Simon Willison’s Weblog

12 items tagged “writing”

Story Structure 104: The Juicy Details. Dan Harmon (Community, Rick and Morty) wrote a fascinating series of essays on story structure for his Channel 101 film festival project. It’s worth reading the whole series, but this chapter is where things get really detailed. # 25th April 2019, 1:17 pm

I spent more time on my iPhone X review than anything I’ve written in years, and it went to paper twice. (Here’s a scan of my second printed draft, with handwritten revisions.) My thing is that I don’t use my favorite pen — which, of course, has black ink — but instead a pen with red ink. Editing is an angry, bloody act and therefore must be done in red.

John Gruber # 25th January 2018, 1:43 pm

Medicaid Eligibility | plainlanguage.gov (via) Useful resource for helping government writers use clear language. I love that this is an official US government website written using Jekyll and developed entirely in the open on GutHub—the commit history is fascinating. # 20th November 2017, 1:59 am

Hemingway Editor. Hemingway is a web-based editor that applies style checks to your writing. It looks for complicated words, unnecessary adverbs and sentences that are hard to read. It highlighted the previous sentence as hard to read. It gave this whole paragraph a Grade 8 readability score. # 1st November 2017, 8:38 pm

The magic of sub-editors. A neat illustration of how sub-editors work their magic, using the original article with strikes through the parts that were edited out. # 16th February 2010, 10:44 am

What is it like to write a technical book? Plenty of food for thought from the lead author of the new edition of High Performance MySQL. It’s amazing how Word is still an integral part of most technical book projects despite its obvious inadequacies compared to a toolchain based on plain text files and Subversion (the Django Book used ReST and Subversion to great effect). # 20th June 2008, 8:18 am

The Art & Science of JavaScript. The JavaScript book I contributed to is now shipping! My chapter describes how to build a Flickr / Google Maps mashup entirely using client-side code (via JSON-P). # 12th January 2008, 7:05 pm

Chapter 7: Form Processing. The chapter on newforms I contributed to “The Definitive Guide to Django” is now online, along with the rest of the published book. # 16th December 2007, 9:44 pm

Could someone please send, to whomever the hell teaches communication skills/techniques at Microsoft, a copy of the Chicago Manual, and perhaps a sixth—grade grammar text? I swear, there’s almost no one from that company who can write a proper English sentence.

John C. Welch # 12th July 2007, 6:23 pm

Mobile Device Connectivity to Exchange using IMAP vs Exchange ActiveSync (via) I count 14 instances of “experience” in this 1,000 word blog entry. Do real people talk like this? # 12th July 2007, 5:17 pm

When I write a new book [...] I plan to throw away something like the first 30 or so pages. And, because I know I’m going to do it, it doesn’t worry me. I no longer have writer’s block.

Dave Thomas # 24th March 2007, 3:05 pm

Dave Thomas on Writing a Book. A series of articles on writing a technical book, from Pragmatic Programmer Dave Thomas. # 24th March 2007, 2:53 pm