Basic Rules

Technical Writing Rules

Ask the following questions before publication. These are general guidelines and are not exhaustive.

Syntax and Voice

  • Are all important or new terms defined?
  • Are articles and pronouns omitted consistently, if applicable?
  • Are nonspecific or useless words/phrases omitted (e.g. there are, here is, it, this)?
  • Are specific verbs used?
  • Do any words have simpler possible synonyms?
  • Is passive voice used consistently, if applicable?
  • Is language as concise as possible?


  • Are optional stylistic elements (e.g. Oxford comma) used consistently?
  • Are steps punctuated consistently?
  • Is unnecessary capitalization present?


Are all steps in logical order?
Are any actions assumed in or between steps?
Do all points use parallel language?
Is each step a single action?


  • Is all text formatted correctly (e.g. font size, face, color)?
  • Is all text written according to client style guide?


  • Are all graphics large enough to be readable?
  • Are any graphics blurry?
  • Do all graphics use sufficiently high color contrast?
  • Is all secure or identifiable client/customer information blacked out?
  • Is text placed a sufficient distance from graphics?

Pre-Publication Rules

  • Was all work checked while being written?
  • Was all work checked after first draft?
  • Has a coworker or editor checked final draft?

Remember: The writer is responsible for the end product!

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Logo Design

Anyhere Logo

Vector graphics created on a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet using the Infinite Design graphics app. Gradients and editing done in Adobe Photoshop CS5

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Technical Writing Sample: Directions for Rooting a Droid Razr

Here I provide a technical writing sample, describing a personal hobby of mine.

Updated Directions for Rooting a Droid Razr

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Novella Excerpt: ‘Never’

Author’s note: I have decided to release the first chapter of Never, my novella, in my professional portfolio as a teaser/sample for the new draft I’m working on. The 2010 draft of Never is password protected, but message me if you would like to read it. It isn’t very good, at least not compared to my current draft.

Note that “Eim” is pronounced “Aim” and the first i in “Kilin” is a long vowel.

This material is unofficially Copyrighted by Joel Wilcox, 2012. Please do not re-post this anywhere. I’m very protective of my fiction, and if you claim credit for it I shall be forced to murder your pet poodle.

Never: A Novel


This story begins and ends in Garden. According to some, the city was christened by a mayor with a  bitter streak. He was a man, they said, who resented being reassigned from a modern and comfortable metropolis to a mining town in the middle of a vast desolation. By the accounts of those storytellers, he named the outpost Garden out of a bitter longing for something better. Nothing would grow in Garden, not even on the most carefully tilled land, not even in pots and planters, in fact. One could easily imagine the man laughing bitterly after spitting out the name of the city he ran in any speech he had to give—which would have been rare, to say the least. Garden had never had a very large population. Continue reading

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Name Drawing #1


Drawn interpretation of a name, created for a friend’s little girl

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