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Reality Fault

Editing Logs Slowly

This page assumes you've already done everything that's listed in the Quick and Dirty page of editing tips. If you'd like to do a slightly more thorough job, however, you might want to do one or more of the following.

The one thing I would most strongly suggest, before you do any of this, is that you ask your game partners first. If you change things in the log without warning them, you run the risk of inadvertently offending someone. Many people feel very strongly about their writing, and take great pride in it. On the other hand, if you've asked permission ahead of time and explained clearly what it is you would like to do while editing, most people will both be pleased their opinion was asked, and willingly give their permission for you to edit as you've described.

Let me pause to reiterate once again -- these are the steps I take while editing. They are not for everyone, nor should they be assumed to be the only things that should be done. Do what feels right for you. These are just suggestions.


Here's the list of things I do when editing more thoroughly. Please note this list is not exhaustive. You may have other things you like to do as well, nor should you feel you must do all of the things on the list. Just handle things so that it feels right for you and your game partners. Remember, this should be fun.

  • Change the paragraph layout
  • Read the file and do the following:
    • Put the character description immediately after the first time that character speaks
    • Catch any homonyms
    • Change multiply used words
    • Run together multiple lines for one person
    • Check the "editing conventions" are correct
  • Upload the file to the logs web page
  • Take a look at the actual web page
  • Email your game's mailing list


Walking through this list step-by-step, we do the following:

Change the paragraph layout

This is something I do to make editing easier for myself. It's certainly not a necessary step. However, I personally find it visually easier and mentally clearer to work with the text when it's separated in this fashion -- with actual physical space between the individual paragraphs. This is not the case for many people, however. They have no need to separate the individual paragraphs they're working on. Therefore, if this isn't something that helps you, please feel free to ignore this step and go on to the next.

The original, unedited lines might look like this: <p>
Rechan slumps, letting loose a sigh. He sheaths the dagger, and fetches the other one, re-tying his crossbow. "Phew..."
<p>
The faint sound of laughter in the distance comes closer as a pair of young boys approach down the trail, apparently with their own buckets of refuse to be rid of.
<p>
Rechan smirks, not dismissing his illusion, but simply lets the wings settle down. He drops a hand to the scrape that thing gave him, wiping at the torn scale.
The slightly edited paragraph could look like this:

<p>Rechan slumps, letting loose a sigh. He sheaths the dagger, and fetches the other one, re-tying his crossbow. "Phew..."

<p>The faint sound of laughter in the distance comes closer as a pair of young boys approach down the trail, apparently with their own buckets of refuse to be rid of.

<p>Rechan smirks, not dismissing his illusion, but simply lets the wings settle down. He drops a hand to the scrape that thing gave him, wiping at the torn scale.

Read the file and do the following

  • Put the character description immediately after the first time the character speaks

    Game files usually begin with an italicized, indented "closeup" of the room, which shows the room description. If it is immediately followed by all the character descriptions, there ends up being a huge, undifferentiated mass of italicized, indented text. This is often both confusing as to which description belongs to which character, and hard on the eyes.

    For these reasons I'd suggest putting the room description first as a scene setter. Let the game begin naturally after that, and as each character speaks or acts, tuck their description in immediately after the paragraph in which they first speak. This will closely tie the description to the specific character to which it belongs, and will provide a little more visual contrast for the reader.

    The original, unedited lines might look like this:

      Crew Room -- Lucifer's Shadow
      This comfortable, elliptical room is softly lit. The graceful, stylized Deco trim is a lustrous jet against soft slate gray. All the furniture and decorations are carefully and neatly fastened down against free fall.

      Dakini's hair is a bright red-gold mane that occasionally hides her small pointed ears. She's a tall, slender, strong woman. She wears a soft, comfortably loose, ivory silk shirt with the sleeves rolled up, belted off snugly with a wide, well-worn leather belt. On her right hip rides a holstered flechette pistol.

      Keesha is a bat. She is relatively short, hanging a little under 5 feet tall on clawed feet, including her oversized and elaborately ridged ears. Her grin shows a mouthful of extremely sharp teeth in a pointed muzzle, and a twinkle dances in her large-pupiled eyes. Her head fur is cut short to stay out of her way in flight.

