No matter how good the writer, you never stop at a first draft. There are typos to fix, sentences to reword, and grammar to correct. And that’s just the technical side of things. There will inevitably be places where the pacing is uneven, where some plot points aren’t explained as clearly as they should be, and where the character development isn’t quite right. So you go back over everything, making changes and improvements, until you’ve got a second draft. But you’re still not done. There’s no set number of drafts you need to go through before you you’ve got a final script (or manuscript, depending what you’re writing). A lot of writers seem to end up with three to five, but it really depends on the writer and the particular project.
Thing is, you can only edit your own writing to a certain point. As a writer, or a game designer, for that matter, it’s easy to overlook flaws in your own work. Sometimes, you’re just so familiar with it that your mind skips over typos and such. Or something that seems obvious to you, who knows everything about the story, isn’t nearly so obvious to anyone else. Even the best writers and designers need a second set of eyes. And that’s where a good editor comes in. Of course, not just anyone can fill that role. Editors need a certain set of skills a good sense of writing and storytelling to provide truly useful feedback.
Of course, Aurora’s Nightmare is the same. Elizabeth Siebold served as editor for the demo script and really helped me add a layer of polish to the final version. She’s serving a similar role on some of my other projects as well, though it isn’t time to talk about them yet.