There might not be anything in the world that causes a greater number of groans than badly written fan fiction. It is fair to say that every fan fiction story is written with good intentions in the beginning, but the story can easily take a turn for the worse and, in some cases, result in uncomfortable canon story and character conflicts.
However, when certain minds put the effort in, greatness can be accomplished. That was the goal with BioWare's fan fiction contest for Dragon Age II tying in with BioWare writer, David Gaider's new novel: Dragon Age: Asunder.
BioWare's very much focused right now on the upcoming release of Mass Effect 3 (demo coming soon) and enjoying the successes of The Old Republic - but that doesn't mean they have forgotten about their fantasy world. For all the flack that Dragon Age 2 gets, the universe is very interesting and expansive. The contest challenged fans to write a short story from the perspective of a mage or a templar (both very key figures in the Dragon Age universe), those who were finalists won signed copies of Dragon Age: Asunder and the admiration of BioWare writing staff, which is a pretty good prize in and of itself.
The winner, "Kilyra" and the story "Last Strands of Childhood" won a much better prize package of Dragon Age II products provided by Razer and got to Skype with David Gaider.
In response to his duties reading fan fiction entries, when he's not discussing the merits of including same-sex relationships in the Dragon Age games that is, Gaider decided to write a post on BioWare's official blog where he talked about the do's and don'ts of fan fiction that should serve to be very educational for those who like to "play in someone else's sandbox" as Gaider put it.
You can read the entire post and get all the details, but here they are in short:
- Don't start with a description.
- Don't pull your punches.
- Do pay attention to flow.
- Do pay attention to your scope.
There you have it, tips on writing fan fiction from a man whose job it is to create the layers of a world that later inspire others to write fan fiction. Ironically enough, the latest Mass Effect novel has been the subject of much fan scrutiny as first time contributor to the novels, William C. Dietz, committed a number of errors that don't jive with the world's continuity and facts.
Mass Effect 3 releases on March 6, 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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Source: BioWare Blog