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Posts with tag fanfiction

Five recommendations from the first fanfiction challenge thread

Gnome scribe
The new fanfiction forum is in full swing and filling daily with stories from the avid fan-writers of WoW. Nethaera has been helping things along by adding new writing challenge threads about once every two weeks or so. The first of these asked the readers to imagine they were an attendee at the trial of Garrosh Hellscream and to describe what they saw. It's not a competition, but Nethaera did outline a few rules, notably, the writers could not exonerate Garrosh.

It's been fascinating to read the responses. Many feature similar themes and ideas, but there is endless variation on the theme. As I did a few weeks ago with the forum at large, I've picked five of my favorite stories from the thread and listed them below. There are many more than these that deserve attention, but time is short and I am but one person. Please feel free to comment with some of your own favorites, as well!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Arts and Crafts

Five of my favorite stories from the fanfiction forum

Gnome scribe
The new official WoW fanfiction forum has been live for a little while now, and it's starting to fill up with a variety of stories for the interested reader. There you can find tragic tales of fallen heroes, tongue-in-cheek vignettes, and even some chronicles devoted to filling in the gaps of Azerothian history. Really, even after only a few days of existence, there are more than enough stories to keep a fanfiction enthusiast busy for quite some time.

In the spirit of drawing some attention to the forum as a whole, I've spent some time reading through a number of the threads there and picked out a few of my favorites. Mind you, this isn't necessarily a comprehensive list, because I simply don't have the time to give every single posted tale the attention that it deserves. The ones I've chosen caught my fancy for any number of reasons--the originality of the concept, some aspect of the writing, or the effect of the story. They are listed below in no particular order. Do click on over to check them out, and feel free to add favorites of your own in the comments!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Arts and Crafts

Blizzard challenges you to put Garrosh on trial

Know Your Lore The fate of Garrosh Hellscream
Blizzard Community Manager Nethaera has thrown down a gauntlet to writers everywhere. As she rightly says, we probably knew it was coming when the fan-fiction forums were first set up, but already, there's impetus to share your imagination with others. As Nethaera informs us, Christy Golden's War Crimes is not yet out, so we do not know how Garrosh's fate will unfurl, but we can certainly put our imaginations to work.

You can hit the break for Neth's full post, but the rules are pretty interesting. You can't exonerate Garrosh. He has to be made to pay for what he did, at least to some extent, even if the upcoming expansion implies pretty strongly that he doesn't really serve any time meted out to him. You also can't place too much of your story outside the courtroom, save a few flashbacks and memories. And you've got to keep it to one post. Before you complain, the word limits and specific criteria are a writer's bread and butter. You can read all about our very own Sarah Pine's experience doing just that for Blizzard. So hit the break, check the rules, and let your creativity flow! Given the comment threads we see here, we're expecting WoW Insider community greatness!

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Filed under: Contests, Lore

New WoW forum: Seat of Knowledge: Fanfiction

Gnome Scribe
Yes, you read that title right, folks. A day many WoW fans and roleplayers have doubtless longed for has arrived: Blizzard has launched an official forum for posting fanfiction. I can honestly say that this is a day I never thought I'd see, yet here we are, and there are already some stories posted! Nethaera has opened the forum with two introductory posts, one with what seems to be the typical forum behavior guidelines and rules, and one specifically tailored for the new forum.

Interestingly enough, there don't yet seem to be any rules regarding story content. Now, if you're at all familiar with the world of fanfiction, you've probably at least had a few run-ins with content that's sketchy at best, and I don't necessarily mean quality of writing, if you get my drift. So I sincerely hope that the lack of stated guidelines for what constitutes an appropriate story for the fanfiction forum is just because Blizzard hasn't gotten around to typing them up yet, but I suppose that remains to be seen. Still, use discretion when choosing which of your stories to post. I think it's safe to say that graphic sex, violence, and excessive swearing will be frowned upon. Rated T for teen, after all!

Anyway, concerns aside, this new forum will certainly be a wonderful resource for WoW story enthusiasts and writers everywhere. Head on over if you like to read fan stories, and check out what's already been posted!

Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: What's your headcanon?

Night elf reading
Headcanon is a concept you may not be familiar with if you're not an RPer or fanfic writer. Simply stated, it's a fan's personal interpretation of events or characters in whatever setting they're a fan of. Sometimes a person may use their headcanon as a way of coping with a story choice they dislike, and sometimes it may just be to fill gaps in the story line. For example, in WoW fandom, you might hear someone say, "In my headcanon, Jaina and Kalec are just good friends, because I hate them as a couple!" or, "I have this headcanon that Cairne and Magatha were actually fairly close at one point, and had a falling-out, and that's one of the reasons she hated him so much and he didn't throw her out of Thunder Bluff." The first is an example of a coping (or "corrective") headcanon, the second is an example of filling in unknown gaps.

