RE: Creativity and Single Sourcing

Subject: RE: Creativity and Single Sourcing
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 09:57:57 -0400



Certain endeavours lend them selves better to free expression of creativity
than others, though. For example, an oil painting with a big, snow capped
mountain as the focus is probably art but probably not overly creative. In
technical writing, the opportunity for creativity is less than in creative
writing (i.e. fiction). Styles, formats, structure, etc., are all
pre-defined. Yes, some creativity went into that pre-defined style but . .
. Anyway, single-sourcing requires you follow structure even more closely
and, thus, less opportunity for free-form creativity.

What I see in the responses to the list is creativity in defining what
creativity is. That's . . . sweet, really nice, go ahead, sure, be creative
in how happy you think you are adhering closely to the template, if it
makes you feel better . . . but the truth is creativity of writing is
sacrificed for productivity and conformance to the standard. Can you imagine
yourself looking at a piece of tech writing and thinking: "Wow, all the body
text in the book is left-aligned, except this one, which is justified. What
a brilliant maneuver. Now, that's creativity! This is a tech writer par

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: MAGGIE SECARA [SMTP:SECARAM -at- mainsaver -dot- com]
> I really don't want to get in this. But Sean, are you equating creativity
> with Art? And saying that only Art requires or permits creativity?
> Maggie Secara
> secaram -at- mainsaver -dot- com
> Leap, and the net will appear.
> --Orson Wells
I'd be curious to hear whether Orson ever tested his theory.

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Brierley, Sean [SMTP:Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com]
> [...]
> > Yes, I suppose one can begin "it was a dark and stormy night .
> > ." and still fit within the style . . . but, c'mon.
> [...]

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