Tech-writing is a tricky business. It’s not a very high-profile industry, so there’s not much support around. Follow these 10 quick tips, and you’ll be well on your way to a satisfying tech-writing career.
There are some beautiful literary styles that thrive on the repeated use of words and phrases. The language is poetic and beautiful. This, however, is not an article that encourages the use of repeated words. Unless you are writing in a style that demands the use of repetition it may be in your best interest to read through your text and determine if a word or phrase is overused.
If you have a great passion for words and have a degree or diploma in any technology field, then your chances of success are beyond your wildest imaginations. You can be part of that clan of writers out there, who make anything from a thousand dollars to several thousand every month from writing technical articles online for freelance websites, building their brands, and getting noticed.
Incomplete User Documents disappoint your Readers. Two attitudes of many Technical Writers result in incomplete User Documents. These two attitudes are: “Everyone Knows That”, and “The User Can Figure It Out”. This article describes these attitudes and presents methods for overcoming them. The result is more effective User Documents and more satisfied Users.
Exceptional fiction requires authentic details that pull the reader into the world in which the story takes place. I discovered that one of the best ways to do this is to construct the narrative around a calendar.
You look outside the window and you realize it is raining. The wind is blowing hard against the oak tree out in your backyard and the tree dances with the tune of the wind. You pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit behind the desk of your study and find yourself staring at your grandfather clock, which stands across the room. You cast a glance at the keyboard of the computer in front of you and your mind wanders off into another place and another time.
The main characters in the bestseller-kind-of novel are bigger-than-life. No wimps here. You can’t just tell us what they do; you have to show us what they do. Prove that they’ve bigger-than-life. These are people who find ways to solve the problems around them. They outsmart the bad guys. The bigger-than-life character overwhelms the enemy, somehow. They blow up blockade, so to speak – literally or emotionally.
What makes it hard is not writing itself but how people make it hard than it really is.
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Overcoming writer’s block has so many prescribed cures that seem like witches’ brew, you may as well be trying to get rid of hiccups. My favorite remedy is “just write anything.” If I were to follow this advice when I’m stuck in a frustrating blank stare moment, my page would be filled with expletives that would be of no use to anyone, including Lenny Bruce.