      Hati is a huge dire wolf. From black nose to silvered tail-tip he is easily 8 ft long. His thick, silvery coat is glossy with health, and his green eyes are bright with intelligence. Half-hidden by his shaggy ruff, a wide leather collar can be seen, inscribed with colorful protective runes, which spell out "Dakini's Hati."

    Dakini ruffles Hati's ears absently as she rummages for a drink for Keesha, "What would you like, Keesha? I know you love those little roasted cricket thingies, right?"

    Keesha sighs. "If you've got any. I'm just about out." She looks around the elegant stateroom. "I'm going to miss my home dimension."

    Dakini glances over her shoulder with a rueful smile, "Well, in a sense wasn't everyone in the Frontier Quadrant a refugee of sorts?" She comes back with two squeeze bulbs of liquid, and a sealed can of Eagle Brand Honey Roasted Crickets. She gives Keesha the can and one bulb, "Enjoy!" Glancing over at the silvery dire wolf, she adds, "You want anything, Hati?"

    Hati is sitting near Dakini, apparently listening to the conversation. When she talks to him, he shakes his head clearly.

    The edited paragraphs could look like this:

      Crew Room -- Lucifer's Shadow
      This comfortable, elliptical room is softly lit. The graceful, stylized Deco trim is a lustrous jet against soft slate gray. All the furniture and decorations are carefully and neatly fastened down against free fall.

    Dakini ruffles Hati's ears absently as she rummages for a drink for Keesha, "What would you like, Keesha? I know you love those little roasted cricket thingies, right?"

      Dakini's hair is a bright red-gold mane that occasionally hides her small pointed ears. She's a tall, slender, strong woman. She wears a soft, comfortably loose, ivory silk shirt with the sleeves rolled up, belted off snugly with a wide, well-worn leather belt. On her right hip rides a holstered flechette pistol.

    Keesha sighs. "If you've got any. I'm just about out." She looks around the elegant stateroom. "I'm going to miss my home dimension."

      Keesha is a bat. She is relatively short, hanging a little under 5 feet tall on clawed feet, including her oversized and elaborately ridged ears. Her grin shows a mouthful of extremely sharp teeth in a pointed muzzle, and a twinkle dances in her large-pupiled eyes. Her head fur is cut short to stay out of her way in flight.

    Dakini glances over her shoulder with a rueful smile, "Well, in a sense wasn't everyone in the Frontier Quadrant a refugee of sorts?" She comes back with two squeeze bulbs of liquid, and a sealed can of Eagle Brand Honey Roasted Crickets. She gives Keesha the can and one bulb, "Enjoy!" Glancing over at the silvery dire wolf, she adds, "You want anything, Hati?" Hati is sitting near Dakini, apparently listening to the conversation. When she talks to him, he shakes his head clearly.

      Hati is a huge dire wolf. From black nose to silvered tail-tip he is easily 8 ft long. His thick, silvery coat is glossy with health, and his green eyes are bright with intelligence. Half-hidden by his shaggy ruff, a wide leather collar can be seen, inscribed with colorful protective runes, which spell out "Dakini's Hati."

  • Catch any homonyms

    Two words are homonyms if they are pronounced or spelled the same way, but have different meanings. This sort of error (a homonym) usually occurs if you spell check too fast, although they can creep in accidentally when one is typing rapidly as well.

    The original, unedited lines might look like this: According to Katya, it was no more then an our's ride to the Frozen Axe Clan's cave, but night was soon to be upon them.
    The edited paragraph could look like this:

    According to Katya, it was no more than an hour's ride to the Frozen Axe Clan's cave, but night was soon to be upon them.


  • Change multiply used words

    When writing a long phrase, players sometimes forget precisely what words they used at the beginning of their paragraph. Also, occasionally more than one player will use the same word consecutively. In such cases I try to substitute a word with a similar meaning.

    In the example, note I couldn't replace the first use of the word 'softly' with 'quietly' since in the next line someone else has already used it:

    The original, unedited lines might look like this.

    Sakura walks softly into the room and settles herself down on the floor, tucking her legs under her in a very proper Japanese style, then places her hands softly on her knees.

    Douglas walks in quietly, looking around as he crosses his legs and settles to the floor.

