Tuesday Trials and Tribulations

I almost called today’s article The Tables Have Turned, but thought better of it. I have a tremendous amount of layout work before me. That’s a good thing. Right? Means there is a lot of stuff at that stage [1.That stage being the one where the line between conception and completion blurs.] Usually, I can make pretty good time. There is one big exception, though. It’s when I have to deal with tables. In RPGs, tables are as frequents as nachos at a Mexican restaurant. Seriously, they are part and parcel of the experience. When the words are largely my own, I have no problem putting them into layout. However, when my guys put them into a table, well, it becomes a tremendous pain as I have to undo the work they’ve done. While it makes it easier to read during development, it is a huge pain in the final stages. That’s not counting all the kinds of tweaks which must be done to get everything to look just so. Somewhere along the way, the work moves from looking like a bunch of words of the project to the finished work. This is so, so gratifying. That is, until the crew picks it apart like rabid, carrion-craving vultures which haven’t eaten in a month. The bones will be picked clean and there will come some point I won’t want to look at the thing for a bit.
As it stands, the thing I’m discussing is Ravaged Earth. There is a lot of good information in there. In fact, there is so much information, I’m having a time deciding what we’ll do with it all. You know, I look the material to be lean and mean and essential. The difficulty, in this case, is this is already lean and mean. The question is how essential is it to the entry experience of Ravaged Earth? Some of it may end up in a companion work. These are the things a publisher must wrestle with. These are considerations I wrestle with when doing the primary writing myself. I’m easy to work with, but I am brutal when it comes to the final, editing phase. When things get migrated into layout, I really consider the value of each word and phrase. The razor stays sharp and ready to cut as necessary.
I try not to curtail creativity during the process, but I do try to shape and direct the flow of said creativity. Once an outline is settled on, however, people have to be kept on track. So, if you’re starting the year off with plans to work on something new, put together a game plan. Take my advice. It’s okay to deviate ever so slightly, but you have to see it through. Do you really want to be that guy who talks about making a game or writing a book or whatever and never see it through? It’s cool to start small and take it from there. Seriously. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Get it? Get it?
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader adieu!

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