Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bidding by game word rate?

Answer to a LinkedIn independent writer's question.
Because like you said, in game narratives, you spend a great deal of time, brain, and emotional energy choosing the right single word or trimming phrases to keep the word count down; but still retain a coherent story with emotional and psychological depth, for more than one layer of comprehension for your readers.

You are charging for that, as well, your expertise in storywriting, not just word count.

I stress this in my bids and proposals, and sometimes I win and sometimes I lose, just like with any bidding process.

But I've also been given praise for improving a game script by changing only a few words.

And there are too many stories of all kinds I've read with glaring holes and gaffs because materials aren't edited in NYC or anywhere else like they used to be "in the good ole days."

Your expertise includes not just twenty words here and forty there but intelligence and polish that will close those holes and eliminate gaffs like a baby's eyes and hair changing color or an adult heroine's height changing within about five pages. [Yes, these are real published, glaring mistakes editors and publishers have published.]

As a professional storywriter, you're holding continuity in your brain and making certain it's on the page. I can't tell you how many times I've check a thing in a story here or there, to be certain logic, continuity, reason, and emotion, and just common sense are lined up properly.

Check at and through past bids of the type you're doing, see who won and do the math, to see if you're in the ball park. Don't underbid unless you have to; an unhappy writer, who's doing a lot a work for a little pay, makes unhappy copy; and no repeat client.

Oh, and if you feel you're charging a little higher, say so and say what they get for that: expertise, continuity, and x amount of rewrites or tweaks. I usually keep the rewrites within the job but say I'll do a tweak, after completion, if needed. Since, those stray words and misspellings do trip us up.

This is just great customer service without getting into the groveling, I'll do anything for cheap cents. Because, if they're that cheap or poor, the client should write it themselves, that's how I learned to write, or hire their kid or their kid's friends.


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