More Cranky User

2003-07-02 16:32

It’s just a first draft, but there’s a book there now. The first Cranky User book is starting to look like an actual book; people have read it. There are gaps, there’s all sorts of revision needed, but it’s a book.

There’s an interesting pattern I’ve noticed about writing things. The first part of a book is easy; I’m just putting down the words I know I’ll need. After a while, there’s a very tricky part of trying to build the struts that will hold the work together. And then… One day, it goes from a bunch of material that I hope to shape into a book, into a book with holes in it. Then I just have to fill in holes, which goes very quickly.

After this, there’s a week or two during which I can’t really even read the material, because I have to lose my familiarity with the stuff in the book so I’ll be able to read it relatively fairly. Then, revision; revision is fast and easy, for the most part, and generally fills in a few holes I didn’t notice.

Right now, the Cranky User is right about at the end of the “can’t even read the material” phase. I will probably be doing the second-draft revisions starting later this week, or next week. I have a big to-do list; maybe ten items, some at the level of “revise chapter N”. But the basic framework is there, and the feedback is good.

In every office, sooner or later, someone manages to turn the paperclip off; this person becomes an instant celebrity, offered free drinks at the local pub, lunch, and firstborn daughters, if only he will please, please, shut that thing off.

It’s been a lot of fun writing so far. I hope people like reading it, too.

Peter Seebach

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