Game Development Reference
Figure 16.1. Zening . Michael King, Kongregate.com.
name, chasing me and I can't get away. Until a couple nights ago when
I met Ben. He told me not to run anymore.
It seems pretty tight. The ideas come across, and it's important expositional dialogue.
But remember, this is all about speed. Like Olympic runners, tenths of a second
count. How can we shave some length off this?
Katrina: Now that I'm in remission, my editor's going to embed me in
another unit once the doctors give the green light. But the dreams are
getting worse. [pause—fearful] Horrible creatures screaming my name,
chasing me. [calmer] But a couple nights ago I met Ben. He told me
not to run anymore.
There. This was my revision. Mainly, I distilled what was important. The character
had cancer, was now getting better, was a war journalist eager to get back into the
action, but was having strange nightmares. A lot to fit in a short amount of time.
A good exercise—I would even say a fundamental one—is to boil things down to a
common denominator and look at the lines like an equation. All the cancer informa-
tion you needed from the original paragraph is easily summed up by “Now that I'm
in remission...” The fact that she'sawar journalisteager toget backto theaction
boilsdownto“...myeditor's goingtoembedme inanotherunit...” Subtletyand
connotation are great friends when trying to shorten things. She's in remission, so
she had a disease, probably cancer, for which that word is most often used. She has
an editor and is going to be embedded in another unit, which most will instantly
recognize as signs that she's a war reporter.
Think about every single word you use; they cost you and your player precious
seconds and should be as streamlined as possible—without losing the meaning you're
trying to convey.