Re: $/Word coming to TWing?

Subject: Re: $/Word coming to TWing?
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 17:35:13 -0800

At 1:47 AM 1/10/96, Geoff Hart forwarded an anonymous post:

> Tech Writing paid by the word. Yeeeehaaaa!

[snip the gory details ;-)]

> NOW I ASK YOU:

> Have any of y'all EVER come across such a billing method in
> tech writing?

> Eh?


Never in all my time as a tech writer! Never! Ever!

> OK, those of you still not ROTFLing, you answer, please.

> What pitfalls lie ahead?

> I think I just lost my last non-ROTFLer.


The alltime biggest, ugliest pitfall ever is <drumroll, please>

The better a writer you are, the less money you'll earn!!!!

One of the primary rules of *good* technical writing is "eliminate
needless words". Strunk (of "and White" fame) wrote that in 1920
and it remains true today. Will you really be able to delete "in
order", leaving only "to" when you know the $ amount that those
words bring you??? Conversely, what's to stop you from adding
"in order" or "if you want" to the front of every "to" in your
document. Can you see the $$$ fly across the screen???

Instead of, "I write at length for I have not the time to be brief"
you can say, "I write at length for I have need of a new pair of
shoes to go with..." ;-)

I know! How'bout if you charge so much per word for the first
few drafts, then so much more for each word *eliminated* in the
final draft! Now, that would be reward for talent! ;-)

Just one writers opinion.


Sue Gallagher
Expersoft Corporation
San Diego, CA
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com


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