Actually that was a tip that Bowden gave me and he got it from a writing dignitary who was teaching as adjunct at Loyola.
Set --hint, environmentally degrading monoculture is a waste of words, just say "FARMING"
Well, that's the problem, you see--farming is not necessarily a monoculture, and in fact often is not. The term comes up when discussing historical events which proved in the long run to be disastrous, and i usually refer to it in reference to the institution of slavery in the United States.
I started technical writing (don't do it anymore) by writing instructions. This forces you to be focused, simple, succinct, and thorough. You might want to give it a try, but you have to find someone willing to go along--to follow your instructions precisely and do nothing beyond what you've written.
I couldn't say why, but technical writing seems to be a natural skill with me. When writing instructions, or preparing a form to be filled in, or writing a descriptive brochure, i am able to put the text together in my head before i ever put it down on paper. In the days before PCs, i would write out my text in long hand, and give it to someone else to read, to see if they understood. I've almost never needed editing of technical writing texts i've done.
Other types of writing which i do have the opacity of freshly cured cement.
Set, love dat cured cement. Mmmmmm. (I had no idea that cement could be cured. Live and loin.)
Some visual/mechanical things that might help:
Just look at what you're written. Don't read. Scroll through it. If there are a lot of short paragraphs in a row, you're writing is probably disjointed and needs to be smoothed out and linked.
A few extra long paragraphs are fine. But if you've got a bunch of them, chances are you're rambling.
If you've got a lot of sentences that are five or more lines long, you're probably putting in too many conditions. Conditions are fine. But write a topic sentence and let the conditions feed off it. Also look to see how far the subject is from the verb. The distance shouldn't be great.
What do I mean by conditions?
The thingamajig (subject), if held --------------, unless it's ----------------------- despite ---------------------------------- including ----------------------------- is (verb)--------------------------------.
farmerman, You asked a question a while back about outlines. When I wrote my first book (a textbook), I used a very detailed outline: I, A, 1, a at least. I found it invaluable.
Most modern farming (by individual small holders) is not monoculture--corn is rotated into former bean fields, and vice-versa. Nitrogen fixers are planted in the rotation cycle, and fields are left allow for one or more seasons. That may involve some slow environmental degradation, but it is negligible in comparison to the effect of classic historical monocultures. The classic monoculture in the historical sense is the planting of a single crop which is exploited until the soil is completely exhausted, at which point the "farmer" (such as they were) would move on to attempt to exploit the same crop on new land--such as tobacco and cotton in the American South in the period before and for a while after the Civil War, which is why the concept is germane to a discussion of slavery.
Set aside time for writing every day--ideally at the same time of day.
Writing on a schedule isn't "uncreative"--it is productive.
Thanks Mark, welcome to the thread Ive started . Im glad to get advice from all points.
According to David McCollough, he spoke with Elmore Leonard who writes "Four Pages a day". I guess thats why he was 25% more
Trying to ressurect this thread. Ive just completed writing a long survey report of a prospect in South AMerica and I formed it up with some of you-alls suggestions. I actually included some travel and tourista features in the location of the prospect and this has caused some increased interest in the entire play. The outcome of the survey is how many dollars a ton the material is worth NET (NIBTAT). I began thinking like it was an instruction manual.