The need for outlines when writing

After having written nearly a dozen technical books, I know the value of an outline. In fact, in some ways, developing the outline is one of the more difficult aspects of writing a technical book. The outline is so important, that it actually becomes part of the book contract with the publisher. Because it is so much work, I try to make the outline as useful as possible, and not do as I did in Freshman English, write a sort-of outline after I finished writing. Continue reading

One of the hardest things about writing


SUMMARY: There are many things about writing that is hard. One of the most difficult is knowing when to stop.

BoyBearTowerOfLondonOne of the hard things about writing is knowing when to stop. Now, I don’t mean for a career change sort of stopping, but when to stop for the day. I write nearly every day, including weekends. What I have found is that it works better if I know what I am going to write on the next day. That is, the last thing I do before knocking off for the day, is set things up for tomorrow. In this way, I can immediately get to work on the morrow. Continue reading

The Problem with Frankenstein

SUMMARY: A discussion of the problems that Victor Frankenstein had that lead to the creation of his monster.

It is a real shame that most people have never read Mary Shelly’s book, Frankenstein. Indeed, for most people, the sum of their exposure to Frankenstein is as a cheesy, grainy, black and white movie with a monster that moans like a harpooned seal, and looks like some sort of Halloween factory reject. Shame indeed. Continue reading

Performance is Interpretation

SUMMARY: In this article I talk about ways in which performance interprets the text upon which it is based.


Performance is Interpretation. In some ways, this may seem obvious, but then again maybe it is not. A common complaint I hear from people who have read a book and then watch a movie is that the movie “messes stuff up” or perhaps that the movie “is not as good as the book.” What is really meant, is that the directors vision for the book was different than that of the reader. There have been some notable exceptions … Continue reading