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See also My thoughts on Writing.

Just started this page on 2009/12/02 more to come...

The way I collect my thoughts and ideas is to use a Olympus WS300M digital recorder which I carry with me at all times. I then have my wife or pay someone on to transcribe it for me.

Write everything (yes everything)!

From Jerry Pournelle:

"Now a few words of advice on organization:

Once you have learned to write good sentences, sit down and write. When my sons began to write essays -- term papers, originally I suppose -- I told each in turn the same thing. Write everything you can think of about the subject. Everything.

Now go through and list the topic sentence of each paragraph. If you find paragraphs that don't have a topic sentence, you have a problem: fix that. If you don't know what a paragraph is, and have no notion of topic sentences, get that corrected at once. (Just read on.) Once you have that list of topic sentences, decide if that's really the order you want to present the information in. It probably won't be. Organize the way you want it.

Fill in the gaps, expand points that need expanding, and do one final rewrite pass. Voila. If this is a term paper you will probably get an A if you knew anything at all about the subject. If you're writing for sale, you probably need more feel for how such things are organized in the publication you are aiming for. Study your market. But recall the technique: it will serve you well for a long time.

On Paragraphs: I once had to tell a co-author (Not Niven) what a paragraph was. He kept handing me material that was dramatic but paragraphed horribly. Finally I asked what he thought he was doing, and he confessed that no one had ever taught him what a paragraph is.

"A paragraph," I said, "is a group of sentences organized around one complete thought which is stated in the topic sentence."

It was as if a light had appeared his head. He now paragraphs well. Of course in fiction, characters don't always speak in paragraphs, nor do they organize what they are saying very coherently; still, you will find that characters in fiction do and must speak a lot more coherently than people do in real life. Real conversation transcribed is sometimes incomprehensible, usually ungrammatical, and often boring.

The main point of this is that the secret of success in becoming a writer is you must write; you must finish what you write; and you must write a lot more. The other points are things to keep in mind while you do that."

I saw this in a news article:

"The Moleskin Notebook

Starling Automotive Group was started by Walker’s grandfather Carroll in 1948, when he acquired a Chevrolet dealership in Kissimmee, FL. Its survival was early thrown in to doubt when Carroll Starling passed away, but Walker’s father, Alan, took over the store in 1975 immediately after returning from military service.

With help from other local dealers, his father kept the store going. The store also benefitted from the growth of the Walt Disney enterprises in Central Florida. His father acquired several additional stores.

Meanwhile, Walker and his two brothers also entered the family business. In the past few years, says Walker, the group “reached a point where we figure we had the band width and the ability to grow the network.”

The three brothers and their father work both separately and as a team, trying to “act in concert to amplify and magnify” each other’s abilities, says Walker.

In October of 2017, the Group acquired the Buick GMC dealership in Venice, FL. Jack Starling, Walker’s brother, discovered that opportunity and runs the store. His brother Andrew runs the St. Cloud store.

The Group’s ability to continue to grow depends on having people to run those stores, says Starling. “No dealership works on just one person,” he says.

They try to nurture management talent at their existing stores so they can take advantage of an acquisition when it comes along.

“We have to have a stable in our organization that is ready to take that next step,” says Starling.

New acquisitions would need to be “with an OEM we feel strongly and positively about,” says Starling.

For the last three years, Starling has kept a moleskin notebook on his desk. Whenever he hears about a possible acquisition, he starts a new page with the dealership’s information including the blue-sky value, the last three years sales, and information on the store’s real estate.

A Honda franchise would be great, says Walker, but the notebook is devoid of such stores.

“I have not found a single Honda deal south of the Mason Dixon (line) in the last three years,” he says.

Ford is a better possibility. The Starling Group has a thriving fleet and commercial business, says Starling. The brand “does a phenomenal job in that space. I would love a Ford store.”