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10-23-2010 @ 7:31PM
I think the most interesting part was the difference in how Knaack and Golden talk about the characters they write. Golden does not claim any creation on her part, even though she is creating a lot of their thoughts and how they work, and depth. Instead she talks about them taking on a life of their own and dictating to her how they are.Knaack is the opposite, talking about how he created and how he was surprised how much he got out of the characters, never talking about the life the character had on it's own.As a writer myself, and someone who talks a lot with other writers and read a ton of interviews and biographies of other writers, it is Golden who has the most similar way of talking about it to all the fiction writers I have seen. Take for that what you will. /shrug
10-23-2010 @ 10:07PM
One issue I see with this argument, is that Golden is taking characters we all know intimately and putting her own spin on it. Her own interview said that others may see Jaina/Thrall differently, but she didn't. Problem: Hers gets to be the official version. And yes, she does admit to loving and liking WoW just like us.. but that's ALSO a conflict of interest. She'll do what they tell her to, but she'll also present a character a certain way and it'll be the way she perceived it by her own individual biases formed from playing the game intimately. Knaak tends to write characters that don't have as much built up about them. (This is not to say he does not ever write known characters, because he has, and this is not to say he always does this well, because he doesn't.) But the dragon aspects being the way they are is mostly Knaak. Kalecgos and even Lothremar were mostly Knaak. He's given us the basis of some great characters. Golden, on the other hand, is more reflective about the characters that already exist. This can be fun, but...most people agree that Arthas was a -little- too obsessive about Invincible throughout the entire novel. It was a symbolic theme, but instead of being subtle it was dropped in our laps every chance. And her whole "No, Thrall has always seen Jaina as a friend, that's it" was irksome. That may have been how she views it, and indeed, she got to write the book. But there has been definite indication that there's more to it than that. But just like how players can sit here and argue back and forth over the issues...a writer has just as concrete a viewpoint when they're being paid to write about characters that ALREADY EXIST. And this isn't directed at you at all, but might as well say it here. Everyone making a huge fuss about how Golden made the New York Time's bestseller and that makes her the better writer... yes. That's impressive. But the book was entitled "Arthas"... there was no ambiguity that we would finally get to see what the heck went wrong from Arthas's point of view. Arthas who has been a popular figure since WCIII. Unless it was the most horrid piece of crap ever written and got tons of early reviews saying so, it was going to sell well since the very beginning. It wasn't horrid, it was fairly well done. But it did have cringe-worthy moments, yet it's a solid, if not genius, book. If it hadn't been titled Arthas and was just about a random character, and not one held in the heart of millions of fans in a furor over WOTLK? It wouldn't have sold so well. It just wouldn't have. If they had chosen a nobody to write it, it still would have sold amazingly well. Knaak has alot of hatred in the fanbase, some deserved and alot not deserved but never say WoW players don't know how to be passionate. His name might have lowered sales a bit. But the book was... like Arthas.. destined for greatness. Now, I guess we wait to see if it created a monster or not eventually. ;)
10-23-2010 @ 10:28PM
...I think you replied to the wrong thing. /points down a couple paces to the discussion started by MusedMoose/points to her comment that you replied underI was talking about the major way writers see characters. Not how the books are developed, or written, or how well she gets things across. Just how the writer's view characters. Knaack does not listen to his characters, otherwise (like every other author I have ever spoken to or read a biography/helpbook/interview of) he would have said something about how the characters take on a life of their own and speak to him. That is the way it works in fiction. Weird, slightly crazy, but that is the way it works. The fact that he lacked that in his interview while Golden did not is something that shows how differently they view characters. Which in turn, affects their writing....I really do not know where you got all the other stuff, unless you meant to reply to something else.However, I will say this. I do think Golden does not spend nearly as much time as she should working on her novels. Sadly, this is the way it is with companies like Blizzard. It's an arms race. That lack of time shows in it's editing; of which includes how much a character will think of something. Without proper editing, it becomes obsession to the reader which the author never intended.Of course, I am one of those people who think unless it is your one gift story (which comes out near perfect, but you only get it once) you should spend at least 6 months to a year on a piece, depending on length. Maybe more. /shrugs
10-23-2010 @ 11:04PM
