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Posts with tag garrosh-heart-of-war

How I write short stories for Blizzard

Garrosh my one true fiction
My first day at WoW Insider, I was brainstorming ideas for articles when Adam Holisky piped up in chat, "Hey, why not write about writing for Blizzard? I'd love to hear about that, and I bet some of our readers would, too." It's a topic I could discuss at length, and based on some of the chatter I see around various online forums, there seem to be some pretty common misconceptions about how the process works.

So I'm going to discuss some of the structures Blizzard has in place to work with their external authors as well as my personal creative process. Please note that this is only the way I have experienced things, and Blizzard's longer-standing authors such as Richard Knaak or Christie Golden may have a very different routine.

Working with Blizzard

In my experience, an outside author really does not have any control over what stories get told. Once upon a time Blizzard did ask me to pitch them some ideas, but ended up scrapping them in favor of the leader stories project. I am really not in a position to suggest I write something for them. If they want me for a project, they'll contact me and ask if I'm interested.

Once I have verbally accepted an offer, contracts are mailed and signed, and I head off to Irvine for a meeting with the Blizzard Publishing team, which is the primary point of contact for authors working on expanded universe content.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Quest for Pandaria concludes with part 4

Quest for Pandaria concludes with part 4
The fourth and final installment of Sarah Pine's novella Quest for Pandaria was released yesterday on the official site. Part four of Chen and Li Li's journey takes them to the open seas, where they encounter a massive storm, and a tense face off between two ships, one Alliance and one Horde. While this is Chen and Li Li's adventure, the fourth part of this tale does a lot to highlight the feelings and tensions between the two factions in a meaningful way.

And it also does a lot to clear up timelines. At the end of the tale, Chen and Li Li have witnessed the clearing of the mists surrounding the continent of Pandaria. This places the mist-clearing event somewhere just before the attack on Theramore Isle depicted in both scenario and the novel Tides of War. Unfortunately, the tale did little to clarify what exactly made the mists part in the first place ... which means this may be one of those important plot points we'll explore later in the expansion.

Quest for Pandaria served as a an excellent introduction to Mists of Pandaria, and a wonderful bridge between the graphic novel Pearl of Pandaria and the new expansion. Part four is full of emotional moments and characters that you really don't want to miss. You can read part four, or the story in its entirety, in the Expanded Universe section of the official website.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Quest for Pandaria part 3 now available

Quest for Pandaria part 3 now available
You know, of all the things I mourned about Cataclysm, I think highest on the list would have to be the fate of the tol'vir. Despite being a fascinating race in their own right, one that was absolutely ripe for potential, their story was overshadowed by yet another jaunt with Harrison Jones. It was disappointing, particularly because the end of the tol'vir story arc was so open-ended. What happened after the war was completed? What of the tol'vir now?

Quest for Pandaria attempts to answer a few of those questions in its latest installment as Chen Stormstout and his niece Li Li continue their search for the lost continent. Upon heading to the sandy deserts of Uldum, both Chen and Li Li come face to face with the aftermath of the tol'vir war -- and deal with the consequences of the fallout in their own way. It's another small glimpse of the elusive tol'vir race, this time illustrated through the eyes of complete strangers to tol'vir society.

And it's also another well placed step towards rounding out Chen's character. I love Chen Stormstout, and I love the direction they're taking him. This is the third chapter to the four-part story written by Sarah Pine, and I think it's my favorite so far. You can take a look at the chapter in its entirety in the Expanded Universe section of Blizzard's official website.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard short story Quest for Pandaria now available

Quest for Pandaria now live
Part one of Quest for Pandaria, the newest addition to Blizzard's online collection of short stories, has been released on the official website. The events in Quests for Pandaria take place directly after the graphic novel Pearl of Pandaria. While Pearl of Pandaria's release date is still slated for the 25 of this month according to Amazon, some have been reporting that the graphic novel is already available in bookstores.

As for Quest for Pandaria, the story continues where Pearl left off with Li Li Stormstout and her Uncle Chen safely home on Shen-zin Su. But while Uncle Chen seems to be happy and even content with his return to the island, Li Li finds herself growing more and more restless and discontent. Will her thirst for adventure lead to lands long thought lost? Or will she find herself dragged back home against her wishes?

Today's release was just the first section of the four-part story, so some answers will have to wait. But it's a compelling tale that's beautifully written by Sarah Pine, author of Garrosh Hellscream: Heart of War, and the 2008 Global Writing Contest winner In the Shadow of the Sun. Please note that Quest for Pandaria does contain plot elements from Pearl of Pandaria. If you're planning on picking up the graphic novel, you may want to hold off on this short story until you've read the book.

You can find Quest for Pandaria, along with all of Blizzard's other short stories, in the Expanded Universe section of the official website.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard Publishing announces two new Pandaren stories and more

New expansions require new lore, especially if it's something we've never before seen. At the Blizzard Publishing: So What's the Story? panel earlier today, it was announced that there would be two new lore releases. The first, Pearl of Pandaria, is a graphic novel written by Micky Neilson. Neilson should be a familiar name, not only is he Senior Writer and Voice Director of Blizzard Entertainment, he also penned the World of Warcraft: Ashbringer comic, and the short story Unbroken. Pearl of Pandaria is a "before" look at the Pandaren – it takes place before the Shattering that raised the mists that cloaked Pandaria from the rest of the world.

The second story is called Quest for Pandaria, a four part novella by author Sarah Pine. It will be released on Blizzard's website much like the leader short stories, and it takes up the story after the Shattering and brings it up to speed. Sarah Pine was the winner of the first Blizzard creating writing contest with her story In the Shadow of the Sun, about Lor'themar Theron, and she's also penned the leader short story Garrosh Hellscream: Heart of War.

Other interesting tidbits from the panel include a heads up on the Curse of the Worgen graphic novel by Mickey Neilson and James Waugh, which includes five extra pages of story. Those five pages? They're really important, if you like keeping track of the lore -- they tell the story of Velinde Starsong and the Scythe of Elune, which players experienced in World of Warcraft itself. On top of that, Christie Golden is still diligently working on Tides of War, the Jaina Proudmoore novel which will presumably tie into the Pandaria expansion.

It's nice to see that the upcoming expansion will see as much attention to story detail as Cataclysm – and that the precedent set by the leader short stories will continue on with more lore on the official Blizzard website as time goes on.


The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Lore, BlizzCon, Mists of Pandaria

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