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Working on a Fanfiction Adaption

ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
I felt the book wasn't very faithful to the source material despite having it's moments, so I've been thinking for years now about doing my own fanfiction adaption.

Now that I've established Zaram as a character, I figure now is as good a time as any.

Any advice or suggestions? It will be a while before I get this up and running, but I'm willing to listen to any and all help.



  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    What would be good ways to kill off popular characters if I decide to do so? Any opinions? I've got a general idea about a few, but feedback always helps.

  • BladeDancerBladeDancer Member Posts: 477
    edited April 2018
    I'm not much of a teacher, but I am willing to help get you started. First and foremost, about killing off a character, the first thing you have to do is show the reader how true and faithful you are to that character, and that their death won't feel ham-fisted, know what I mean? The author of the first two Baldur's Gate novel's mistake is butchering their personality, and then killing them off. People react negatively to you if you don't stay true to the personality of the character, and you'll make matters worse if you kill them off after killing their established personality. The director of Episode 8 of Star Wars made that mistake with Luke Skywalker too, suddenly turning him into a grumpy, disillusioned man then killing him off, when in the original episodes he was confident and idealistic. When you think about it, nothing good comes from changing the personality of famous characters for no apparent reason.

    For example, in my own Baldur's Gate fan fiction, I killed off Kivan, but he didn't die in some random battle or by Viconia's hands, he died during in the bandit camp assault because of his thirst for revenge, trying to rush in and face Tazok alone only to find him gone and be killed by his lieutenants instead of waiting for the support of Ralis and his party. The moral lesson of his death is it is dangerous to let your desire for revenge control you and make you reckless, it might get yourself killed or your allies, or maybe both.

    Understand? Respect the source material and you should be fine. Though I killed Kivan in my fan fiction, I stayed true to his character and made his death make sense so the person reading who might have played the game and likes Kivan won't feel offended. If you plan on killing off some characters who will travel with, always make sure to make their death meaningful somehow, not random, and make sure that they don't appear in sequels, too. It's good that you already established Zaram, but there is more to think about, like how well Zaram would get along with Xan, Minsc, Branwen and such.

    Post edited by BladeDancer on
  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Thank you, while I disagree with you about the Star Wars thing, I will take your advice to heart. I intend to stay faithful to the source material (though I will liberties to a certain degree) and have considered certain companions based on my runs with Zaram as a character. Staying faithful is important to me after reading the books several years back because they dissapointed me by 1. Not following the linear main story 2. Butchering characters 3. Killing characters off way too quickly and without warning.

  • BladeDancerBladeDancer Member Posts: 477

    Thank you, while I disagree with you about the Star Wars thing, I will take your advice to heart. I intend to stay faithful to the source material (though I will liberties to a certain degree) and have considered certain companions based on my runs with Zaram as a character. Staying faithful is important to me after reading the books several years back because they dissapointed me by 1. Not following the linear main story 2. Butchering characters 3. Killing characters off way too quickly and without warning.

    You're welcome, and sorry about comparing the way how Luke was handled in the latest Star Wars film to how Khalid, Jaheira and other famous BG characters in the game were personality butchered in the novelization, I wasn't trying to offend you, I was just trying to make a point because the criticisms surrounding the BG novels and Episode 8 of Star Wars are oddly similar.

    I'm curious, what class is Zaram? And what is his race?

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Zaram is a CN Human Dragon Disciple. And I wasn't offended at all by your Star Wars comments, your opinion is valid and I respect it, I just disagree with it. Thank you for the advice and feedback. It will some time before I actually post this, but your wisdom will definitely be taken into account when I do.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    My advices would be: learn a lot about what contributes to good story, learn about tropes, how to use them, recognize them, implement them and subvert*. Listen to vlogs that offer advices about writing and nousances that are tied to it. Sketch your idea first before starting writing.

    Generally, things like knowing the source material you're working with (not only Baldur's Gate, but the Forgotten Relams also) would help a lot.

