Latest Diablo 3 News
Support the site! Become a Diablo: IncGamers PAL - Remove ads and more!

What's accepted as fan fiction and what's not?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Biscuitman, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Biscuitman

    Biscuitman Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    What's accepted as fan fiction and what's not?

    I was intrigued when I read about the writing contest Blizzard is holding, as becoming a professional writer has been my goal since about six months ago. I love Blizzard games but I've never cared too much about the lore. So I started ploughing through the wiki for information about the Diablo Universe and I'm now about halfway through the first draft of my short.

    The "problem" is that I'm all about the small details. To make my story feel believable, I want to make as many references to universe and its customs, creatures and characters but I feel like there aren't enough information available about certain areas, creatures and characters. So I have a few questions here, the first one is to what extent can I make this stuff up? I assume making up minor characters is completely acceptable, but what about making up my own creatures, factions and cities and perhaps adding details to already existing characters? Am I free to make up pretty anything I want as long as it doesn't clash with the exisiting lore? Assume here that I want to submit my story to the contest.

    My second question is fairly simple - Are there any common mistakes that beginners tend to do when writing fan fiction?

    Finally, my third question is about the diablo universe itself. How long, approximately, would it take to travel from Caldeum to, let's say Kurast? I need to get a sense of how the scale of the world map of Sanctuary. Otherwise, I fear that I'll end up writing something weird where something that would take months to travel is done within a few days in my story.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Snowglare

    Snowglare Fan Fiction Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    57
    I see nothing in the rules about not being creative. I don't know exactly what they want from a story, but my guess is it's fine to make stuff up.

    Not being creative enough. Following the in-game storyline is generally a bad idea. Tell a new story, set before, during or after the events of Diablo I or II. Ignore the limitations of the game world. All barbarians don't have to look alike just because Blizzard neglected to give us customizable avatars. Potions are optional. Write like you're telling a regular story, not a video game story.

    You also want to run a thorough check of spelling and grammar. That can wait till your story's finished, but it's important to present a product that looks professional.

    I've no idea about your third question. If you do create your own cities, you can use them to cover up any info gaps. A party could travel from Kurast to your city, and that would take however long you say it takes. Maybe they get detoured and in the confusion, the characters forget to mention how many days they've traveled. At any rate, I doubt it'll be a sticking point for the judges.



     
  3. Biscuitman

    Biscuitman Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Re: What's accepted as fan fiction and what's not?

    Thanks a lot for the answers. About the in-game storyline, I'm definitely not following it but I make reference to it at one or two points during the course of my story. I'm reluctant to doing it as it sure does feel kind of cheesy, but at the same time, it's necessary for my twist to work. Do you think this is a good or a bad thing? I mean, on one hand it can be seen as creative as I manage to connect my own story with the in-game plotline. But on the other hand, it can be seen as lack of creativity as they might think I'm not able to step outside the boundaries and create something unique.

    Oh well, I'm probably overthinking this a bit too much.
     
  4. Snowglare

    Snowglare Fan Fiction Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    57
    Well, it's fine to use the game's plot in an ancillary fashion. Broken down to its basic elements, it's a good enough yarn, or the in-game cinematics wouldn't be so gripping. There's plenty of story potential in hunting Diablo, Baal, Mephisto, or even Blood Raven.

    It's only a problem when you plant your character in the Rogue Camp and start painstakingly recreating every quest in the game, in order. The details are where the RP part of D2 breaks down and the Game takes over. The most important thing is to add to what's there, fill in the blanks and make those 2D sprites come to life.
     
  5. Flux

    Flux Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    6,710
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    472
    Re: What's accepted as fan fiction and what's not?

    Fanfic varies enormously, in terms of adherence to the source material. For the Blizzard contest you'll obviously want to keep it fairly close, given who's judging, but I don't think a slavish retelling of game events is going to win anyone over. (Although that might have been what the winner from last year did; I don't follow WoW so I don't know how true to the game plot it was.)

    Generally speaking, I'd aim for a story that has a definite influence of the source fiction and world, especially the mood and tone (you'd want a darker, more desperate tone to a Diablo story, especially if you involved worldwide events) but isn't so "inside" that only those who are experts in the lore will get it. (The big caveat to this advice is that last year's winning WoW story did exactly that, and was therefore inaccessible to anyone not versed in WoW lore.)

    Generally speaking, you want a good story, set in the world, with some identifiable characters, who are unique to your story. Something character-driven, that's not just non-stop action. If you do action you'll want it to matter or mean something to the principles; not just be a cool series of Barbarian beheadings. (Which would probably be crowd-pleasing, but I don't think would win over the judges as much, since they're probably looking for works with more literary aspirations, given how action-heavy the gameplay itself is.)
     
  6. Biscuitman

    Biscuitman Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Re: What's accepted as fan fiction and what's not?

    Thanks for the answer, good advice about the mood and tone, didn't really think about that.

    And luckily (I guess) I find character-driven stories far easier to write than stories packed with action.
     

Share This Page