How I Wrote My First How-To Manual While Working for Somebody Else

Written by Robert Brents

When I decided to write my first how-to manual, I was employed full-time; I had a wife, and a pre-teen daughter who was in every sport and activity imaginable, and I was delivering seminars and training courses at night and on Saturdays. I had no idea when or how I was ever going to get a how-to manual written!

Then one of my mentors suggested that I carry a cassette recorder in my car and dictaterepparttar entire first draft while commuting to my (last) job. And that’s exactly what I did.

When I finished dictatingrepparttar 117750 first draft, I gaverepparttar 117751 tapes to a transcription service and they created an Microsoft Word document fromrepparttar 117752 tapes, which I then edited, published, and marketed and promoted like crazy. Andrepparttar 117753 rest, as they say, is history. As wasrepparttar 117754 job I had been commuting to while I was creating my first how-to manual.

Keeping Your Writing Simple

Written by Robert Brents

he good folks who buy your how-to manual do not want to read anything complicated or hard to comprehend. They bought your manual to help them solve a specific problem, quickly, easily, and efficiently.

You’ve heardrepparttar acronym “KISS” – “Keep It Simple, Sport!” Obey this admonition and you can’t go wrong. This isn’t Hemmingway we’re writing here, folks. Justrepparttar 117749 facts. Write what’s in your head, then fine tune it, but don’t over-write! We’re trying to clearrepparttar 117750 fog here, not contribute to it.

Fortunately for users of word processing programs, there are a number of tools to help us in our quest for simplicity and clarity.

In Microsoft Word, for example, underrepparttar 117751 Tools menu item, there’s a selection for “Word Count”. Clicking on this option will display (logically enough)repparttar 117752 number of words in our whole document plus some other information aboutrepparttar 117753 document.

More importantly, when you runrepparttar 117754 Spelling and Grammar checker fromrepparttar 117755 Tools Menu, atrepparttar 117756 end you will get a display ofrepparttar 117757 number of sentences per paragraph, along with other statistics, two of which we’ll focus on next.

When Word finishes checking spelling and grammar, it can display information aboutrepparttar 117758 reading level ofrepparttar 117759 document, includingrepparttar 117760 following readability scores. Each readability score bases its rating onrepparttar 117761 average number of syllables per word and words per sentence.

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