    Finally, I would definitely want to read your fanfiction adaptation and I would be glad to provide you feedback.

    *TVTropes is good placae to do that, with lenghty and laconic explanations and providing examples in works of fiction. Beware that the site is essentailly time stealer.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Chapters will all take a lot of time to write, but I have a cowriter now so two heads are better than one.

    Prologue should be up in a few days but due to both of our working schedules, I can't promise chapters will uploaded quickly. It may take a long time before we have other chapters ready.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Just finished writing the Prologue. Now we just have to edit it and it should be up in a few days. Hooray!

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Dropped the prologue last night, take a look if you're interested.

  • BladeDancerBladeDancer Member Posts: 477
    You have a cowriter? Whoa...

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Yes, a very close friend of mine whom I've known for almost 4 years now. He doesn't that much about Baldur's Gate really, but he has over 2 decades of D&D experience. He actually wrote about 95% of the prologue himself. I can't give you any spoilers for story events, but I promise you that the events of the prologue have consequence later in the story.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Progress on Chapter 1 is going well. I'd say it's about 35% done. I'm also working a bit on Chapter 2 and Chapter 11, the latter of which focuses mostly on Dorn.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    I haven't made too much progress on other chapters, but Chapter 1 is now about 60% done. I'm sorry for the wait, but we want to make sure that each chapter is high quality. Expect most chapters to be pretty long. I'm not sure how long the stories are going to be but i intend on doing the whole series, so follow to get updates on the whole story when they are posted.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Making great progress on Chapter 1, but it's turning out a bit longer than we originally anticipated. I'd say it's about 80% done so hopefully i'll be able to upload it soon.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Working another long writing session for Chapter 1. As of right now it's about 95% done. This is taking a lot longer than I originally thought, but it should be up soon. There is a LOT of material in this chapter, I really think you'll enjoy it. I did not expect this Chapter to be nearly this long, but we're setting up a lot. I'll keep you informed about further progress.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Very nearly finished with Chapter 1 which has once again turned out to be FAR longer than I originally thought it would be. I'd say we're still stuck at the 95% mark, but it should go up in the next couple of days.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    The writing stage of Chapter 1 is finished and the editing stage has begun.

    According to Google Docs our net word count is somewhere around 22,000 words, but Fanfiction counted the word's differently (how does that even work?) so I don't know what the final product will be. It took over a month and it was incredibly long but we wanted to give my magnum opus the greatest opening we could. It should be up sometime in the next couple of days (for real this time :P) and I hope you all enjoy it. I'm certainly looking forward to reading reviews just as much as I looked forward to writing it.

    And now, Chapter 2 awaits me.

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,551
    Awesome! good luck with this (as I am a little late to the party)

    Killing off characters need to be consistent. So if you can't raise one character (Gorion) if anyone else dies in the story you shouldn't be able to raise them either. It also has to be consistent with the games. If you area writing a full trilogy, you can't kill off people like Khalid, Jaheria, Minsc, and Dynaheir until they die in the game or are re-recruited (Edwin and Viconia can be easily skipped in BG2 so this rule doesn't apply to them)

    You do not really need to kill characters to not have them in your story either. In mine, my protagonist hid while Monteron and Xzar passed by never to be seen again (while talking about a lost magical ring outside of FAI).

    A character can also choose to go there own way once part of the story is done. Finished the mines? Maybe you can break the pairs up (Khalid/Jaheria or Monty/Xzar) up and have one report back to their supervisors while the other sticks with you following leads, or Imoen decides to stay with Firebead in Beregost to learn magic, realizing she made a terrible mistake following you and now that you have allies, she feels ok letting you venture alone.

    But if you do have a character you want to kill off, make sure it impacts the story in some way. For example, Garrick died fighting Nimbul in mine. Grief stricken, my protagonist snuck away from the rest of the party to prevent another bounty hunter coming along and killing them.

    Also, while writing, stick to the main story. Fitting every subplot into the story would make it massive.

