RE: Individual vs. Departmental Writer's Voice

Subject: RE: Individual vs. Departmental Writer's Voice
From: "Roy Jacobsen" <rjacobse -at- microsoft -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 14:11:51 -0500

Our "standard" (and we're in exactly this market, i.e. financial
management applications) is that all of our documentation should have
the same "voice."

Does this stifle creativity? Laying aside the question of whether
writing about accounting applications counts as "creative writing" (only
when the design docs aren't written yet <heh!>) or is even the place for
"creative writing", creativity is also involved in solving the problems
of explaining complex topics clearly, completely and succinctly. We
aren't under any delusions of writing deathless prose; we just want to
help our readers get their jobs done.

Regarding the oh-so-delicate writer/editor relationship: I've seen this
beast strained by a multitude of things. If enforcing "departmental
voice" is your biggest concern in this department, you have my
admiration. IMO, if a writer/editor combo is at loggerheads about this,
they'll find other things to fight about, too.

Roy M. Jacobsen
Senior Editor, Documentation
Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions
One Lonetree Road
Fargo, ND 58104-3911
rjacobse -at- microsoft -dot- com

-----Original Message-----
From: Elizabeth Estep [mailto:EEstep -at- mrisystem -dot- com]
>There's an interesting subject that's just come up in my
>it's appropriate for a departmental editor to attempt to enforce a
>"departmental voice" in edits.


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