But a linear draft

Even though your writing process may be recursive, your draft should usually be linear. That is, you should start at the beginning and work your way straight through. The other way—writing part 2 before part 1, for example—can cause problems.

Here's why. If you have a good organization, your reader will read the document in order: page 1, then page 2, then page 3. So for you to write page 3, you need to know what the reader has already seen on pages 1 and 2. It's amazing how often good writing refers to earlier material—or depends on it.

The final version of a good document is like a tapestry—all threads are important to the final design, and all threads are in the right place.

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