Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Editing Gaming Products Part 5

I was reading through my editing gaming posts because Guy Fullerton at his Chaotic Henchmen blog has written a series of posts on the subject.  But as I was rereading mine there were two very important points I left out.

The At'ta Boy
The importance of telling the writer what you liked in the manuscript.  With all those mark ups and psychotic slashing edits, its good to have a "This is great!", "This part made me laugh." or just a smiley face mixed in.

When looking a manuscript after an edit, depending on the writer, they may be disheartened.  While its important to point out how to tighten up the verse and point out weak points, its also a good habit to point out the good stuff.  Otherwise the writer is just battered with things they should change. 

 Would You Like Fries with That?
Another thing a editor should ask the writer is what they want done.  Some just want you to read it and do basic comments on what you liked and didn't.  Some want you to read it line by line and point out every flaw.  And of course the many layers in between.  This would apply, if the relationship is a casual situation where the writer is asking a favor.  Since I am coming from our old school state of mind where we pool our resources and help one another its good to ask what degree the writer wants their manuscript picked over.

I once edited a short manuscript and it needed some moderate changes.  Nothing big, but when I sent it back I think he was insulted that I had marked up his script.  I guess he expected me just to tell him I liked it.  Which I did, I just made suggestions on how to make it tighter.  It was all cool when it was done.  He was just surprised at all the changes I suggested.  When we went over them he saw what I did and thought most were appropriate.

So Dear Editors of the OSR, it's always good to ask what the writing is looking for in a critique.  And Ivy says don't forget to add a few smile faces to the manuscript.  That's what she does for me, as she mixes them with the editorial slashes and comments like ...

... "this part works, just get rid of the crappy parts, and you'll be fine."