Dice & Deadlines: Know When To Turn Down A Job

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The hardest thing in the world is for the freelancer to turn down a paying job. There will be times when this is a necessity. The worst thing a freelancer can do for their career and professional reputation is to accept a contract and then blow the deadline. You should only accept a contract if you know you can complete it in the allotted time. When Should You Turn Down a Job? It is your responsibility to know when you should turn down a job. There are a couple of ways you can determine this. … [Read more...]

Dice & Deadlines: To Find Jobs, Just Ask and Share the Love

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I am often asked, "How do you get your freelance jobs?" My response usually is, "I ask for them or someone recruits me for them." This leads to a series of questions around how I ask for jobs or how people know to recruit me. Somehow, despite my introverted nature and shy tendencies, I have become fearless when it comes to freelancing. This is how I do it. Just Ask—the Worst They Can Do is Say No The idea of networking used to give me hives. As it turns out, networking is talking to people in … [Read more...]

Dice & Deadlines: Expanding Your Horizons

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When it comes to the RPG industry, there are only so many open positions. Those game designers with experience and reputation will acquire those jobs before the inexperienced or less well known. Of course there is balance between cost of the game designer and the job to be done. Every company is looking for the next big idea along with the next big author. One way to get over the hump of scarcity of game design jobs is to expand your horizons—and your skill set—and do other jobs in the … [Read more...]

Dice & Deadlines: Your Internet Presence

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There is the real world of brick and mortar and then there is the internet world. This is the world of blogs, boards, instant messenger, Twitter, Facebook and a thousand other social media websites. Digital real estate is booming and those who know how to manipulate it are cashing in. Even those of us who are comfortable behind the screen can get lost in the crowd where flame wars are the norm and spam is a daily occurrence. Why is an Internet Presence Important? One of the main reasons having … [Read more...]

Dice & Deadlines: Public Relations

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Part of your job as a freelancer for the RPG industry is to have a public face. This is all part of the networking you do to keep track of the pulse of the RPG world. Public relations, in the context of this article, is all about how you deal with the public who consume your work and the industry who hires you to produce that work. For this article, I am going to focus primarily on the face to face aspect of public relations management. Next month's article will focus on the internet aspect … [Read more...]

Dice & Deadlines: Convention Networking

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I've talked a lot about how the freelancer works within the RPG industry. Contracts, word counts, professionalism, editors and co-authors. But there is more to being a freelancer than just writing. Much more. It's called networking.  And that's what I'm going to focus on for the next few articles. Now, don't let the term "networking" give you hives. Really, all it means is going out, talking to people and making contacts within the industry. This particular article is going to focus … [Read more...]

Dice & Deadlines: Multiple Authors, One Product

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I've talked about a number of different things that a freelancer needs to be aware of when writing for the RPG industry: deadlines, extensions, rewrites, professionalism, and contracts. All of that is based on either you the author or your relationship with the editor. But, if you open an RPG book and look at the credits page, you often see many names credited as "game designer." This is because most RPG books are written by more than one freelancer. Why there are multiple authors on a … [Read more...]

Dice & Deadlines: Rewrites

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Previously on Dice & Deadlines I talked about meeting deadlines and asking for extensions (Oct). After you turn in your manuscript, the work is done, right? Most likely wrong. Every RPG project has an editor. Ditto with every fiction project. An editor's job is to make the product and the author(s) look as good as possible. Every author needs an editor. I mean it. From your favorite blockbuster on the NYT Bestsellers List right down to the smallest Indie RPG author out there. Every single … [Read more...]

Dice & Deadlines: Deadlines and Extensions

Since I talked last time about the nitty-gritty of RPG writing (September) and some of the trials of writing in another's RPG universe creation—or 'playing in someone else's sandbox' if you will—I wanted to talk about a couple of things that every single writer will face: meeting and missing deadlines. Why Are Deadlines So Important? In Dice & Deadlines: Freelancing (July) I talked about the RPG industry being a business. Publishers are in it because they want to make money first. They … [Read more...]

Dice & Deadlines: The Nitty Gritty on Writing for RPG Companies

Now that I have talked about freelancing (July) and contracts (August), it is time to get into the nitty gritty of what it is like to write for an RPG company. There's more to it than just creating awesome worlds for people to immerse themselves in. It's work and comes with its own unique problems. Playing in Someone Else's Sandbox The first thing you need to remember is that you are playing in someone else's sandbox. Most of the RPG writing you will do as freelancer will be in already … [Read more...]