Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Paper Golem!

Whelp, I've merged Dice Rule! Book 1 and Book 2 into a single document. Book 1 housed Chapters 1 thru 7. Book 2 housed Chapters 8 thru 12. I kept two books because it was easier to navigate the document in this fashion (both were under 100 pages). I'm now facing a 189 page paper golem!

The merge is a significant step forward to publishing, but there is still a long road ahead. My next step is what I call the "SNR Stage". SNR = Search and Replace (that lovely function of MS Word). While working on the books I kept track of any key terminology, abbreviation preferences, changes to rules, clarifications, etc, and logged them in the back of the book. For wegsample, is it "Cold Roll" or "Cold roll", and "Per Level Bonus" or "PL Bonus". Little stuff like that that ripples through the book. I also have a list of frequent typos to scan, like "their" for "there" and any place that three successive blank spaces appear. Real exciting stuff!

Post-merge I scan the full-bodied document from the top, going down the list one by one. It's an arduous and boring process. A complete necessity for overall synchronicity. Some folks might even call this step "copy editing".

This step let's me move the oversized golem to the door to get it on its way.

Let's hope the dang thing doesn't topple over on me in the process!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chapter Wrasslin'

Back in September, I started the rewrites on Dice Rule from the top. With the busy summer con schedule, I couldn't find the time to focus on this final march toward copy editing, and the book needed one good read/re-write to get me there. When you lay aside a manuscript for a couple months, you are picking it up fresh with a new set of eyes. You see glaring errors. Your mind stumbles over all the incongruant sentences and trips across jumbled paragraphs. Your whole perception of what you thought you had written gets thrown up and the air and slammed down hard upon the surface of reality.

When you enter the ring with an unfinished manuscript, it is a wrestling match. You have got to know the strengths and weaknesses that your opponent (the manuscript) possesses. It's going to slam you hard with its brute strength and batter your ego. Every step of the way it's going to whisper to you that you don't have the strength to prevail and that you should just walk away. It wants you to leave it, as is, in the ring. That's the toughest part because, inevitably, this is true. You have to walk away from it.

The irony is that this beast is all of your own making. All of its power came from you, the writer. All of its weakness came from you, the writer. In the strangest twist of tactics, the manuscript's weakness is its most horrific strength, because they are your weaknesses. Despite all this, you have to squint at this beast through eyes bleary with too much staring at the screen and murmur that over-used heroic action line, "Let's finish this..."

I'm in a twelve round fight with this beast. Twelve chapters of nonstop slugging it out. And there's not a referee in sight.

Just me and a 180 page electro-imaginary beast.

Chapter wrasslin'...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The End of Cons

With no more cons on my plate for 2009, I've launched the first annual End of Cons sale on the GameWick Games website. I've slashed prices like nobody's business and will keep these prices in place until we announce our 2010 con schedule. It just seemed like a great way to celebrate the end of the convention season and the end of the year.

What's on sale is the second printing of Old Skool (the first printing sold out at GenCon this summer). The second printing has only slight corrections to it, mostly glaring typos found in the first printing. Typos like Stealt instead of Stealth. Not to mention that ever embarrassing synonymic juxtaposition in the Pirates of Penzance lyric quote, "steal" instead of "steel".

Odd how the two most glaring typos both featured the same word...

Never realized that previously. Must have been the dread Curse of Schwenk for using his lyrics to make a not-so-clever point...

Anyway, for all twelve of you who read this little blog...

The End of Cons is nigh!