A graphic of a video game controller that resembles a controller for a PlayStation or Xbox console is shown over a light blue background.
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Event Review: Editing for the Video Game Industry

Written by Jesse Marchand; copy edited by Holly Conklin

What does the term video game mean to you? For some, it may conjure up memories of childhood and playing Pac-Man or Mario. Others might be more familiar with tile-matching games like Candy Crush. More still may be deeply involved in the world of video games through multiplayer role-playing games like World of Warcraft or first-person shooters like Call of Duty.

The genres of games are as varied as the roles within game studios. So what does editing for the video game industry really look like? In a recent talk at the Editors BC’s monthly meeting for April, Michelle Clough discussed the role of writing and editing in video games and what the work entails. Clough is a freelance video game writer, editor, narrative designer, localization specialist, and quality assurance tester for both big-budget and indie games, and as she showed at the meeting, she’s a very engaging speaker too. Here’s a rundown of some of the things about editing for video games that she shared at that meeting.

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A partially seen red pen lies on top of a paper that has three red editing marks.
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Seven Mistakes Many First-Time Editors Make (and How to Avoid Them)

Written by Lindsay Vermeulen; copy edited by Maggie Clark

So, you’ve decided to become an editor.

If you’re quitting a job to go freelance, the prospect of changing careers can be intimidating. And yes, there are plenty of opportunities to mess up. Never fear! They are all part of the learning process, and they will all make you better at what you do. But you don’t have to make all the mistakes on your own, because I’ve already made a bunch of them (or known others who have made them). Read on to learn how to avoid seven mistakes many new editors make.

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Meet the Instructor: Moira White

Written by Carl Rosenberg; copy edited by Katie Beaton

Framed by her short white hair, Moira White is smiling in this photo while wearing a long, red scarf and black shirt.

On Saturday, April 28, Editors BC presents Moira White’s seminar, “Eight-Step Editing.” This seminar breaks the editorial process down into tasks to improve the readability of an author’s written work. The eight steps are to shorten sentences, take out the trash (i.e., unnecessary phrases), deflate long words and phrases, reduce negatives, eliminate the equations (i.e., equating or linking verbs), activate the passives, lead with strength, and parade your paragraphs.

Moira is an Ottawa-based editor, writer, and trainer with decades of experience in plain language editing, writing, and teaching for government and corporate clients. She entered the work world as a social worker and later moved into social policy with a master’s degree in the field. In both professions, she found that her organizational skills, attention to detail, and love of words pointed her in the direction of editing. Currently, she teaches writing and editing courses in Ottawa and across Canada. Moira is a past president of Editors Canada.

Carl Rosenberg, a volunteer on Editors BC’s communications and social media committee, spoke to Moira about her work and her forthcoming seminar.

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April 18, 2018: Editing and Writing in the Video Game Industry

What: Editors BC monthly meeting
When: Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 7:00–9:00 pm
Where: Welch Room, 4th floor, YWCA Health + Fitness Centre, 535 Hornby Street, Vancouver | map
Cost: Free for Editors BC members and student affiliates, $10 for non-members, and $5 for non-member students with valid ID. Registration at the door.

Branching dialogue, visual novels, role-playing games, narrative design, and game localization: welcome to the world of writing and editing for video games. Tonight’s meeting will reveal the ups and downs of working in a media niche most of us know only as consumers. Get the inside scoop on the unique process of game development, the roles that writers and editors can play, and the opportunities and challenges related to breaking into this competitive sector.

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Meet the Instructor: Lana Okerlund

Written by Carl Rosenberg; copy edited by Chris Baxter

This photo depicts a headshot of Lana Okerlund smiling.

On Saturday, February 24, Editors BC presents Lana Okerlund’s seminar, “Crunching the Numbers: Using Performance Measures to Manage Your Editing Business.” The seminar will introduce the performance measurement cycle—a widely used concept in the business world—and help participants apply it to the business of editing.

A partner with West Coast Editorial Associates, Lana edits, indexes, and writes non-fiction books and teaches editing and business writing courses. In her former career as a business consultant, Lana spent nearly a decade working with clients on business improvement projects, including performance measurement.

Carl Rosenberg, a volunteer on Editors BC’s communications and social media committee, spoke to Lana about her work on performance measurement.

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February 24, 2018: Crunching the Numbers: Using Performance Measures to Manage Your Editing Business

What: Editors BC professional development seminar
When: Saturday, February 24, 2018, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Room 420, 4th floor, BCIT Downtown Campus, 555 Seymour Street, Vancouver | map
Cost: $165 for Editors Canada members ($135 early bird), $230 for non-members ($200 early bird), and $100 for student affiliates. Advance registration required. Registration closes February 20; early-bird rates are in effect through February 6.

Is your editing business successful?

If you’re like a lot of editors, you may have a hard time answering this question with any specifics. You may have a vague sense of how your business is doing, and you might even feel comfortable with that level of uncertainty. But having real, hard data about how much you work, where your work comes from, and how much you earn for different types of projects or clients can empower you to take charge of your business and steer it in the direction that you want it to go.

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