One of the most fun things I do with my WoW friends is chat about our personal headcanons of the story and characters. What kind of relationships do these people have outside of what we see directly in official lore? Were they childhood friends, were they comrades in arms, were they lovers? Do these folks resent being forced into obligations they never wanted thanks to world events, or are they hungry to wield a power they wouldn't have otherwise achieved? How much does group X actually enjoy being allies (or enemies) with group Y? The "if only" game is endlessly fun!

Do you have any WoW headcanons? Did you, by any chance, already tell us about them back in October? Have they changed? For the most part, I only discuss my own headcanons with a handful of people, because I'm way too shy to do it in public! If you're not, though, please tell us in the comments!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Lore

Travels through Azeroth and Outland returns

Travels through Azeroth and Outland returns
Travels through Azeroth and Outland was a player-penned travelogue through all of World of Warcraft's zones, written from the perspective of a canny Forsaken narrator with a good eye for the local culture (to the extent that places like Hellfire Peninsula could be said to have "local culture"). It was easily one of the best, most unsettling, and most thought-provoking pieces of fan fiction we've ever read, and it amassed a significant group of fans among players and Blizzard alike. It even has its own TV Tropes entry. Unfortunately for us, its author Zac finished all of the zones in the game through Wrath of the Lich King content and then left to focus on graduate school.

But it's back! Zac will be updating the travelogue with Cataclysm content, starting with his recent entry on Kezan. It examines the city itself and the story of the Bilgewater Cartel's entry to the Horde, but it also contains a few, shall we say, anthropological observations. ("I was relieved that no one died in the (footbomb) game I watched, a sentiment not shared by the audience.") You can hop into the travelogue at any point and get a feel for what Destron Allicant, its narrator, is all about, but I would recommend starting from the very beginning. Trust me: It will change how you experience the game, and for the better.

We've interviewed Zac previously, and if you're interested in getting some background information on how he's written the series, you'll find related articles here:

Filed under: Lore, Arts and Crafts

Movellas releases fan fiction contest winners

As you may recall, we posted about a World of Warcraft fan fiction contest being held by the online writing community Movellas a few weeks back. That contest has now ended, and Movellas has posted the winners. Winners include more than a few stories about the blood elves and high elves and a check-in with everyone's favorite adorable draenei, Dornaa.

With the status of the Blizzard Global Writing Contest up in the air, this seems to be a pretty decent way for people to get their Warcraft fan fiction fix instead. Congratulations to all the winners. You can read all the winning entries over at the Movellas website.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Travels through Azeroth and Outland comes to a close

I've been pretty vocal in the past about my intense love for Travels through Azeroth and Outland. It's a five-year, player-penned travelogue that takes readers on an expansive journey through every zone in the pre-Cataclysm game. Over the years, it's attracted a lot of attention due to the incredible quality of its writing and storytelling. Not only does it have its own TV Tropes entry, but even Blizzard's taken notice, and we've gotten the opportunity to interview its writer.

Even if you're not a roleplayer or all that interested in WoW's lore, Travels has an unsettling capacity to get you thinking about the deeper implications of the game's quests and become absorbed in the narrator's observations. It is, quite simply, one of the best pieces of fan fiction I've ever read and a hugely addictive story. If you haven't read it, please do. You will never see the game the same way again.

But, as with all good things, Travels has reached its end. While Zac, its author, plans to post some story cues related to the Cataclysm expansion on his travelogue's forums, he's wrapped up the main storyline, and our beloved narrator -- a Forsaken named Destron Allicant -- is riding off into the sunset. I was lucky enough to talk extensively with Zac about what spurred the travelogue, how he sees the various Azerothian races, and good versus evil in Blizzard's universe.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Arts and Crafts

Breakfast Topic: What is your favorite World of Warcraft fan art or media?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

With the massive number of players logging in every day to WoW, there's an equally expansive amount of art and media coming from that player base. Very few games have ever brought out such a community of creative minds showing the rest of us their vision of a fantasy world. From machinima to custom WoW dolls (I mean action figures -- right, guys?), to Horde/Alliance-themed cakes, there are a ton of different venues for artists of all varieties to express their passion for the game.

I've just recently begun to start watching WoW-based machinima and have discovered there are quite a few masterpieces out there from people who seem talented enough to write or direct feature films. After the Cataclysm launch, I'm going to start an ongoing fan fiction story about a rogue and what his life is like after Deathwing ravages Azeroth. It should be plum full of adventures and high jinks! Although I'd love to include custom artwork with that story, my drawing skill ends at stick figures, so I'll have to use to screen shots.

Out of all the different art, videos, and other "warcrafts," are there any you'd like to participate in? Or maybe you already check out great fan art, make custom troll outfits for cosplay, or bake cupcakes shaped like murlocs. What are your favorites?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

The Lawbringer: The trouble with fan fiction


Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Finally, I return home after a bit of bliss. Fun is over -- it's time to get serious by talking about fan fiction. Sort of. You see, fan fiction is one of those areas that people love to hate, hate to love and everything in between. What is it about fan fiction that gets people so upset and so defensive? Is it the personal nature of the craft, the accusatory piggy-backing on other people's characters, or just that so much of it is mind-numbingly terrible? Who knows? Today, we're going to explore a few of the concepts of fan fiction in a very no-nonsense, barely legal way, to give you aspiring authors something to consider while writing your own fan fiction or even original content.

