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About this blog

I opine about editing VN translations.

Entries in this blog

Quick Review: Kokoro Connect LN

I haven't posted anything particularly editorial in a while, nor have I landed a new FuwaReview in a while; I've been busy with one thing or another, and also I just haven't had that much to write about. However, today I finished reading new shiny new Kokoro Connect: Hito Random release, and when I finished, I knew I had to write something up about it. I first watched Kokoro Connect way back when I didn't know who to ask for recommendations and was still finding my way around anime. I

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

Phantom Trigger vol. 5 is out!

All right, I know advertisements aren't what you normally find in The Freditorial, but what publication doesn't have an ad spot every now and then? But I want you to know, the reason I'm posting this isn't to shill the game, but simply because, well, because I really liked this game and liked working on it, and I'm proud of the work we did on it! I think Phantom Trigger did itself a disservice by attaching "Grisaia" to its name. While I have a lot of respect for the original Grisaia trilogy

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

I Hate Big Backs and I Can Not Lie

The VN reading community likes to argue over the relative merits of so-called "literal" and "liberal" translation, with most people tending to perceive everyone else as being a hardline supporter of one or the other. While I'm sure everybody who knows my views would classify me as a proponent of liberal translation, I tend to think I'm more a proponent of being accurate to the intent of the original text. This blog post is going to outline a couple of specific uses of language which I believe sh

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

Parallelize And Conquer

Parallel structure is a really simple concept that you probably already know in the back of your mind, but that you probably could use a little formalism to better understand. The idea is simple: when you're building a sentence with a list of multiple entries (which may potentially be pretty much any part of the sentence), try to keep the syntactic structure of each entry the same. If you don't do this, in the best case, your sentence will be a little harder to follow, and in the worst case, it

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

Getting the Madness Out Of Your Method

I recently came to the sobering realization that I've been editing translations of visual novels for about a year now. I've edited some 40,000 translated lines across large chunks of four works, and in the process I've learned a whole lot. Mostly what I've learned is about the mechanics of how to write well, and correspondingly that's mostly what I've written about on this blog, but today I'm tackling a slightly different subject: how to arrange the time you spend editing. This advice is pr

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

A Short And Sweet Style Guide For VN Editing

While the principal job of a good VN editor is line editing (making sure that a line reads well and that a script flows), copy editing is vital as well, and copy editing should follow a style which is consistent both internally and with other comparable texts. That said, most VN editors (myself included) are way too lazy to sit and read the MLA, Chicago, or AP style guide cover to cover and actually internalize it, let alone to extrapolate from them what, if any, changes need to be considered fo

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

One Weird Trick for Writing in Past Tense

I'm just going to jump right in and give you the answer: imagine you're telling someone a story about something that happened to you a month ago. It's that easy. Ingrain that mindset into your brain, and you, too, can write in past tense without sounding like a madman. Before I launch into an example, I do want to point out that there's nothing inherently wrong or right with writing in either the present tense or the past tense. Some things come off better in one or the other, and both are

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

Readability And Eliminating Unintentional Ambiguity: That's Where It Starts

Ambiguity is a fascinating element of language, one an editor both struggles with and celebrates regularly. On the celebration side of things, ambiguity is an essential tool in the setup of a lot of short jokes, for one. As an example, an ambiguous statement leads to a misunderstanding, and in a VN said misunderstanding usually leads to an accidental love confession, resulting in the unfortunate victim stammering outrageously while blushing like a sunset. How cute. Ambiguity can also be a powerf

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

Read more poetry

It's National Poetry Day. Read some. Or listen to me read some, that's cool, too. Apologies for the minor screwup at 0:40; I did it in one take and didn't have the energy to do it over.  

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

Some thoughts on Highway Blossoms's writing

I want to preface this by saying that I enjoyed Highway Blossoms. But if I want to see better stuff out there in English language Visual Novels, whether OELVN or in translation, people are going to have to start criticizing the problems they have, and I didn't see criticism of the problems I found in Highway Blossoms. So, so that the creators (be they OELVN writers or translators) can learn and benefit from criticism and hopefully come back with something stronger next time around, and so that p

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

What Is Editing? (baby don't hurt me)

My blog posts so far have mostly been about how to edit. That holds true for most every other VN editing blog I've ever seen as well. But I'm a really big believer in approaching any significant task from a "Why, What, How" perspective. So now, let's try to answer those first two questions. Even "What Is Editing" would be starting in too far (it made for a better title, so sue me). Let's start with this: why do translation projects, or even original fiction projects like novels, have editor

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

Adventures In Textual Analysis

Sometimes, something lands on your plate that makes no sense. If you're lucky, it may be a single line that makes no sense as it is written, but you can figure it out and fix it from context. If you're unlucky, it might be a whole passage that doesn't fit together quite right, or something that just doesn't hang together to present a consistent plot. As the editor, it's your responsibility to turn that line or passage into something that makes sense. Sometimes you can manage it yourself with eno

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

Writing more powerful sentences

Last time I talked about trade-offs in editing and high-level motifs; macro-scale stuff. This time, I want to talk about a micro-scale topic: how to make an individual line better. As before, I'll be demonstrating this with examples drawn from recent editing experience. Before writing this post, I went around looking for other people talking about similar things, and I found this reference: http://kristensguide.com/Writing/powerful_sentences.asp. Frankly, it's great; probably better than what I

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

Everything's Coming Up Roses

Since the translated prologue script for Majo Koi Nikki is more or less finalized, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. So here I am, kicking off the editing blog I've been meaning to work on for a while, and also trying to build some hype for our TL project, where we are planning to release a patch for the official free trial version of the game soon, as a signal of how things are going towards our final patch for the full game. Like many things in life, translating occasionally mea

Fred the Barber

Fred the Barber

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