Challenging the two-party system

I am writing Beyond the Duopoly to challenge the two-party system in the United States. This blog exists to be my journal and to communicate with my readers.

Monday, June 14, 2004

format of chapters & book

The book should be easy to read.

If an innovative or non-traditional format will make the it easier for readers to quickly grasp the points, the book should not be constrained by genre conventions.

Should each chapter have an abstract?

Should each chapter have a list of the other chapters that are inter-related?

Should chapter outlines be available online?

To what extent should chapters have sub-headings?

Should the end of the chapter have a list of main points? Should there be questions for discussion? (These techniques are used in textbooks, by why not use them in other non-fiction?)

Should thesis sentences of paragraphs be italicized? Some traditionalists may consider this a base concession to the Cliff’s Notes generation. But what harm does it do?

Should cartoons be included to illustrate the main points? Again some traditionalists may consider this an affront to what serious prose should look like. Will the illustrations reenforce the prose? Good cartoons can draw a casual reader into the prose.

I also want to make maximum use of bullet points, tables and graphs.


At 10:21 AM, Blogger Carl Nyberg said...

Last night when I discussed this with Roy N. he asked who is the intended audience.

The audience is people who follow politics at least a little. They vote or have made a conscious decision not to vote. They are unhappy, dissatisfied and distrustful of the D/R status quo. I would like to speak to "Perot voters" and speak to political activists that are currently in the game, but questioning whether the game words for them.

Initially the book is going to be sold online to people that are educated and take politics very seriously. I don't want the format to seem "dumbed down" in a way that offends or alienates these people. But I want it to be accessible so that when somebody does pick-up the book casually the format quickly conveys the big ideas and draws the casual reader in for more.

Does this make sense? Will the format ideas on the table help?


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