Project GNOME: Initial Stages

As a gesture indicative of my seriousness in going through with this project, I actually went to the Chapters bookstore across the street from my office building during lunch to buy a copy of The Complet Idiot’s Guide to Creative Writing.  And while I amongst others may think at first glance that due to the experience of writing for a blog for nearly a year (and having written several moderately appreciated fanfiction pieces), I still consider myself as one who is willing to learn and relearn the tricks of the trade when it comes to writing a novel or short story.

I’m still reading it as we speak, and not only does it provide some useful information with regards to writing, but it does so in a concise and organized manner, such that I am able to go back to it for reference whenever I would need it.  Also, there’s a nonfiction writing section in this Idiot’s Guide that is very simplistic and straightforward, but is quite applicative to the blog itself, so I will also keep that in mind.

That said, I aim to use the principles taught by this book to go through a systematic devellopment of ideas and plans to go through with creating this story about the rise and fall of Gnomeregan.

Choosing the Right Tools

For this project, there are a few things that are needed in order for this novel to come to fruition:

Pen and Paper – The most obvious tool in a writer’s arsenal, this comes in the form of an ink pen that I enjoy using for school assignments, and a leftover lab book that was left unused from a past class.  Any and all ideas that come to my head will be put down onto the book, no matter how important or irrelevant it may be.  When available, I have this home-based desktop computer.  I’m considering buying myself a netbook for the train ride to and from work, not just for the novel, but for the blog as well.

Source Material – In essence, this novel is a form of fanfiction, and due to the rich history of the World of Warcraft, I intend on keeping most, if not all, of the details intact, or consistent with the canon concepts found in WoW’s numerous lore sources.  This includes WoWWiki, the numerous novels, as well as the RPG books, which I have acquired recently.

Writing References – this includes the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creative Writing, as well as Elements of Style, a book that I already have, and adore to bits.  These will be my keystones to creating and managing a project such as this.

Setting the Right Goals

While the underlying intentions behind writing this novel is to gain recognition of this work (primarily by the gurus at Blizzard themselves), it simply cannot be so.  Due to the nature of copyright, I cannot distribute this in any commercial form, but it serves as a stepping stone for me into the world of original fiction writing.  Thus, the goal of this project is to develop the skills and experience required to undergo a writing project, while at the same time maintaining a balanced lifestyle.  Fame and Fortune are last, but I would certainly be delighted if Metzen personally requested to read my manuscript.

With regards to the novel itself, I have set the premise of the story to cover the events surrounding Gnomeregan, including its founding and its downfall.  Since this part of WoW history is not as impactful or relevant as something like Arthas’ transformation into the Lich King, I consider this event nonetheless to be about on the same level as that which occured during Cycle of Hatred.  Since CoH was in the vicinity of 50,000 to 60,000 words, I shall aim for a word count of the same amount.

Outlining the General Plan

According to the CIGtCW, the defining elements of a story are plot, characters, setting, conflict, point of view.  Let me go over these elements as they pertain to Project Gnomeregan:

Plot – The plot consists of several phases.  It includes exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution/denouement.  Given that the events of Gnomeregan have already been described as Lore, it is easy to plan out that singular event accross these given phases.

  • Exposition – The discovery of the gnomes by the dwarves, the founding of gnomeregan, the rise of important characters such as Gelbin Mekkatorque and Sicco Thermaplugg.
  • Rising Action – Further devellopment of the gnomish city and culture, develloping friendship between gnomes and dwarves, contributions to the first and second war, tension rising between Gelbin Mekkatorque, the discovery of the Troggs in Uldaman, the curse of flesh and its discovery, the invasion of the Troggs into Gnomeregan and its defense.
  • Climax – The irradiation and evacuation of Gnomeregan, the Grand Betrayal by Sicco Thermaplugg.
  • Falling Action – formation of the gnomeregan exiles, the founding of Tinker Town in Ironforge, stepping into the limelight of the grand Alliance, looking towards the future (maybe a bit of Ulduar?).

Characters – The main characters in this novel are none other than Gelbin Mekkatorque and Sicco Thermaplugg.  They are the protagonist and antagonist, respectively.  Further research is required to truly flesh out these two characters, and I will surely make a post brainstorming ideas of interpreting these characters in-depth.

There are some other secondary characters that play major parts in shaping the overall image of the gnomeregan society.  Fizzcrank Fullthrottle will make an important appearance, as well as Toshley and Silas Darkmoon, the founder of the Darkmoon Faire.  Those that do not have much mention in the game itself are worth mentioning as well, such as Erbag, the earliest known gnome and a member of the Guardians of Tirisfal.

Much like the other Warcraft books, minor characters include cameos of gnomes that can be found in the game.  How awesome would it be if Millhouse Manastorm was in it?  Alluding to these characters make for great fanservice for the intended audience, so I would definitely like some feedback regarding which famous gnomes you would like to see in this novel.

Setting – This story takes place in the Eastern Kingdoms, mostly in Khaz Modan, where Gnomeregan and Ironforge are located.  Uldum, Uldaman, and Ulduar will probably have scenes as well, as origin myths of both Dwarves, Gnomes, and Troggs are necessary to tie the races together.

Conflict – Aside from the obvious struggle between the Gnomes and the Troggs in the invasion of gnomeregan, several other conflicts will be brought into view.  The tension between Mekkatorque and Thermaplugg will be develloped in significant detail.  Mekkatorque’s inner struggle with living up to the expectation of being king will not be downplayed either.  Perhaps most subtlely, I aim to put gnomes in a light that seperates them from the negative stereotypes of gnomes themselves.  Thus, they will try to overcome the doubts cast on them and attempt to prove their worth as members of the Alliance.

Point of View – To keep with the narrative style of the Warcraft books published thus far, I will write this novel in a third-person limited point of view that shifts perspectives back and forth between different characters as the story progresses.

The Next Step

From here on out, it’s a matter of develloping a further understanding of all the story elements found in this novel as they are represented in the game.  To write this novel as if it were to become a reasonable representation of the lore, it would require massive amounts of ideas thrown back and forth discussing the nature of certain things, and expectations of how events would take place given the circumstances.  While Knaak, Golden, and the other authors had the privilege of being in contact with Metzen, I feel fortunate that I have an entire blogging community to collaborate with.  So expect future installments of this project to include discussions on major lore aspects surrounding Gnomeregan.

Until then, see ya on the other side of the internether.

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