Shataina/CutForWordCount

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I Loved Them, But They Were Cut For Word Count

White Wolf contracts are given by word count: an author is given X number of words to play with, and should go neither much above nor much below that number. In every book Dustin and I have worked on, some material has thus been cut for the sake of word count. We then end up with a certain amount of content that we liked, which was intended for a certain section, and which won't fit anywhere else quite as well as it fit there. And that feels like such a shame!

White Wolf has generously given permission for me to post some of that work online, once the book in question has been published. I won't post any material that was decreed flat-out inappropriate for the game line. Some of this stuff was nixed before a second draft was written, so it may not be super-perfect -- and of course it shouldn't be considered "official" in terms of Exalted continuity or anything like that -- but I hope you guys like it.

Co-authorship credit on everything here goes to Dustin Shampel -- we've done a lot of our Exalted work together. Well, except the index, I guess.

On each page, editorial comments are in [bold brackets].

Sections By Book

Core Rulebook Index : I didn't write any of the Exalted 2 core rulebook, but I was an intern while it was in final edits, which meant I got the dubious honour of indexing it. I kinda went all crazy and did a way detailed index, a lot of which was cut for word count. Also, my original has the best page references bolded, a format that apparently didn't make the final cut. (Off-site RTF download)

"Scroll of the Monk" Cuts : A Charm I loved was cut from Obsidian Shards of Infinity Style, and some super-advanced Secret Techniques were removed from the end of Silver-Voiced Nightingale Style. (For this book, Dustin and I wrote the drafts for the Even Blade Style, Fivefold Shadow Hand Style, Laughing Wounds Style, Silver-Voiced Nightingale Style, Obsidian Shards of Infinity Style and Quicksilver Hand of Dreams Style. Oh yeah, and also the Path of the Arbiter Style printed in "The Imperfect Lotus".)

"White & Black Treatises" Cuts : I've posted the Heptagram's staff, Mishiko's tomb, a description of the sorcerer-exorcists of Lookshy, a new legendary tome, a couple of new spells, and a bunch more meta-sorcery Charms (as well as a more extensive system for them). (I'm warning you, that last is quite extensive.) (For this book, Dustin and I wrote the drafts for sorcerous academies, Schools, tomes and some other stuff, and revised some spells.)

Comments

That is SOME index! 28 pages long! Actually, I'll be printing this up and using it as one complaint I have about WW books is their horribly inadequate indexes. They apparently cut A LOT more then I ever expected. I do have one question though: What is the secret of pants?
--DarkWolff

Yeah, looking back on it it's kind of out of hand, it's so long. I heard it quite annoyed Mr. Glass the art director, also. Their other indices do not start so long; I was just enthusiastic. Given that books are usually indexed by either interns or frantic developers, quality varies. And the secret of pants is something that amuses Mr. Chambers much too much.
~ Shataina
Yes, but it's going to be immensly useful to my players, who often have trouble finding stuff in the corebook. I'll print it double sided so it won't be so bad. I've noticed pants references before (Nuwisha book for W:tA, Lunar book mentions pants in the index, etc), but I always wondered if there was a story behind the joke. Also, with the risk of sounding like a fanboi, I enjoy your (and Dustin's) work on Exalted. Which parts of the Black and White Treatises did you two write?
--DarkWolff
The secret is in the Archmages book for Mage: The Ascension. "Gumby no. 5 has the intoxication trait because he's a member of clan elfpants." Now you know. - IanPrice, White Wolf geek.
I always thought the pants thing came from the Nuwisha in Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Because all Nuwisha were Ragabash, they had a spare space on the top of the sheet, so they added the question "Pants?" Clearly, if you can't answer the question "Pants?" you aren't a very good Nuwisha. --DarkPhoenix
We wrote part of the general sorcery chapter and did a few spell revisions (everyone did). I can't give specifics because I haven't got my author copies yet, but I hear the sorcerous Academies, School Charms, and legendary tomes we wrote drafts for are in there. I'll put up some Cut for Word Count stuff once I have the book.
~ Shataina

To continue a conversation I couldn't find a good place for, you last mentioned that the going rate is about 3 cents per word for work. Is that post-edit words? Also, roughly how many words go into how many pages? I mean, is there a rough word-count on how long a given something or other might be (such as, say, one of the Siddie MA styles from Scroll of the Monk)? -- GreenLantern

(first part of the conversation is at the bottom of this page) Contracts are given like so: you are assigned X words (say, 30000), a rate (say 3ยข), and then told that you will be paid that amount (so, $900, or $450 each if you're me and Dustin). If you go over you don't make more and you annoy the developer, and if you're significantly under you annoy the developer more. So, if you hit the word count and big swaths of your stuff are cut, you don't make less.

It's hard for me to judge word count in pages because only one book we've worked on has come out. Also, our work was heavily edited for "Scroll of the Monk" -- a word count from my drafts won't be accurate. As I recall, though, Even Blade Style, Fivefold Shadow Hand Style and Laughing Wounds Style in particular are close to what we handed in, and those drafts are 4252, 4086 and 2200 words, respectively (according to AppleWorks). Oh! I think Path of the Arbiter Style in the PDF was almost entirely unedited after our second draft, and that's around 3000 words.
~ Shataina
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