05 September 2005

Star and Shadow

I'm finally writing for a Midnight supplement, entitled "Star and Shadow." There hasn't been much information released on this supplement yet, but it is scheduled for release in October. My turnover is due next week, but I intend to have it done today. After that, I go back to finishing my work on the WFRP book.

Truth be told, Midnight was the game that made me want to write for the d20 system. It's a very neat setting, very dear to my heart. I'm glad I discovered it, though I haven't been able to run it as often as I'd like to. I had a campaign going for a while there, but the group split off on two occasions and it's been shelved until further notice.

When I contacted Fantasy Flight Games in 2003 in regards to writing for Midnight, I found there wasn't anything open at the moment. I met Robert Vaughn at Gen Con SoCal, and after that I was offered a spot writing for a Dawnforge supplement that, for one reason or another, never saw completion. It's a shame, really. Dawnforge is a neat setting; I guess it didn't sell.

Shortly after the Dawnforge gig was deep-sixed, I was asked to write for a new (at that time) game that FFG was calling Fireborn. That was my first big professional project, and it taught me a lot about how things work on the professional side of the game writing biz.

Prior to being publishing in Dungeon/Polyhedron magazine, I'd done quite a bit of writing on the amateur side of things. In addition to my own work on this web site or that web site, I contributed to Action Check, an ezine dedicated to the Alternity role-playing game. I also wrote an article or two (or three; can't recall) for the Star Wars Online Journal.

I won't say that the amateur publications are any easier to write for than the professional ones, but it's definitely easier to get your foot in the door. They don't pay you for your work, so they're eager to have someone who can actually string two words together on staff. Plus, it's tough for them to find reliable writers; since the articles aren't paid for, writers can oftentimes find other things they'd rather be doing than contribute their time to the 'zine. This results in delayed publication of the 'zine, which ultimate leads to a lack of interest in the target audience. I can't remember how many times I saw people whine, "When is the next OJ coming out?" on the SWRPGNetwork forums.

Working for a professional company was an eye-opener. First, they were going to pay me. Second, they were serious about their deadlines. None of this, "I couldn't get to it this week," stuff. If you don't get your work done on time, you'll be lucky if you write for them again...especially if you're a fresh face.

I take my deadlines very seriously. I'm a worry-wart by nature, anyway; having a deadline looming over my head like the Sword of Damocles is a sure-fire way to keep me up at night in a cold sweat. Maybe that's why I'm always on time.

Anyway...I've got two deadlines coming up, and I'm going to knock Star and Shadow's out over the next hour or two.

No comments: