RE: on technical writers

Subject: RE: on technical writers
From: Liza Boyd <elizabethxyboyd -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 11:22:39 -0800 (PST)


Folks:

My first-ever post to the TECHWR-L, in response to
Sean's question about "creative" writers who moved
into technical writing.

I'm one of those -- sort of. I'm a former journalist.
One of my biggest strengths in that field was writing
non-fiction narrative, ie: storytelling. Although it's
non-fiction, you use many of the same techniques as
you would for fiction -- developing characters,
painting pictures that describe scenes, building
drama.

Why did I move into tech writing? As much as I enjoyed
non-fiction narrative, I enjoyed explanatory writing
better. I like providing folks with practical
information. I like doing it well -- delivering in
packages where they can find what they need and
understand it easily. I did a lot of this when I was a
daily newspaper reporter. Health care was my beat. I'd
often write explanatory pieces about assorted health
issues, complete with the bullet-list sidebars (eg:
"what to look for", "warning signs", "where to go for
more information") and graphic diagrams. That's the
closest you'll get to tech writing in daily
journalism. I left journalism and have chosen tech
writing because I wanted to do more of that (and less
of the other journalism stuff -- breaking news,
covering pissing matches, etc...).

Hope this helps,
Liza
(TECHWR-L newbie, so be nice. at least for my first
few posts. then feel free to jump all over me. ;-) )

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