Right now, REIGN — the entirety of the line — exists as a book and sixteen internet supplements (each of which has been collected into a print-on-demand book as well). The goal for the relaunch is to turn that into two books, possibly in an attractive slipcase.
Sounds easy, right? You just smack the printed books together, replace Greg’s inept art with some pro stuff, and kick back at with a martini when your check clears. Ah, the glamorous writer’s life, r… right?
Alas no. As I was explaining the task to a buddy this morning, it occurred to me that what Hal and I are doing with this is basically cleaning up a fairly long series of messes.
- THEY’RE ALL IN DIFFERENT FILES — As of today, I’ve gotten the text compacted into three files. One is “mostly rules stuff” and it’s 181,990 words. One is “mostly setting stuff” and that one’s 211,302 words. The third file is just called “chunks” and it’s the little fiction bits and short stories and quotes that we used to occupy what would otherwise be unsightly blank spaces on the page. That’s 22,808 words.
- FORMAT CLASH(1) — I used to put two spaces after terminal punctuation! I know, right? Can you BELIEVE it? Times sure were different! Moreover, parts of the text were yanked out of PDFs, so they have a hard carriage return at the end of every line. Those will have to go if it’s going to flow into a new format. Fortunately, this part will be what I like to think of as “a Hal problem.”
- FORMAT CLASH(2) — Oh, and the headers and such are all over the place, possibly due to the fact that the sixteen files were composed on two different word processors, one of which got significantly upgraded three times, so… yeah, boring format stuff. Maybe my problem, maybe Hal’s. (Can I vote Hal?)
- DISORGANIZATION — There was no plan to the expansion. I just wrote what I thought sounded neat. So there’s stuff that got written in the main book, and then later expanded on, so finding where everything fits so that you can read it in some kind of order is going to require a bit of work.
- INCOHERENCE — Different from disorganization, what we have here is a problem on the rules end of things. There are a LOT of rules for a lot of different situations, and it’s almost a cold lock that there are times I took entirely different approaches for parallel stuff. So part of the big edit will be looking for ways to consolidate methodologies of subsystems. I know that sounds like the opposite of fun and, yep, it is! But that’s why y’all pay me to do it, because if the subsystem methods are coherent, the whole game runs simpler and more smoothly.
- LAYOUT — The final Hal problem, but one he’s done a lot, so it shouldn’t be that bad. The more format clashing gets resolved early, of course, the easier this step is.
So, that’s the map of the project ahead. Not from a creative standpoint, or a financial standpoint, or a PR standpoint of course. But at least I know what we have to do to make the physical thing ready to be a physical thing.
(Except that when we do all this it still won’t be a physical thing, Hal’s going to need to source a printer and get all the fiddly minutae of THAT dealt with too.)