Harry Wolff

You can't escape my laugh.

Writing Technical Prose

May 31, 2012
Read time 1 minute

I have a certain amount of difficulty writing technical posts. By their nature they are formal and structured, a stark contrast from the literary flow I prefer.

Often I will start a technical post and find myself scrapping or rewriting it before finishing the first paragraph. There's a certain stiltedness to my technical writing style that drives me up the wall in repulsion. Perhaps that's the way of technical writing or perhaps I have yet to find my technical voice.

The comfortable answer is that technical posts must be formal and rigorous to be successful. That it isn't a failure of my writing ability but of my tolerance for a writing style that causes my eyes to roll with extreme boredom.

Yet how can we reconcile these conflicting styles? How can we write words on a technical subject in a literary flow that encourages forward momentum?

I've thought to anthropomorphize the technical topics. Give HTML eyes and CSS legs which I'd write about. Yet when dealing with technical matters I've seen it only confuse the subject at hand, obfuscating the meaning and distracting from the lesson.

Yet then how does one write literary prose on technical subjects? Where is the soul when writing about how to create a generator for Python? And then how to put that soul into prose?

Is this possible? Would this help while learning new topics?

I don't know. But I'm going to keep searching for a solution. The thought of writing another stilted technical sentence gives me the heebie jeebies.