With my post-vacation bliss now completely out of my system, thanks to reading so much terrible fan fiction in preparation, I am happy to share with all of you a story that I've been writing for the last minute and a half. Don't be cruel, now. It's pretty much going to become the greatest story ever told. Enjoy.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

World of WarCrafts: Travels Through Azeroth (and art contest)

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself; contact our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts) with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.

"This has never happened to me before. I'm a good pilot, dammit! Ugh, I know I'm going to be charged for it too. Serves me right for renting out a Cartel Zeppelin, dammit!"

It was a dark, steaming jungle night in northern Stranglethorn. The ambient noise of the forest is astonishing. An endless natural orchestra of birds, insects, and mammals play in the lush canopies and dank undergrowth. Much like the Swamp of Sorrows, rain is a daily occurrence in Stranglethorn Vale.

After Spirra crossed over the mountains it looked as if we would soon reach the goblin metropolis of Booty Bay. Then an unexpected storm blew us badly off-course. Spirra took this in stride, saying that it would just take a little longer, and that she could stop by Grom'gol if I wanted. Then, drifting low over the verdant jungle ceiling we heard a staccato of gunfire rise from the tangled landscape. Bullets shattered the propeller and pierced the balloon, and we streaked to the ground. It ended suddenly when Spirra's zeppelin impaled itself on a tree. Fortunately, neither of us was badly hurt. We climbed down the tree, carrying what supplies we could. Of our attackers we found no sign.
("Stranglethorn Vale," Travels Through Azeroth and Outland)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to actually be in Azeroth? To travel from place to place, staying in inns or with friends and acquaintances, taking in the sights and logging it all down in your journal? Find yourself transported as you see Azeroth and Outland through the eyes of itinerant traveller Destron the mage, as documented in the fan fiction Travels Through Azeroth and Outland. This ongoing, lore-based tale is deep -- deep enough in quantity to have accumulated years' worth of entries, and deep enough in content to be recommended by TVTropes.com.

ATTENTION, ARTISTS: Submit your own illustration of Travels Through Azeroth's main character, Destron, for a chance to have your art featured here at WoW.com and on the main page of Travels Through Azeroth. Join us after the break for more details.

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Filed under: World of WarCrafts, Arts and Crafts

The Gadgetzan Times returns, looks for submissions

The Gadgetzan Times has returned from a long hiatus. Apparently, however, they are in a bit of trouble, with reports of difficulty retaining their goblin reporters. Because of this, the editor-in-chief has switched to a new idea: soliciting stories from the adventurers themselves. If you've written fanfiction about the World of Warcraft, you can now submit to for a chance to showcased in the Gadgetzan Times. There's versions for every language, with a different story for each language.

If you've always wanted to be a Goblin journalist, here's the closest you can get. Submit your stories, and maybe we'll see you in the next editon.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Contests, Lore, RP

The lore we make


With so many fascinating places and quests in the game, players can get caught up for hours (or days, or weeks) in the world that Blizzard has created for us to play. But the beautiful thing about an MMO is that in the game we encounter the stories already in the game, as well as create our own. Many of us have built backstories for our characters, but have you ever considered taking a step further?

Recently a player applied to a guild that has been creating their a lore of their own for their boss kills. Converge (A) on the Anachronos realm doesn't just post the normal group photo with the corpse of [insert epic monster here]. Instead they weave a tale about their exploits. Their most recent addition to this catalog is a poetic guide to running Karazhan:

Attumen, a Huntsmen and his good horse Midnight,
Offers a gear-check to prove you can fight.

Hyakiss, Rokad and Shadikith three,
Hide in the shadows before coming to see.

Moroes, with four friends, will vanish a lot,
Then return with the gift of a crunchy garotte.

The Maiden, all holy, makes no exemption,
And kills your tank during peaceful redemption.


I know I am eternally fascinated by the artwork of the game, and I am equally overjoyed to see that artwork created about or even in the game itself. It's important to realize that we can create something beautiful with the tools given us in WoW, and we can use our creative talents in addition to simply playing the game. Have you encountered any personal lore or artwork created about the game?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff

Warlock fan fiction

Are you a big fan of WoW fiction and world lore? I ran across this little gem while surfing the warlock forums (*cough* I know I spend all my time there) and I wanted to share this with you. I combed the thread for all the stories until I made it to the post where he noted he was making a blog for the stories. This guy is pumping out some grade A material, imo.

We have been kicking around the idea of doing something like this for WoWInsider...  A weekly piece of fiction about our characters expliots on Akama. Would you guys be interested in reading that?

Filed under: Warlock, Fan stuff

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