A short blog entry while I wait for YouTube to make updates to a video:
I'm writing scripts to dub over several video captures of myself making pottery on the wheel. My general goal is to make videos that clay workers at all levels will want to watch. My dialog for videos aimed at beginners should make the largest problems easy to recognize and offer some understandable solutions they can discuss with their live teachers. But beginners typically have problems when they leave the computer and head over toward the wheel:
How can I remember everything?
Maybe viewers can just hit play and pause a few times.... but then....
How do I get clay off my keyboard?
How do I unwind my earbud wires from the vase I just made?
To improve the situation, my analytical brain should be writing dialog that highlights important things so they stick in the viewer's memory long enough to be portable during computer-downtime.
But my today analytical brain wants instead to nitpick over the use of language in the hundreds of other instructional videos I've watched. Concise use of language is important for writers and teachers in all subject areas, right? Perhaps moreso in a subject of such physical and variable processes, like wheelthrowing. And yet, I can't tell whether language issues I'm having will lead to actual improvements in my own narrative, or will just make me anxious over things nobody else notices.
I guess it will depend on the day!
For example, this is a growing list of words which, my brain insists, shouldn't be used interchangeably:
Aside from arguing over the above nuances "recreationally," I'm most sensitive to legitimately problematic usage that ought to be easy to prevent. Misapplying the word "beginner" causes problems for viewers of otherwise solidly constructed, informative videos. I can't recall how many times I've watched a video with the word "beginner" in the title or dialog that has content far beyond the level of beginners.
The mislabeled audience and imprecise language in some videos leaves the viewer that the information is too basic, too complex, unpackable, indivisible, and undigestible. Does the beginner come away thinking that pottery is too hard? Or worse, that they're not able to comprehend it at all? When I calm down from the threat of such missed opportunities, I get back to work on my own materials.
I'm on the lookout in my own scripts for such language slips.
That is, if I get any real writing done on them at all.