    The lightly edited paragraph could look like this:

    Sakura walks silently into the room and settles herself down on the floor, tucking her legs under her in a very proper Japanese style, then places her hands softly on her knees.

    Douglas walks in quietly as well, looking around as he crosses his legs and sits on the floor.


  • Run together multiple lines for one person, or between spoken lines

    Frequently people will think of something they'd like to add on, after they've just said or done something. In such cases you can end up with line after line by the same person, all starting with the character's name. For smoothness of reading I usually run those neatly together, splitting them only when the block of text becomes a bit too large to read easily.

    The original, unedited lines might look like this:

    Brisa takes a sip of her drink, stretching out and sighing softly, "Well... have done all I can now. Now is up to Herself."

    Brisa has another drink, then nibbles a piece of bread, thinking.

    Brisa's gaze travels slowly and curiously around the room, noticing things... until it finally comes to rest on Romana. She tilts her head... then swallows her mouthful of food, still regarding Romana.

    Brisa finally smiles and murmurs softly, just to her table companions, "So, Romishka, why are the Hellswords in the Forest of Roth?"

    The edited paragraph could look like this:

    Brisa takes a sip of her drink, stretching out and sighing softly, "Well... have done all I can now. Now is up to Herself." She has another drink, then nibbles a piece of bread, thinking, her gaze traveling slowly and curiously around the room, noticing things... until it finally comes to rest on Romana.

    Brisa tilts her head... then swallows her mouthful of food, still regarding Romana... then finally smiles and murmurs softly, just to her table companions, "So, Romishka, why are the Hellswords in the Forest of Roth?"

    While editing you may also notice situations where you'll have a spoken phrase by someone, followed by a pose performed by someone else. In such cases, and as long as it's not two different people speaking, I tend to put the lines together, so reading the log flows a bit more smoothly. Lines spoken by different people, however, automatically start a new paragraph.

    This particular writing habit is what I was taught in my English grammar classes. However, it's been pointed out to me that some readers are confused when more than one person acts or speaks within a single paragraph. Therefore, as editor you should once again remember -- you should be doing what works for your group. That being said, here's an example:

    The original, unedited lines might look like this:

    Alex gives Horatio another glum look, "Yeah, but you won't be stuck in a dress."

    Carroll shakes his head amusedly at his sister.

    Horatio smiles a little, lifting up a glass of juice (he's still not entirely sure what it is). "You never know, Alex. There are some places where both genders wear the same thing."

    Alex hmfs at her brothers... then goes back to eating.

    The edited paragraph could look like this:

    Alex gives Horatio another glum look, "Yeah, but you won't be stuck in a dress." Carroll shakes his head amusedly at his sister.

    Horatio smiles a little, lifting up a glass of juice (he's still not entirely sure what it is). "You never know, Alex. There are some places where both genders wear the same thing." Alex hmfs at her brothers... then goes back to eating.


  • Check the "editing conventions" are correct

    There are a few editing conventions people often follow on RealityFault, within the logs. While you should use what works best for you and your group, the few we have are listed here for ease of application. Given time, the list may change... this is merely what we have right now.

    Thought is italicized Dirk looked around worriedly, thinking, Where's the darned safe?!
    Foreign languages, which are included in English in the logs, are encased in double angle brackets Kamui shouted to Fiona in Japanese, so the attacking security forces wouldn't understand, "<<Shoot the right hand one -- I'll take the left!>>"
    Ship names are italicized, unless someone is speaking of them The rest of the team headed for the Performance, their ship for this mission, where Chet awaited them.
    Written or typed text within the game is put into <code> text formatting. Hazmat typed the code into the computer -- Alpha Beta Genesis -- then waited for it to respond.
    Mentalism or radio contact is put into quotation marks and set off with the pound sign Njozi'joshi snarled into the crackling headset, "#Get out now, Kamui!#"


You now have an edited log -- follow the directions on your realm's log page in order to put up your new, edited log, then take a look at the actual log page itself. Doing this will let you double-check to be sure you've not left any open HTML tags.

The final step is sending email notification to all your fellow players on the game's emailing list. That's all there is to it! Editing logs is actually rather simple and relaxing, once you get into the swing of it. Hope this helps, and that you have fun in your game. Enjoy! ;-)




Last modified: 2002-Apr-12 11:02:47

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