duck5

procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

on introductions and headings

i don't like introductions. i don't like headings.

i've been reading and writing so much of late, and i've worked out how much i dislike overly structured writing. i actually find it quite disconcerting to read these little paragraphs between headings.

i'm not sure why, but it could be how disjointed it is, but i think more, how disjointed it is. i feel like i'm reading a microwave oven instruction manual.

particularly considering how difficult i find some material to understand, i think the vibe of what is written can be more helpful than the specifics. after all, someone who takes a couple of hundred (or thousand!) pages to say something surely can't expect you to read every single word and sentence equally, but to let it wash over you, taking you inside their thought processes.

but an introduction telling you exactly what is what, and then explaining those things exactly and specifically, point by point, is not taking me on a journey, it's not sharing their thoughts with me. it's just telling me a bunch of stuff.

if you read any of my essays (see post below) you might get what i mean. yes, there is an introduction (it's mandatory), and sure, there's a progression, but that's the journey. i'm happy if there's a few pointers on the way, but they should be signposts on the journey, not compartment labels.

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Blogger Dave C said...

When time permits, read some fiction with headings and summaries. Very strange, but strangely refreshing. "Three Men and a Boat" (Jerome K. Jerome) is one place to try - a whimsical book as it is - and Pratchett used the same device in "Going Postal".

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My friend and I were recently discussing about how modern society has evolved to become so integrated with technology. Reading this post makes me think back to that debate we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.

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