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10-19-2010 @ 12:11PM
I find this comment to be particularly apt:[i]I think the major difference is that Christie knows how the write 'fanfiction'. I only use the title to quickly describe what writing for the WoW universe must be like. As people who read fanfiction know, there are the stories that are wonderful and you really can't help but think why this person is writing for a fandom instead of their own sprawling novel.[/i]Your humble authoress has spent a good bit of her professional writing career doing what I generally term "pro fanfic" -- specifically gaming media tie-in novels, novellas, and short stories for White Wolf Game Studio. And I will attest that writing a media tie-in piece is very, very similar in terms of execution to writing a piece of fanfiction for your own and others' edification and amusement in many, many particulars. You are, for example, playing with someone else's world in both cases (even if you had a hand in creating that world in a nonfictional sense) and frequently are playing with someone else's characters (in the case of White Wolf, the Signature Characters; in the case of Warcraft, the major Lore characters). What most people who have never written an official media tie-in piece don't realize, however, is how constrained a writer sometimes is beyond those two points, particularly by the desires of the people commissioning your work. When writing a commissioned work, you are almost never writing solely at your own discretion, but to provide a work that satisfies the needs of the commissioner. (In that way it's sort of like writing for a fic exchange but with money and contractual obligations related to completion attached. But I digress.) That's where the process of writing such a work becomes very unlike writing a piece of fanfiction, because you are writing to and by someone else's specifications. I've seen a number of complaints leveled against [i]Arthas: Rise of the Lich King[/i] because it reads like a novelization of Warcraft III. Well, in all likelihood it reads that way [i]because that is exactly what Blizzard commissioned Christie Golden to write.[/i] The "facts," as they were, of Arthas' rise and fall were already entered into the canon of Warcraft Lore, and the primary goal of the novel was not to add anything new to those facts but instead to illuminate the inner life of Arthas Menethil both before and after his fall from grace and, in that, the novel achieves its goal. Does it make it him a more sympathetic character? Maybe. Maybe not. YMMV, and that was, I think, the entire point.That being said, I don't particularly care for Richard Knaak's writing in general, though there are some places where he really shines. The actual War of the Ancients part of that particular trilogy actually moved me to tears. Christie Golden is generally a fine writer though, like every writer, some of her works are stronger than others. I'm particularly looking forward to this book because I've really very much like Anduin Wrynn since i realized he was the smartest and most mature human character on display in the comic books, and I'll be happy to read more of his internal narration at last. ^_^
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