A Peek Inside Editing an RPG Book

I found a sentence which said “Esspererins can only use pistols and longarms.”
The trouble is that “longarm” is a term that the game used to use to mean all rifle-shaped weapons. Since then we’ve clarified that we have Carbines (rifles), Long Guns (snipers), and Scatterguns (shotguns). All of these could be called longarms. So I send an email to Alan asking him to remind me which one we intended.

The answer was Carbines. So I made the change to the sentence that I found. I also made the same change in two other places in two separate chapters where the same information was duplicated. (There is a lot of duplication of information to prevent players from constantly flipping to go look for it.)

I also added the word “Longarm” to the list of words that I have to search and replace in every single chapter I come across. There are one or two occurrences that will stay because it accurately describes all three types of rifle-shaped guns. The rest are supposed to be either Carbine or Long Gun.

That was one incident of wording correction. I exchanged fifteen emails with Alan today over similar little issues. I routinely have 5-8 documents open because each chapter is its own document and I need to be able to reference between the chapters. I have handwritten notes and post-its all over my desk to remind me to do things.

Yet painstakingly this book is taking shape. The first four chapters were handed off for layout. I’ll hand off the next three by this weekend. At around the same time chapters 8-10 will likely be back from our editor and then I’ll have to prep those for layout. Chapters 11-14 are getting a once over from Alan over the weekend, then I’ll hand those off to the editor. Though he may get chapters 20-21 first since those are already essentially done.

Mixed in with all of this is me being an art director. I’ve built a spreadsheet and identified exactly what art we still need. I’ve been exchanging emails and instructions with artists. Gorgeous art is coming in. I’m currently managing 5-7 email chains with various artists.

I check and double check everything because I want to make sure all of the pieces are in place. I want this book to be amazing enough to justify the time we’ve spent working on it. I think I can have most of the 22 chapters into layout within the next three weeks. That’s what I want. I’m pushing hard, but my brain is beginning to wear out. I hope I can do it.