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Writer's block

On Fri, Mar 04, 2005 at 07:44:17AM -0500, markw at wrote:
> To anyone who says that writing software is nothing like writing a book
> has never experienced programming writer's block.
> ........
> Anyone else have this problem? What do you do to get around it?

"Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper
until tiny drops of blood form on your forehead."

I have an easier time getting through a software writing block than a 
"creative" writing block.

Why? To see if you wrote the software correctly you can run the program
and check the results.  its easy (ier) to check.

With creative writing, there is no way to verify if your composition is
going to evoke the response you wanted in the mind of the reader.

In both cases, I find that that writing an outline (quick notes on what
is supposed to happen, in sequence) helps.

For software the outline often break up nicely into function calls
(Convert each step of the outline to an actual function call, then write
the functions)

For fiction, the outline is like the plot, with notes on foreshadowing,
mood, and character expositions.

For white papers its the list of logical points to be made and how they
chain together.  (Except for "paid for research" white papers where the
points don't always chain but must appear too  :) Thats just writing
more fiction.)

Jeff Kinz, Emergent Research, Hudson, MA.

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