It’s been a while…

Wow, I had originally intended to maintain this blog by adding something here weekly. I really let that goal slip in a big way this last two months. I haven’t posted anything since the beginning of April, but I haven’t been idle.

Infinity Banner

Over the last two months I have finished off three pieces for the Infinity RPG totaling around 27,000 words. It’s also been awesome seeing some of the pieces I submitted a while ago making it into layout, getting artwork, maps, and all the other things that make an RPG product look great. It’s a good reminder that while you toil away plugging at the keys in front of you, pulling a project together requires a whole team of people working away to produce something great. I have been very lucky to work with a fantastic group of people at Modiphius.

Due somewhere around the start of July I have a piece of about 24,000 words due. It’s been a little mind-bending, trying to wrap my head around the early stages of the first adventure, tweaking details here and there. This is because this adventure ties neatly to an existing story within the Infinity setting, but I am excited to get rolling. Writing background material is great fun, writing an adventure is more involved. Getting all the mechanical things tuned correctly is one thing, making sure we also have all the maps and resources a GM needs to run the thing is another. Both of these aspects makes writing an adventure more work than developing and writing out pure background. In some senses, once the details are hammered out an adventure seems to get written more quickly, and background material feels a little slower to get onto paper. This might be due to the fact that setting material needs to be checked and rechecked, and often requires significant research, as well as creative ideas that fit within the established oeuvre, while adventures less so, but it could also be perception bias, and not be the case at all!

One of the things I have rather enjoyed is seeing the adventures I have worked on as a finished product. Every aspect ties back to the story you have developed and written (or helped with), from the art, to the maps, and so on.  Adventures in the Human Sphere contains two adventures I worked on, and scrolling through the finished PDF, with all the pieces in place, from words to art, is rather pleasing. Fingers crossed that GMs and players out there have as much fun with the adventures as I did!

I feel good, I feel nervous…

I blogged last time that I had three projects lined up as a part of my freelance work on the Infinity RPG. The first has been drafted and submitted. Yay. It feels good.

Infinity RPG Core-Book

Writing every night can sometimes be a chore. The sense that you just want to do something else, anything else, can creep in and cause you to procrastinate. I’ve had my share of that feeling, the desire to scroll through Facebook or Twitter, to read something, clean up, paint some miniatures, get some games played, watch Netflix or a thousand other things. Sometimes it feels like drudgery, to force yourself to write.

With every night finished though, and that 1000-2500 words written (my current nightly goal), I do feel good. Glad that I made myself do it on those nights when I wasn’t feeling inspired or was feeling particularly distracted. Getting to the end of a draft feels good. It feels really good. Attaching the document and sending it off to my editor, hitting send, it feels great.

Then the waiting begins. The nervous part of the process. I know that some of what I’ve written will need to go, need to be cut or rewritten because of the quality of the words or the lucidity of the text or the relevance to the overall document. This is especially true when working on the intellectual property of someone else. Infinity is owned by Corvus Belli, and Modiphius are producing the role playing game. I freelance for Modiphius.

What I write goes to the line manager at Modiphius, who will comment and edit. It goes to the person responsible for checking the setting at Modiphius, who will comment and edit. I may rewrite at this stage, depending on the number of edits or rewrites required. Or it may go directly to Corvus Belli, the IP holder. Gutier at Corvus Belli will run through the document with a fine toothed comb, and make sure the background and information I have laid out fits the world he has created. He will comment and edit.

The nervous wait comes after the good feeling you have when submitting. I’m not concerned about comments on my writing, those help me get better and can be fixed, but I am hopeful above all else that what I have written serves the purpose of the book well. I am concerned that what I’ve written services the background as envisaged by Gutier well. Those are the things that are the benchmarks for success as far as I am concerned. Making the book good and useful. Making sure it services the gamers who will eventually buy it and read it and play games based on the information it contains. Making sure the words and colour I have added to the setting does justice to Corvus Belli and Gutier.

Fingers crossed they do. Until I get the email back though, it’s pointless to worry overmuch. On to the next thing…

Infinity and one…

Freelance writing for the role playing industry is a funny thing in my limited experience. Flurries of activity, followed by periods of waiting. I have loved it though, and have loved being a small part of the Modiphius Entertainment team; supportive, geeky, gamerly beasts that they are.

The quiet of the Christmas period has in turn given way to the busy season again. I managed to get a novelette written in the downtime (and begin a short story), as well as blog a bit, but now the clarion call to action has me looking carefully at my schedule and blocking out time to get my freelance obligations completed.

Infinity RPG Core-Book

The next two months are going to be busy, I have three projects queued up, with the prospect of more at the end. I will be receiving sections already drafted back from Corvus Belli and my editors with notes on what needs changing, fixing or removing, and I have also had to turn down a project or two for lack of time.

Last year, around September, I tested myself by writing as much as I felt I could manage over the period of around a month. I wrote somewhere close to 50,000 words that I was happy to submit. It’s not a huge amount for those who are experienced, but it pushed me, and pushed me hard. I wanted to test myself, to see what I could put out, what I was comfortable with, what sort of word rate I could manage in a day, a night, an hour. All told I worked out I can typically manage between 1000 and 2000 words a night. Not a huge amount for many, but comfortable for me. I have a job to go to during the day, and a family I’d like to see, so I need to be careful not to burn too much time, or put myself under too much pressure.

The deadlines, though, are closing, and over the next month and a half I will need to get somewhere close to 50,000 words written to meet them. It could have been more, it could have been much more. But thanks to the month I spent pushing myself I have a better grasp of what I am capable to achieving. There was a time when I would have said ‘yes’ to every opportunity, and even now responding with the occasional ‘no’ hurts. But it’s something I need to do, I recognise that. The one thing I do not want to do is to put myself in a position where I can’t hit a deadline.

Now the challenge is to get my routine up and running again. Last year it was writing at least 1000 words a night, every night. After my schedule throttled back over the Christmas period, and has been slowly ramping since, I need to get that back. Getting my routine going again means only one thing: putting my backside into the seat and typing…