Trust me, I love to write and I edit for other folks on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean I should edit my own writing. In fact, I should never do it. Yet, I find myself doing so on a regular basis and every time I end up making mistakes that hurt the professionalism of my work. So, below are three reasons I think you should get an editor. If you are a game creator, a fan writer, a professional, or anyone else that ends up writing about RPGs, you need an editor.
1) You’ll Miss The Obvious
One of my biggest mistakes is dropping an article. A random the, an, a, or whatever destroys a sentence. And if you forget one? Looks like crap, your writing does. If you don’t have an editor to work with on your writing, at least give anything you’ve put together 2-3 days before you review. This still won't be perfect, however. Having an editor, someone who won't assume that each sentence works as intended, review your piece will help it appear more professionally written.
2) You Hurt Your Ideas
You’re on a roll, you’ve written an awesome adventure that you are excited to share with the world. Then you end up cutting out a sentence that needs to be there, just to make an entire module make some sort of sense. Trust me, you’ll get comments from your readers for years afterward about that one missing sentence. They’ll tear apart a module that was otherwise amazing for this seemingly minor infraction. They aren’t doing it to be jerks either; when you drop something that has to be in a sentence you are sentencing yourself to this hell. I’ve done it. Thankfully, in the day of digital products you can update a PDF after the fact and fix your mistakes. Woe betide if you put that into print though. Edit, get another editor, and get a final editing pass to help you make sure that you’ve got everything covered and your concept appears to be what you are saying it should be.
3) Comma Issues
This, is, my, biggest issue. I don’t try to Shatner comma, but I often end up finding out that I’ve created the perfect script for Captain Kirk without realizing it. The comma is a wonderful piece of punctuation, as is the parenthesis, period (full stop), exclamation point, and the apostrophe. All of these are awesome. Yes! Even the exclamation point! That said, you might find yourself overusing, underusing, or just plain ignoring the need for the various forms of punctuation that sit around wanting, waiting, hoping to be helpful.
You’re not perfect. The gaming world isn’t perfect, the RPG industry is not perfect. You’ll make mistakes. If you’re a consumer of games, you’ll spot these mistakes and you might find yourself asking how the company you love could have made this glaring mistake. Trust me, you’d be shocked how many times you can review something and still find a mistake. I used to joke about page XX in my favorite game line books, but at this point I have an immense amount of empathy for those making it to print. Should it happen? No. Will it inevitably and frustrate you for the next decade? If you’re like me, yes.
If you’d like to get some editing support, reach out to these folks:
Tara Clapper: The Geek Initiative: firstname.lastname@example.org
High Level Games: Yes, we do editing too. email@example.com
Ever After Editing: https://everafterediting.blogspot.com/
Josh is the intrepid Chief Operations Officer of High Level Games. With 20 years of playing rpgs, Josh started with Mind's Eye Theater LARPs and loves the World of Darkness. He runs, www.keepontheheathlands.com to support his gaming projects. Josh is the administrator of the Inclusive Gaming Network on Facebook. He’s running a Changing Breeds game. He’s a serious advocate for inclusive gaming spaces, a father, and a graduate from the International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program at American University in Washington, D.C. You can also find Josh’s other published adventures here and here.
Picture Reference: http://www.mycity-web.com/blogging-tips-editing-is-more-important-than-you-think/
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.