Writing question

Paul McFedries lists at MCFEDRIES.COM
Sun Nov 14 18:40:50 UTC 1999

> You hit the nail on the head; I always prattle on that the
> best "how-to" manuals are written by a naive writer with the
> expert assistance of someone in the field.

Having written over 30 "how to" books in my day, I can tell you that the
best ones are written by people who are experts in what they are writing
about, but who also *remember* what it was like to be a naive and
frustrated beginner. Despite their expertise, these writers are able to
get inside the head of the new user and empathize with their plight.
I've written many an advanced book where this doesn't apply so much, but
my favorite books to write are the "Idiot's Guides" that are aimed at
rank beginners. They're incredibly fun and challenging to write, and
they supply off-the-scale satisfaction when someone emails to say that
you've simplified a piece of their life.


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