I think I never want to write a 'to' again...
So I've finished an editing pass on the player's section of Red Markets focused on cutting words. Started with 98,304 on June 27th, finished up a couple days ago (July 8th) having got it down to 95,115. Three thousand may not seem like much (it's about 3% of the original), but I'm pretty pleased. To get substantially more, I'd have to start throwing out ideas and complete rules sets. Major no-no, that would be.
Twelve days to work through 98K words feels pretty good. I did this first pass by really grinding away at the sentence structure level, until about halfway through something clicked in my brain and I could see the sentences and occasional paragraph that should come out. The two examples I could condense down into one. Things like that. I mean, I was also copy-editing for the misplaced commas and whatnot at the time, so a sentence level focus feels right. But a second pass is definitely in order, this time with that willingness to yank sentences I developed in the first pass.
Directly after finishing up the first pass, I started making these shorter passes looking for specific things. And by shorter passes, I mean I used the find/replace function to step through the document to only look at specific words. Passes I did:
'It's vs. its'
'Affect vs. effect'
'Numbers vs. digits'
'There, their, and they're'
'Your vs. you're'
'Hear vs here'
'We're, were, and where'
A pass to double check the instances of 'will' future tense
and the one that really made me go cross-eyed:
'Too, two, and to'
'Too' and 'two' weren't so bad. But do you know how many 'to's there were in 98K words?? 3122. Three thousand, one hundred, and twenty-two. And I touched/laid eyes on every. single. one. You know how many needed to be cut or changed?
Copy-editing == a neurotic drive towards perfectionism. Oy gevalt.
The editorial meeting when the author and I discuss my proposals is going to be interesting. I'm going to be advocating moving an entire section from the player's section to the game master's section. Also advocating for a reordering of a major section of mechanics (negotiations). And defending a couple subsection reorderings I just went ahead and did.
Text isn't great about conveying the presence or absence of sarcasm, but I want to be perfectly clear: I really am looking forward to that meeting and debating those changes.
Pretty sure that means I'm in the right job.