Image by Dan Counsell

LANGUAGE MATTERS

Creative Writing, Technical Writing, Dialog and Scripts, Copy Editing, Instructional Design

What we say matters. If we're not conveying all the needed information, people are going to be lost as to our intention.


How we say it matters. What's the tone? Is there latent emotion buried underneath that's coming through? Are we being verbose when we should be succinct? Are we using jargon that the audience won't understand? Are we being formal when we should be lighthearted?


When we say it matters. If we deliver information too soon, we can spoil a surprise. If we're too late, we can provoke the reader.


Where we say it matters. When should something be spelled out in a tutorial versus included in an options menu or an instruction book? 


Why we say it matters. Do we need to be descriptive and we're holding back? Why? Is that for the audience's benefit? Information delivery should serve a purpose, and that purpose can vary greatly from sentence to sentence.

As a writer (journalism, game, book), editor for over a decade, and instructional designer, I can help answer these questions in a way that will serve your audience best.

 

FOCUSED FICTION

Literature and Creative Writing

For this book series, I was asked to create a fictional game design studio—along with all of its team members, their backstories, the game they are making, and their development struggles—and teach the marketing tips carefully curated over the years by SonicWorkflow.

Each marketing tip is played out in a short (250-word) vignette—thus, highly distinct learning moments wrapped up in an entertaining package. There are story arcs at play, office banter, and characters that readers hopefully come to identify with as the story of their game is told.

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LIVING CHARACTERS

Interactive Game Dialog

"It's Alive...Or Is It?" is a meaty point-and-click adventure game that I designed and built in Unity for 6th graders to use in an online science class. With a dozen characters across four locations (which players can travel to at will), we wrote a script that was equivalent to a 90-minute film, complete with multiple branching paths and different character interactions depending on what players had accomplished at any given time.

I also designed an application used for teaching social and emotional learning to students by letting them quickly and accurately see the consequences of word choices and actions. Using a deeper branching narrative than most binary choices offered in many learning activities, they are able to course correct (or not!) and see how things evolve in real time.

 
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FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS

Instructional Design and Technical Writing

I've been doing instructional design for nearly 6 years (both andragogy and pedagogy), and working with other instructional designers much longer than that. How information is presented is important. Adults and children will comprehend things differently. Order, chunking of information, cognitive load: All of this is imperative for your words to reach your audience in the manner you intend them to.

Whether that's writing a game design document, an instruction manual, an employee training, or a rulebook, how you present information (in text or otherwise) could spell the difference between engagement and disconnection.

 

“Grant as an editor is thorough, prompt, and consistent. He is supportive and provides great suggestions of ways I can improve my writing.”

Allison Sanchez, Synergis Education

 

WORD THERAPIST

Editing (with a Smile)

I've been editing professionally for over 15 years. And in all that time, I've yet to scare a client away with an angry red pen issuing words of chastisement (just in case you have any terrible memories from your school days).

 

A good editor does not impress his style upon the writer, nor rewrite what needs not be rewritten. A good editor makes considerate suggestions because they have the interest of the writer at heart. If they are rewriting, they are doing so in the voice of the author. A good editor is more like a therapist, helping you find the best path forward with your writing so you can reach the goals you've set for yourself (as opposed to the grammar police coming to convict you for crimes against punctuation).

Whether your manuscript requires a word surgeon or your document just needs a little check up,

I'm here to help in any way I can.