June 6th, 2014 was the last day for some of the proteges who were a part of my grand experiment in teaching others to write for Pyramid. This blog post serves as a sort of…progress report for the students, mentors, and reviewers (journeymen).
Where We Did Good:
- Methodology: I don’t know if it’s because I’ve got some mild OCD issues or if I managed to plan it out with my fellow mentors, but we were able to communicate some of the more vital formatting lessons fairly easily. Showed a few tricks of the trade and otherwise excelled in helping others understand some of the more stringent requirements for publication. I’m exceedingly proud of this.
- Output: We put out a lot of material. Twenty-eight articles (about 100,000 words total) from 11 authors. +Steven Marsh even commented on this fact here.
- Quality: Nothing left the mailing list that was not up to the Steve Jackson Game’s House Style. Nothing. If it left the list it had our endorsement, simple as that.
- Editing: I’m not a bad editor – but I’m not a great one either. Actually, I take that back, I’m very close to bad, just not actually there. This was a problem for some articles. It’s a screw up and I admit it. We could have done better. This was one of the main reasons why I ended up retaining a couple of proteges – they’re had good editing skills amongst their other laurels and I need folks who can do line edits.
- Records-Keeping: I want to keep a log of what we’ve handled and while we did do it – it could have been a little less sloppy. Again, I’ll have to think of a better way to handle this.
- Organization: We weren’t unorganized, but for a while it was just +Douglas Cole and myself pounding articles into shape. I know I personally spent a couple of hours a day sometimes making things work. There was also a weird line between who was a mentor and who wasn’t. I’ve fixed this for next year’s class.
- Screening Process: This was…a mess. It needs work. That is all. On a side note, if you send in something to us and I say “This is great, but do X.” If you do X…you will get in if there is a spot.
- Available Spots: Being able to handle two to three students per mentor was…overreaching. This is going to be reduced for the next year which means I’m going to be even more selective. If you want to write, really write and put the effort into it you WILL succeed. I’ll help you get there, but I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. If you’re heart isn’t really in it…well I can’t put it there.