I hadn't intended on adding another post this quickly, not after the one I posted yesterday, but in a private discussion, one of the other freelancers brought up a couple of points that I had completely missed. Below is his the majority of his post:
Craig, if you want more writers, perhaps writing more about why people should want to write, instead of all the reasons they shouldn't write?When I read this, I realized he was right. I'd been focused on hard hard it is to get out Battlecorps stories, I never considered extolling the benefits of writing for Battlecorps. That shows you when my head has been, doesn't it?
Fact checking isn't just a reason for stories to be rejected, but support for when writers need information. Having a professional editor review your writing is a positive.
You never mention compensation. How many stories have you submitted, how long did you spend on them, what's that come out to for compensation? How does that compare to industry standards? How much work is available? Is there additional non-Battlecorps work available (sourcebooks, etc).
How many Battlecorps writers have gone on to publishing non-BattleTech writing? How helpful has writing for Battlecorps been to those writers?
All right, what does writing for Battlecorps do for you? In no particular order:
First, your stories are part of the Battletech Universe, small parts of the fabric that makes up the the most detailed fictional universe ever created. I'm not exaggerating when I say that. Every sourcebook, every story, every novel fits into a coherent, united vision of a universe. Start Trek cannot say that, neither can Star Wars (Disney is beginning to change that with Star Wars, though.) The characters the writers create are part of the Battletech Universe, as are the events depicted in the story.
Second is the chance to actually become part of the Freelancer's pool. If you can prove that you can write quality Battletech stories again and again, you will be given a chance to pitch for sourcebook writing. I have been a co-author on several sourcebooks, such as Field Manual: SLDF, Total Chaos, Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expositions, TRO: Protypes, TRO 3145, and the forthcoming TRO 3150. I also wrote most of Field Manual 2765; DCMS. In addition to Battletech sourcebooks, I was one of the writers on the Valiant Universe Roleplaying Game, and the next Valiant RPG product, Transcendence's Edge.
Third, it can be an intermediate step from amateur to professional writer. Writing for Battlecorps forces you to hone skills that professional writers need. Skills a such as editing, communications, following instructions or suggestions, and how to act like a professional. It can be a stepping stone to a writing career --- take a look at Battletech writers who have gone on to have their own successful writing careers. Writing for Battlecorps is gaining good experience that will stay with you for a long time.
And fourth, the money. It's not enough to live on --- you still need a day job to handle the bills. But getting a check for three or four hundred dollars is an incredible feeling, and it's a way to have a second job without working 16 hour shifts. The rate can vary ($.03- $.05 a word, rounded to the nearest hundred), but it's a good (If small) chunk of change that doesn't hurt.
So, those are the reason to write for Battlecorps. I hope you will consider doing so.