Second Editions

Revisions are a thing in non-fiction. Technology changes. The book needs updates. It’s good. But it goes beyond simply technical.

It’s a nice ongoing source of income. The publisher paying an advance on the second edition work is a bonus.

The icky part is fixing stuff that’s broken.

Some of it’s technically broken. Version 3.8 isn’t the same as version 2.7. Examples change.

And. More fundamentally.

There are explanations that weren't as clear as I thought they were. In retrospect, they were bad.

And. An even more profound element, down at the very foundation.

Technology writing is — in a way — a pulpit. There are things that are right and things that are wrong. We soften it up and call it a “best practice” or “good engineering.” 

Some of these are hard-won lessons. It seems appropriate to explain *all* the things we learned.

And that leads to over-writing. Beating dead horses. 

It’s hard to locate the right argument. So, I tend to pile in all the arguments. And some of that’s needless. After a few years, it slowly becomes clear to me that three of the four paragraphs were simply wrestling with tiny nuances.

I’m thrilled to be able to rewrite the non-fiction.

I wish I had time to get working on revisions to the fiction. Maybe in the fall. I can hope, can’t I?

 © F. L. Stevens 2019