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I did things in reverse of most writers. I was a published novelist long before I started writing and editing hard technical stuff. What I do at the day job now is forge a strange marriage of artistic creativity and dry facts. Sure, my creative writing skills help me with the artistic parts. But tech writing has toughened me up, too. Now I’m down in the word trenches, gleefully slaying beasties, like those overwrought adjectives.

With technical writing, I’ve learned to:

  1. Get to the point.
  2. Make every word pull its weight.
  3. Use adverbs/adjectives sparingly (ahem)
  4. Use less exclams (heh!)
  5. Respect line, page, and word counts.

Best lesson learned: Don’t use a 10-dollar word when a 10-cent one will do.

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