Well, partially, yes and no. It was in response to you in where you discuss the characters taking on a life of their own to Golden. My issue with this -is- that these characters are characters that already exist, and taking on their own life and saying how they are... is sometimes very, very different than how other fans and players perceive those same characters. I don't agree with how Golden views Thrall. Maybe Thrall was drunk when he was speaking to her or in an emo state where he was declaring how he wasn't sure he could keep the horde in line and he needed a girlfriend... but I didn't see it as "Thrall". This is my own viewpoint. My sister does arbitration for screenplays, as well as directing and writing her own short films. She's done ones of some rather major movies, that were taking characters that already existed and how the writers were portraying them in the movie. One movie involved quite alot of ancient Greek characters and she was actually calling me and asking me questions involving the myths because I'm an history/literature major. I groaned at some of the changes I heard. And had to tell her what the original myths said and what the writer she was working for had differently, as this is part of an arbitration case involving screenwriting credit.I also write myself. I've written my own stories, and I've written fanfiction. The difference between the two is that with the first, I am writing characters that are in my head. Yes, they DO talk to me. They do tell me who they are and what they would do. The latter, the characters already exist. I feel like I would be betraying the original creators if I did not studiously examine them and try to be fair with their portrayal. Of course my own bias comes in, no writer can write without bias. It's impossible. But Golden tends to be working off characters that do already exist. And agreement with her portrayal or not does not change that is her portrayal. Originally, the characters were made by a bunch of writers for a game. But even these writers are inclined to change things... take Kael'thas going psycho. They say they now have a novella explaining it, but that seems to have been written AFTER when most of the players were totally "Wait, what?" about it. If anyone wrote about Kael'thas previous to that, they would have probably written about a noble prince who may have made some bad choices but is trying to ultimately protect his people. After BC? Not so much. So I'm not sure how much the game writers are listening to their characters either as much as going "So, it'd be cool if..." Sometimes, they're right, and it is cool. Other times, it makes the player base face palm. It just varies. I did say that not all of my reply was in directly to you. :)
10-24-2010 @ 1:05AM
Bah! The ship has sailed. Your complaint about Golden's Thrall seems to boil down to "she blasphemed against my OTP!" Never mind that the folks who created Thrall signed off on it, and it's pretty likely that that plot point didn't come from Golden. Ultimately, if you're contesting the facts as laid out in the novel, you're telling the creators of the characters that they're doing it wrong, and they don't understand their own characters. I don't particularly care for Knaak's writing or his characters, but I'm not about to tell you that it isn't canon, either, which is where your argument essentially goes. The arbitration between creators and authors was done, and the creators said: "This work is what happened."
10-24-2010 @ 7:28AM
@BoobahI also mentioned I didn't particularly care how she wrote Arthas in some points, she seems to have trouble balancing Jaina (I think this is common, though, Jaina seems a hard character to balance), and at times her Thrall seems to be accurate, such as his growling at Garrosh over the feast, but other times leaves me baffled. Also, the way Garrosh is written doesn't seem to fit with the Garrosh we've seen in game. Namely, I think, because of Cairn claiming he is a 'brilliant tactician' but a hothead, when we know Garrosh basically would have gotten the player killed in the Tundra if Saurfang hadn't been watching out for us. Saurfang ALSO directs you to stay silent over this and lets Garrosh think the plan went perfectly. A mistake on Saurfang's part? Perhaps. But it was done. Garrosh has not really had a 'humbling' moment in WoW to justify him suddenly being hesitant. He challenged Thrall at the beginning of WOTLK, during WOTLK he arrogantly talked about how great he was most of the time, and now he's perceived as a war hero. Why would he hesitate? I think it was just very necessary to make him more 'likeable' and it went against his characterization thus far. Varian, on the other hand, gets trounced by Jaina freezing an entire army in Battle for Undercity and reveals his own humbling to Saurfang Sr. in retrieving Saurfang Jr. But Varian doesn't get *much* sympathetic treatment in the book, in fact, Jaina muses that it's Lo'gash who takes over most of the time. I do think it was nice to see the struggle Varian has in being a father-figure to Anduin, and for quite understandable reasons. Arthas, Garrosh, Varian, and Cairn have never been a part of any of my favored pairings that I'm aware of and now I feel a little disturbed even listing their names and 'pairings' in the same sentence. Anduin is written very well by Golden and is very likeable. He makes you quite hopeful about Stormwind's future rulers. Baine also is done well, giving Taurens a respectable ruler after they lost one. In this, I will say that on characters that don't have THAT strong of a characterization from past actions, Golden does a magnificent job of letting them speak to her and writing them. Is her writing cannon? Yes. I am not going to sit here and go "It DIDN'T HAPPEN. THRALL IS STILL IN OGRIMMAR. EVEN IF IT LOOKS WEIRD AND GARROSH HAS A NEW TITLE. LALALALA." But I did say it was my own viewpoint that some characters were portrayed wonky. Is my viewpoint *right*? Clearly, I don't write the lore, but it doesn't make it a *wrong viewpoint* either. Thrall as a character has existed for many years and has had many people help make decisions about what path he will take. He had definite creators, but facets have been added to him to flesh him out. It is what happens in the lore, but much like Kael'thas left people more than a bit baffled, it does not mean it was always a -well