Tag Archives: technical writer

A Good Idea

28 Nov

A Good Idea is an essence, an image that inpires confidence in the inventor to develop it, serving as a road plan, but not as dogma. It is adaptable, adjustable, all while retaining its origional, core purpose.

A good design, be it a manual, newsletter, a sketch, a submarine, all need a good idea, a simple notion to start with. Many has there been an aircraft or vessel, that was conceived with the unrealistic notion of fulfilling too many needs and ideas at once. The General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark, for example was supposed to meet the very different needs of the US Air Force, the US Navy, and the Marine Corps, all while trying to be cheap.

Early long range submarines, their technology too new, too underdeveloped often left the owners with large, cumbersome and troublesome vessels. My own short stories, where I try to jam so much history and emotion into one character, action, adventure and still keep it down to fifteen to twenty two pages.

I follow the KISS Directive: Keep It Simple Sammy.

I can see it!

It is right there in front of me, the idea, the lay out, the solution to the design problem, there, floating, a plan to follow, but not set in stone.

An essence!

The initial idea is impulsive, but it connects to something, it is immediate, I feel my mind beginning to pick up with it. Other ideas, I pick up the idea, look at it slowly and try to force out a meaning, a purpose. A truly good idea is has the potential of development, hints of realistic avenues of that development, and a possible outcome.

Less than a second later, I should be able to sum it up in one sentence. What is it that I want to write about? My last great tour through the USS Ling. The fictional persecution of a modern day witch. Two types of bullies, two loves, on two sides of a border, with World War II era A-20 Havoc bombers to tie everything together, let them all meet up, and carry home a simple, easy to understand explosive point or meaning. What do I want to achieve in the mind of the user of my latest, greatest manual?

Simplicity.

Understanding.

Ease.

Just like art or graphic design; to be able to sketch what I want, what I really want, quickly, suddenly and not worrying about detail, not worrying about rules or sloppiness. I scribble the image, I dash out some reminder of where the details are, I throw down the essence and you do so like lightning.

Then off I go. I have an objective, a purpose, a plan, confidence. The most important aspect to any project: Confidence! I write. Or build, construct, or sculpt. I draw in the details, put the blue prints down.

A simple, easily relatable idea is where it all comes from. It touches me, it stirs something in the head, something that says, “Oh, yeah, I could pull that off” with confidence.

That’s a good idea.

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