Have you noticed the gold pieces accumulating on your account?
Thinking about submitting some articles to the AaWBlog?
Awesome! We look forward to reading them!
Despite the voracity of the AaWBlog, however, it's a surprisingly picky eater. To keep this monster well fed, quite a bit of preparation is required on my part and there's a few things that stand out to me when I'm looking over its meals for the week.
If you want to contribute, give them a look!
This is number one on my list because it was the first thing that came to mind, probably because I find it terrifically annoying. I'm not even concerned if you're wrong (most people misspell demiplane, for instance), I just want to see that you are consistent when you are wrong. Coming across multiple different spellings of a name is problematic and troublesome, but more than anything it says to me, "I did not revise this."
#2) Stick to the Style
Editing can be time consuming but it does not have to be time consuming; a particularly well-written adventure of 20,000 words might be polished up inside of a day, whereas a sloppily composed piece of half that size takes the same amount of time. Adhering to style and formatting guidelines makes you more attractive as a writer and shows that you put time and effort into what you've submitted.
"George slashed the dragon's throat. He plunged his sword into its neck. His armor became covered in blood," doesn't read well. While accurate and possibly grammatically correct, it is extremely bland and monotonous. Break out the thesaurus and use less common words, and take the time to structure your sentences in an interesting and engaging way.
#4) Address the Text
Oftentimes I will leave a comment about something being confusing, only for the writer to message me directly and explain what they initially meant. That is not the purpose of the comment; its intent was to highlight that this or that part of your thought did not come through clearly when read. Fix the sentence to read differently, or add the information that didn't initially come through.
#5) Have a Dialogue, not a Debate
Nobody likes being told what to do, especially when their creative content is concerned. The mistake that many writers make is assuming that when something is commented upon, it is necessarily to remove or drastically change it. One of my favorite joys of this task is when a writer comes back from a remark about a plot hole or what have you, creating a wonderful, complimentary element that justifies both while genuinely improving the material.
Storytelling, no matter how it is done, is a collaborative effort; the group you playtest with, the folks who do layouts and the artists all have a hand in how your tale plays out (even in oratory, how a listener ultimately realizes what you're describing—that's collaboration). A voice or two guiding you along, refining your work, is a valuable tool not to be discarded.
Do you have a contribution or idea for Meta Thursdays? Send us your ideas (after reading the submission guidelines) to submit(at)adventureaweek.com with “Meta Thursday” in the subject line!