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987654321

A question for the writers

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Is there a planned story?

If so, how detailed and far-reaching is it?

How much do you get to know when writing?

How much of the story is your own part?

Am I going to get killed by Kolat assassins for asking too many questions?

Edited by 987654321

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3 hours ago, 987654321 said:

 

Am I going to get killed by Kolat assassins for asking too many questions?

 

No . . . but we will be, if we answer in too much detail. 🙂

One thing to make clear up front: there is the Story Team, and then there are the writers, and these are not the same groups. The Story Team are employees of FFG (for the most part; I can't swear if that's 100% true), while the writers are freelancers. The Story Team are the ones in charge of long-term planning, because they're interfacing with the rest of the company about things like cards and tournaments and so forth. The writers are the ones in charge of stringing words together in (hopefully) entertaining fashion.

Without going into specifics that would probably violate our non-disclosure agreements . . . every fiction starts out with some kind of Story-Team-provided prompt, e.g. (this is totally made up) "the next Lion story is going to reveal that the Emperor Hantei has a secret lover from the Burning Sands." Sometimes the prompts are fairly detailed; sometimes they're brief. We get to ask questions, because sometimes we have to in order to write the story. We usually get a lot of leeway over how to structure the story itself, within the constraints of the prompt and the wordcount limit -- and in the course of that, I know that I, at least, can and do suggest stuff like worldbuilding details or character background incidents or ways to use this fiction to lay the groundwork for some future development. So while the Story Team are the ones in charge of long-term development, we do get opportunities to influence that plan.

I just can't give you examples of that, because see above re: NDA. 😛

But as for "how much of the story is your own part" -- in most ways, virtually all of it. Think of it like those cooking shows: we get handed a basket with one or more ingredients we have to use, but it's up to us to decide what kind of dish to make with them.

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I'd emphasize Kinzen's point about us influencing the story--we're given a fairly constrained lane within which to write, but within that lane, we have lots of opportunity to tell the story we want to tell. As an example, the guidance I was given for writing "Her Father's Daughter" was essentially, "we want to introduce the Crane Clan in general, along with the issues they're facing in the Empire, and we want to specifically introduce Doji Hotaru, and her relationships with her father, Satsume, and with Bayushi Kachiko". And that was about it. So I wouldn't be writing about the Dragon Clan, or the Shadowlands, or what the Phoenix were up...I had to write a story that covered those elements above. But given those constraints, I could write whatever story I wanted (subject, of course, to the FFG folks approving and accepting it!)

And while we do have some influence on the bigger story going forward, the other point Kinzen made that's important it's FFG that owns the story. Ultimately, their Story Team makes the final decisions on what's going to happen, what gets included, what doesn't, etc.

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