Friday, November 4, 2016

The Importance of Settling Your Story

BlizzCon 2016 is this weekend, and while I'm getting all hyped about all things Blizzard I have NOT doffed my storyteller hat. The folks at Blizzard Entertainment get a lot of shit, some of it deserved, but they're also showing that they get their genres and the medium they're working within when using those genres.

Alas, the Virtual Ticket doesn't televise the tie-in product panels, because aside from some promo reel stuff about it you're not getting info about what I find to be a major positive development: the production and publication of the Warcraft setting bible, World of Warcraft: Chronicles. The first volume (on sale now

Yes, there's a follow-up coming, which I regard as a good thing for now, but that's not the point. The point is that the mess of inconsistencies behind the Warcraft property is finally getting cleaned up, and this revised bible is the foundation for future development of that property. This is what I mean by "settling your story": know how your fictional setting works, down to the nuts and bolts. My experience with doing this is that stories suggest themselves emergently just from letting the setting operate without interference. There's going to be points of conflict, and conflict is the basis for all drama, so rather than force it just let it be and work out your stories when the lawful conditions permit them.

That's it. Not hard. Just play through your postulates to their conclusions, and you'll get all the story fodder you will ever use.

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