attention.

Like creating music.

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I’ll write my damn book.


How to write a blog post that people will click on.

tl;dr It’s tits.


In draft one, write into your subject, follow your interest and believe that you’ve gotten your questions answered. Then in the second draft start thinking about the audience, though your chief audience is you: does this thing do something you want it to do? But preserve the narrative of your interest, and then answer more questions you didn’t know existed in draft one, and then deal with the ramifications of the answers for the whole thing. You don’t stop picking at the carcass of what you’ve written. And the thing keeps evolving as you do this, which is either good or bad, makes it maybe better or maybe worse. Have you wasted years of your life, or is this some future form of what you’d set out to do?

So applied personal interest plus however long it takes plus determination of some kind.

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Or at least no obvious reason provided by either prior experience or the book itself.

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First of all, don’t write this way:

“User experience design is a holistic field that touches on every aspect of the experience the user has with your product, all the way down to opening the box. As a book editor, I’ve found it useful to apply the principles of UX to crafting books that grab and hold a reader’s attention.”


I actually wrote a step-by-step guide on learning to code here:

I found the same thing during my own learning experience, and as far as I’m aware it is (or at least was) the only similar document on the web.



on the other hand what about all those non-beginner guides that describe to you what a repl is, the concept of language scope, what a variable is, what dynamic typing, duck typing, static typing and typing on a keyboard are as well.

in conclusion, the world of programming instructional books is a study in ‘Are you kidding me?’

Who wants to read my book? Anyone? Anyone at all?


What’s it about?


I only write book safes.