Incremental Paragraphs

A complete thought is more important than a complete sentence. Write to be read in progress. Expect your work to be consumed and discarded before it is finished.


Thoughts appear (and disappear) like bubbles in a pool of thinking. We write to capture thoughts before they are gone, and, we write to share our better thoughts with others.

Wholesale copying and rampant reorganization enabled by federated wiki makes possible a uniquely new style of computer mediated collaborative thought.

Play to your colleagues' strengths by letting them watch you think. Make clear how quickly or deeply you have thought. And, leave room for them to bring their intellect and experience to the activity.

Use small marks to overly status on a work in progress. Include a key to your notation which will also serve as a handy place to copy symbols.

Handy symbols: ✔ done, • also, ✘ fail, ★ favorite.

We're suggesting a process that has roots in pair-programming. We explore this similarity further when we consider Thinking vs. Writing.


We illustrate writing styles by pondering the very act of writing. We progress from quickly grabbed thoughts towards more considered paragraph forms writing three paragraphs in every style.


recall what has worked already

maybe study existing pages ★

write a program? ... structure recognizer? ... hard


Power Words.

Likely Title.



Start with the fastest capture.

Think about what is there and what is missing.

Improve what you can when you can.


Write with repetition to show variation on a theme.

Write the theme over and over.

Write the variation in the same place each time.


A paragraph is a thought. It exists to recreate that thought in the reader's mind. If one word will do the job, use that word. But don't be afraid to write complete sentences when need be.

A paragraph must be ready to move. It need not stand alone. It can draw strength from proximity to similar thoughts. But it cannot be reliably held in a sequence so it must be whole in itself.

A paragraph is a gift. Let it grow in the reader's hands. Leave it open to interpretation, revision, extension, elaboration.


About the time you write the first Hyperlink in a paragraph you should start thinking about how you can bring that paragraph to a close.

Hyperlinks take you elsewhere. Start with the link if the purpose of the paragraph is to describe the trip to the likely traveler.

Incremental Pages spring from incremental paragraphs. A new page will have a better start if you have felt the need for it for some time. Choose title words that imagine profound thoughts that will serve the present and become the future.

Sometimes you just need to list some Internal Hyperlinks or some External Hyperlinks together because the choices must be offered even though there is really only one thought to the paragraph.

An external reference is often described or quoted and then cited with a single lower-case trailing Link Word that identifies source, or kind of source, one will find when retrieving the reference. wikipedia

War and Peace or other works with obvious titles should use internal links assuming there will eventually be a page even when the immediate intention is to send readers to other sources on the internet. gutenberg


Fieldstone Method wherein elements, or stones, are collected non-sequentially, over time, and eventually find logical places in larger pieces. webpage

More People Should Write because that practice will change how they think explains James Somers. blog