written- choice. For example, I love Jack Sparrow but I also think the writers screwed him up in the second and third movie by trying to write the Jack Sparrow Johnny Depp portrayed as opposed to writing him straight again and letting Depp screw with him. I'll still be going to see the fourth movie, and when Golden writes another book, if it's on a subject I'm curious about, I'll buy it. Because her writing IS the valid lore. Fans are always entitled to be disgruntled on portrayals and choices writers make. If we did not become excited, or disappointed, by such things, we are not fans. We're apathetic observers. So you can basically insult me and brush away everything I have to say. As I said, WoW (particularly trade chat) has proven that people will get passionate and argue about anything. Personally, when I debate an issue I do so rather passionately. Sometimes, my words may come across as too strongly, but I do make a very specific attempt not to be insulting. I never said "Golden is a horrible writer and should not be allowed near the Wow Universe". Firstly, because I think this would be untrue. Secondly, because saying so would be ridiculously vehement. Thirdly, because she is not a horrible writer and I do feel she has strengths (which I mentioned in previous posts) of having her characters be more reflective and in this post I listed characters I thought she did very well with. And you know, I may argue that her love of the material gives her a bias that is clearly shown, and I think it does, but at the same time, I do think her writing displays a bit of that passion. I also never stated "And anyone who likes Golden's writing is an idiot" because that would be stupid of me to say. Though I have seen much worse comments about those who like Knaak's writing, who I am not even a particular fan of either, but do agree that the general hatred of him seems to be a popular thing to do at the moment and people go into his books expecting bad writing because they were told it would be. It makes it impossible for them to enjoy it. That all said, I think Roseclown and I may not agree on Golden, but I did not see where the discussion between us dissolved into name calling or personal attacks. If anything I said made Roseclown feel that way, I do apologize. It would be a case of my fervent opinion getting the best of me, but having strong opinions does not excuse degrading another person. So, I apologize and do mean it if someone felt under attack by my words.
10-24-2010 @ 12:59PM
@BoobahDude, chill. @AnteiaNah, you're doing nothing wrong, just..../holds up hand/swallows down benedril, pain meds, and antibioticsOk, so I have a head cold and sinus infection, and so I am mostly skimming your wall of texts. No offense meant, but when I am blearily blinking at the screen to have more than 2 paragraphs is... eurgh. Also do not expect thoughts to be in order.The biggest complaint I am hearing from you is that you and Golden hear the characters differently. This is how it should be. If I did Thrall, it would be different. If you did Thrall, it would be different from how both me and Golden did it. This is because we all bring in our own experiences to the characters we listen to, and either spawn fully or spawn partially.Thrall was not created by Golden, no. But there are still many takes on him and many takes on the way to write it. Blizzard created a frame, whoever writes in fills him in. Golden is writing him, not us. And Blizzard has chosen her for a reason. Not to mention; Metzen and others have debunked the Jaina and him thing beforehand. More than likely she listened to the ones who originally created Thrall in this matter, so that is why we have no Jaina/Thrall.To be honest, as I have dabbled in writing some fanfiction concerning Thrall, I cannot find him fitting with Jaina. Too many obstacles which would cause a romantic relationship to fall apart. Would detract from the plot. I still shipped Jaina/Thrall, but I knew it would never happen as it didn't fit either character's ideas about duty. Even if there was a spark there, I could not see in catching flame. But this is all my perspective and how I hear Thrall. This is influenced by my own ideas about relationships and love.I think we agree on the whole perceiving characters differently part.I do think that Blizzard sometimes concentrates on what would be 'cool' too much, and not on character development. (See, Thrall appointing Gallywix trade prince after the whole slave fiasco. OOC much?). I think this is to be expected from MMO's where gameplay takes precedence instead of story and character. I suppose I just brush this stuff off a lot because I am not looking for a overarching story by one author, I am looking at something with many hands in the pot, many of which are not writers and are more concerned with other things. So I judge a lot of plot points based on this. Quite a few I know are not from Golden, so I brush it off and don't count it as her writing. Because really she had no other options. /shrugThen again, I think that my approach is that I am really kinda chill about lore changes. Some of my friends rage, but I tend to just roll my eyes and go 'whelp, too many cooks in the kitchen again'. However, if we were talking about something with one author (say, J.K. Rowling) who then made a major plot hole or did something wonky with the characters, well, I would rage. I hold them to different standards.My main point in the first one was just talking about the two authors and their differences, not really going on beyond that at all, which is why I am still a little confused about your point (could also be the meds + walls of text. /blows nose). But I think we have many areas of agreement, just divert on a couple key points in how we view lore and how much one should expect from the world of warcraft. /shrug
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