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What Writing Fiction Teaches You About Writing Documentation

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Thursday Bram http://lanyrd.com/2016/writethedocs/sfbzth/ Writing fiction and writing documentation have much more in common that typing out large blocks of text. This talk will talk about elements of fiction writing that improve the process of writing docs: Understanding audience: the tools fiction writers use to understand their audience (as well as to communicate with them) offer deeper looks at who reads what. The process of connecting with an audience is integral to fiction, but often overlooked in documentation — resulting in hard-to-use docs that don’t help users. Building story arcs: arguably, all fiction boils down to about seven different plots, retold in millions of different ways. Understanding underlying story structure makes the process of writing new tales much easier. Those story structures and plot elements can map directly to parts of documentation, as well as show options for creating standing elements for documentation. * Writing prose worth reading: documentation can be enjoyable to read, provided a writer is willing to invest time in crafting good reading material. This talk will draw on examples from both popular fiction and documentation out in the world today.

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