Saturday, April 17, 2010

Raspberry Flavoured Popsicles

"If one of the editors makes a fact check and comes telling me they don't sell raspberry flavoured popsicles in Japan, I swear I am going to come to your houses at night and stab you."

Hello all, Silentcook here. It's again time for me to bore everybody to death, except maybe for the two persons or so which actually read my previous blogpost, by actually talking a bit about the tribulations of editing this time around.

So, those raspberry flavoured popsicles. That's an actual quote, if a dead one, from one of our writers. It serves as a decent example of the extremes you may have to reach when you're editing other people's stuff, and research rears its ugly head.

I have the (dubious) honor of being the medical advisor for KS; it was the main reason why I was allowed into the project in the first place. I imagine when you're writing about a schoolful of kids where most everyone is afflicted by some gruesome condition or other, you can get a little nervous about contemporary medicine, its advances and capabilities, and the possibility of screwing up something somewhere in the plot.

So it does make perfect sense to find a professional and ask questions about stuff you want to write; you'll get steered away from glaring mistakes at least, and a little feedback will provide verisimilitude to your work.

Now guess: what happens when you get the exalted position of head editor in a VN?

Right the first time. You get to go over everybody's writing with a fine sieve, getting paranoid about every single little detail.

Aside from doing common spelling and grammar corrections, rearrangement of sentences so that narration sounds better, occasional liaison duty between writers artists and directors, ghost writing for interstitial script, continuity checks, and other various odd jobs, you get to try being an everythingologist. Thank God for Internet search engines.

Unfortunately, not everything is documented, or at least not in a way that can be accessed easily. And some things you just don't think about, until someone wanders by and lets you know some tidbit of information.

Did you know, for example, that Americans smile for passport photos, while Europeans don't? Or that in some cities in Japan, you have to show proof that you have a free parking space before you can own a car? Would you think to look for this kind of information, without knowing it exists?

Yeah paranoia, feel free to get comfortable: we'll keep company for a while.

Oh, about those popsicles? I asked a friend who was travelling to Japan to buy one, AND BRING BACK THE WRAPPER. Our writer didn't follow through with his threat (yet), so I guess I'm in the clear for now.

Next time I'll prattle on about translation, I think. Now, those Act 3 scripts...

- Silentcook