Writing: Generalizations and Absolutes

I have something to say about writing and game design re generalizations, hedging, and superlatives. (1) All three see common usage, but they’re hard to do well. I know. I’ve made all these mistakes at some point. I’m thankful I had mentors and colleagues to free me from these illusions. Among them is the great Kim Mohan, who probably attempted to teach me more than I could absorb.

As an editor and technical editor (also called developer in some places), I’ve seen misuse or overuse of generalizations, hedging, and superlatives a lot. Maybe rather than mis- or over-, the usage is more unintentional. I’ve also seen them in preproof passes, added during other phases of editing. Allow me to pay the help I had forward if you like.

This post doesn’t contain rules. Such prescription is folly. Everything is food for thought. If you take away one thing, I hope it’s conscientious usage. Writing is about choices—intention and refined intention. You’ll have your voice, and it’ll be different from any other. The context of your work matters, too—fiction is different from game descriptions or mechanics.Read More »

A D&D Life

My first magic tome

What does D&D mean to me? My friend Shawn Merwin asked me to write about this question, and record the response for his podcast. I don’t have recording gear (or skills), so I wrote this piece. He recorded it for his podcast.

The question itself brings up all sorts of feelings and memories. It’s an important question, because some might think after being laid off (twice) while working on D&D, I might have negative feelings about it. I don’t. From the heady days of first gaming in 1981 to today, working on three or four different game projects at once, D&D has been and is still good to me.Read More »