    (I wonder if I am ever going to be able to finish mine...)

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    edited September 2018
    There will be a few character deaths in the story, but I can't tell you anything else without spoiling my adaption. I will however point out that ressurection is expensive and tricky in tabletop games, and if the soul doesn't want to return then it won't.

    Logical Game Examples:
    1. Gorion can't be ressurected because he doesn't want to come back.
    2. Khalid (and likely Dynaheir as well) can't be resurrected because their bodies have suffered too much damage and/or they have been dead for too long.
    3. Ditto for Montaron

    I will take things like this into consideration, but my story is also an adaption and I will be taking some liberties as well as adding things that weren't in the original story.

    However as I also stated before, it will be much more faithful to the adaption of the actual game than the book series was so we don't have to worry about:

    1. Khalid and Jaheria being unfaithful to each other 2. Gorion getting killed by a random group of bandits instead of by Sarevok 3. Characters dying willy-nilly before they get enough development 4. Minsc playing little or no role in the story 5. Anticlimatic endings that feel like the story got cut off mid-paragraph (at least that was the case in the first two books, I still haven't read the third one yet)
    and other misc. ROFLstomps that the book series made.
    Edit: I have read the third book now, and although it is much better than first two it still suffers from it's own problems, including the anticlimatic ending and poor character development

    As far as subplots go, expect a few but I won't go into any details.

    Post edited by ZaramMaldovar on
  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Work on Chapter 2 is going well, though It's only about 10% done as far as writing goes (I had to take a break) but the outline for the series as a whole is nearly finished so chapters should be able to start coming out quicker.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Chapter 2 was supposed to be out right now, but I've had a lot of stuff to do in my personal life at the moment. I figured I'd give an update though, Chapter 2 is stuck at around 55% done at the moment. As soon as I work out everything going on right now and get a couple good days to talk to my co-writer I should make a lot more progress.

    After that, Chapter 3 should go by pretty smoothly.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    The writing for Chapter 2 continues to be delayed, but I now have the first 5 chapters all mapped out so it won't take too much longer to write all of them.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    I apologize for not updating for Chapter 2, I've been subject to long periods of depression ever since my Dad died in December, but I assure you I will be returning to my writing shortly and Chapter 2 should be finished before the end of August and hopefully Chapter 3 within a few weeks after that.

    Quality takes time and inspiration, factors of my life which are slowly starting to come back to me. Please bare with me, I thank you for the support.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Chapter 2 is now about 90% done. Thank for baring with my slowness, life hasn't been easy for me this year.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Going through another session for Chapter 2. It's currently sitting at about 10,000 words and is about 95% done. Look out for a release sometime in the first week of September if everything goes well. I will then also be working on Chapters 3 and 4.

    Chapter 2 will focus on the introduction of Zaram
    Chapter 3 will focus on the introduction of a few other central characters
    Chapter 4 will be entirely focused on the Ambush Scene that ends the Prologue.

    Stay tuned and in the meantime make sure to check out my Baldur's Gate Logic thread

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Chapter 2 is now about 99% done, I have only to do one more scene and some description work and it should be done soon. I apologize for taking so long but working on the story requires both me and my coworker to have freetime and that has become increasingly more difficult in the past few months.

    With any luck, Chapter 2 will be up in a week or two and then Chapter 3 will be going full steam.

  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 366
    Hey, just thought I'd stop by to say well done and good luck. My first novelisation of BG took years. Just don't give up and make sure you enjoy the process :)

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,164
    Of course, thank you for your support and encouragement. I'm new to writing a big project like this and my cowriter has been a huge help throughout the process, teaching me how to weave better descriptions and narrative threads and improve my already adequate dialogue skills while I help to temper his habit of overdescription and redundant details. It's like a check/balance system.

    I'm also always open for suggestions, though I've already got a pretty clear way of how I'm going to handle the story as it moves forward.

    I plan to do the whole saga in 4 stories plus a few companion pieces but it will be quite a while before I am finished.

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