Re: When you need to restructure

Subject: Re: When you need to restructure
From: John Cornellier <tw -at- cornellier -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 19:19:01 +0200

I'm in a similar situation. I find writing from scratch is only faster than recycling if I have an intimate knowledge of the subject matter. Here's what I'm doing:

1) The existing content is structured according to the menu structure of the app. So I quickly go through and apply strict hierarchical structuring to everything, delete redundant stuff, make minor changes to the introductory stuff (to familiarize myself with the subject a bit).
2) Put Word into View > Outline mode, and display only headings.
3) Go down the hall and grab a) the appropriate software engineer, b) the tester or QA person working on that module c) a person from support if available and maybe someone from R&D.
4) Put the Word doc up and my 21in monitor, get one person looking over my shoulder, station another at the whiteboard, and thrash out a new structure. The new structure is workflow-based, e.g. a) acquire ingredients b) boil KD noodles c) apply sauce d) apply ketchup ... whatever.
5) Once the structure's done, just slot all the nicely organized (Step 1) content into the appropriate section. In Word Outline View you can do this in a flash. It's even kinda fun.
6) Tweak hyperlinks; apply templates; submit for testing. Iterate.

I can produce a ~100 A4 pg. candidate for mid-testing this way in circa. 3 days. I could not write 100 pages from scratch in that time.

The thing is to sort out the structure before you even think about writing. Then once everything's in a decent structure it's easier to focus on reworking the English.

John Cornellier


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Re: Convert files from PDF to Word - Please help urgently: From: Yechiel Kapiloff
When you need to restructure: From: Jane Carnall

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