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I have found that I often have to be more creative when writing a manual
than when writing fiction. After all, in fiction I can manipulate the world
as I see fit. If something doesn't work, I can go back and change it. It
tech writing, I am not in control of the product I am writing about. Therefore,
I have to make the totally unreasonable sound like it is not only reasonable,
I am also one of the official testers in the company. (I turned in enough bugs
that they finally just added it to my job duties.) Because of this, they will
often make changes that I recommend, but every once in a while they dig in
their heels and insist that they are right. This can lead to some pretty
creative explanations about things that I can't change. For example, I made
it sound perfectly reasonable that the user has to click the Add button in
order to mark a raw material as consumed. (Any reasonable user would be looking
for a Subtract button.)
No wonder I work fairly closely with Marketing!
Domain: maria -at- msd -dot- measurex -dot- com Maria Townsley Technical Writer
UUCP: ...uunet!mxmsd!maria Measurex
Management Systems Division
Voice: (513)-825-3931 x-316 1280 Kemper Meadow Drive
Fax: (513)-825-5393 Cincinnati, Ohio 45240