I have an entry created for Blizzard’s writing contest, and while I think it’s okay, I want to be doubly sure it’s highly polished and as Blizzardy as possible. But it’s not about what I think, is it? It’s going to be read by other people.
So I need other people willing to read it. Specifically, I’m looking for at least two.
I need someone familiar with StarCraft. The game has some particulars in terms of lore, background, themes and mood. I want to make sure I’m hitting all of the major touchpoints and haven’t completely botched my timelines.
I also need someone familiar with writing. The words I’ve chosen are in a particular order, but I don’t know if they’re in the best order. I’ve gotten great feedback on Citizen in the Wilds thanks to people looking at the order of my words, and I’d love this little short work to get the same treatment.
Leave me a comment if you’re interested. I can send you an invite to the Google document via the email address you’ll input to post the comment. Once I’m a bit more confident in this, I’ll send it off to Blizzard and start making burnt offerings to any deity within celestial earshot.
So Blizzard’s having this contest and I wrote something for it. Given that this is a piece of fiction written within an established universe it is, in essence, a work of fan fiction. Now there’s a lot of fan fiction, from the drabbles that put Harry Potter in bed with Draco Malfoy to the novels published in the universes of Warhammer or Star Wars. There are some things, in my experience, that separate good works of this type from the bad ones.
It all comes down to doing the research.
If you want to avoid derailing a character’s development, ensure your work fits into the tapestry of the universe and match the tone of previous works while providing your unique voice, you have to know the facts about your piece back to front. If the universe began as movies, watch them; as novels, read them; as games, play them. Know the characters, settings, themes and moods. A lot of established fictional universes have on-line resources, from basic fan-sites to extensive wikis – make use of these resources.
There’s established lore out there, and if you ignore it, by either not researching it or choosing to omit it, bad things can happen. It might not make the work entirely unsuccessful, but you might have to weather criticism such as “This character would never act that way,” “The timeline of these events is all screwed up,” or “[insert author name here] doesn’t know how to write women properly.”
Walking into a place filled with lore looking to tell a new story can be a lot like walking into a minefield. If you don’t watch your step, your journey will end very abruptly and messily.