Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Battlecorps Story Workshop

(I was going to post this yesterday, but in light of what happened in Boston, I thought it best to delay this post by one day.)

I have mentioned that I am a member of a Battlecorps Story workshop. It's a group of Authors, most who have stories published on Battlecorps who have banded together to help each other polish their stories to submit to Jason Schmitzer, BattleCorps' Editor.

This is actually the second incantation of the workshop. Prometheus Fire was the man behind the first workshop, a web forum with his own private section where authors could post their stories for discussion. After the website went down, a few of us reformed the workshop, and a number of the stories Battlecorps has published over the last year have come through the workshop.

Does it work? Yes! Most of the stories I've had published on Battlecorps have been sent through the workshop, most more than once. Several of the more recent new authors that have appeared on BattleCorps have come through the workshop.

The workshop works like this: One of us posts a story to the group as a PDF, where members can download the file, read it and make comments on it. These comments cover story content, style, canon mistakes, and grammar. The commented file is then sent back to the workshop and the author takes the comments and uses them as a basis for rewriting the story. Most story go through this process two, three or four times, and the result is a much better story then it otherwise will be. It takes a couple of weeks for stories to get C&Ced, as the members of the workshop have jobs, lives and families that come first, but we try to get the C&C done in an reasonable amount of time.

Recently, the Workshop has been discussing a couple of things that might be of interest to those who want to write Battlecorps stories. The first discussion involves opening up the membership to aspiring Battlecorps authors. We've been discussing things like requirements to join and the like. Nothing's firm yet, but one of the ideas being discussed is that any applicant should have a story ready to be submitted to the workshop. I will keep everyone informed when we have a more solid requirement list.

The second is writing a Primer for the aspiring Battlecorps author. It is in its early stages, but we are looking to have a document that any Battletech fan who want to write a story for Battlecorps can use. The primer will give them an understanding what a Battlecorps story submission should look like, and what pitfalls to avoid that will get the story rejected out of hand (And there are a lot of pitfalls to fall into -- see my Dos and Don't for writing Battlecorps stories on this blog)  In addition, we hope to make the primer a one-stop source for all the style guides (which are a bit scattered right now) and content guides. As with expanding the workshop membership, I will keep everyone informed on our progress.

Wow, three blog posts in three weeks! I'm impressed!


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