Technical author's group

Subject: Technical author's group
From: Tom Kohn <tkohn -at- SCITEXDPI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 16:23:54 -0500

Does anyone know of an in-person or internet writer's group that acts as a
resource to provide for technical authors suggestions on style, narrative,
structure, diction, and (perhaps least) English mechanics?

Just to be clear about what I mean, I'll provide an example of the process
that works well for fiction writers:

1. A group of writers get together weekly, and one writer reads aloud an hour
or so from recent work. The work can be one or more short stories or
chapters
from a work in progress. Ideally, the work has been polished to some degree:
few problems in English mechanics or diction remain.

2. Each member speaks in turn, citing specific problems in understanding, or
making suggestions for structure or organization or use of motifs, or
helping
to clarify the narrative voice, or asking questions to clarify motivation.
(This list is not exhaustive. The comments can be very wide ranging. The
goal is to provide suggestions that will make the work intriguing to an
editor at a publishing house, and that will make the work a fully-developed
creation.)

3. The writer may answer direct questions, or may ask questions for clarifi-
cation of points, but the writer should not respond in a defensive mode.

4. The writer goes back to work on the piece, taking suggestions as may be
fitting with the writer's intent.

I would guess that this sort of resource might be best for narrative pieces
(e.g., a theory of operations), and it may not be useful at all for some
technical pieces. Any comments? Any knowledge of a c t i v e groups like
this for technical authors? Is anyone interested in forming such a group?

Tom
tkohn -at- scitexdpi -dot- com


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