Re: flashpoint of the week: editors and writers egos

Subject: Re: flashpoint of the week: editors and writers egos
From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2004 14:20:53 -0800

"Jones, Donna" <DJones -at- zebra -dot- com> wrote in message news:232237 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> What about having the writers submit something to an STC competition and
> seeing what kinds of comments they get back? Maybe hearing comments from
> judges will embarrass them into wanting to turn out higher-quality work.
At the risk of taking this thread too far off track, my experience with this
suggests it could be a hit-or-miss proposition.

Several years back I submitted a book I was quite proud of to a regional STC
competition, the first time I'd tried such a move. I'd written the entire
book with my manager as editor (and she used red ink!). I had no idea
whether or not I'd win, but I looked forward to the judges' comments in the
hope I could use them constructively.

I was disappointed. The comments of both judges were substantailly along the
same lines: that there wasn't a page of index for every 10 pages of content.
The feedback was quantitative, not qualitative.

That the feedback was solely quanititative was particularly disturning in
this particular case because the 60- or 80-od page book was chock full of
illustrations, screen captures and line drawing illustrating progress among
the many procedures. There just wasn't a whole lot of text to index.

Thing is, I know indexing is a Black Art and I'm somewhat of a pretender
whan I have to do it. That I got qualitative feedback on neither the index
itself nor the rest of the book's content would have been a disappointment
even if I had won the competition.

Chuck Martin
User Assistance & Experience Engineer
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net

"I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. The day
may come when the courage of Men fail, when we forsake our friends and
break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day! This day, we fight!"
- Aragorn

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
- Gandalf


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