Gloomhaven Novel/FanFic

Gloomhaven Novel/FanFic

November 4, 2020 Edit: Basically none of this is applicable anymore, since the novel is no longer a Gloomhaven novel, but a world of my own creation. But I’d still totally be down for writing a Gloomhaven story one of these days! The new iteration of this story is called Flightless.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a new writing project.

Yes, I’m still revising Unrelenting, the first Grigori book in The Deathless Gods series with my co-writer, Jessi. (Subscribe for updates and learn more here.)

But I needed a creative outlet for my own time, too.

Where it all began

The seeds for this project were planted a couple of years ago when I started playing a little game called Gloomhaven.

If you aren’t a giant nerd like me, you might not have heard of it, but Gloomhaven is a mega-huge board game. (Literally; the box with all components weighs 22 pounds.) It’s for 1-4 players, and it’s cooperative (meaning the whole party wins, or the whole party loses).

At the time of post publication, it had an 8.9 out of 10 on Board Game Geek, and it’s the #1 best game of all time in each of its board game categories (Adventure, Exploration, Fantasy, Fighting, and Miniatures). So it’s not horrible.

To get an idea of what it’s like, imagine a role playing game like D&D finding itself in a highly-satisfying dungeon crawler in a unique dark fantasy setting. You play as a mercenary who is from one of 9 original species developed by the game’s creator, Isaac Childres.

I play semi-regularly with my husband, Josh, and with a group of friends. It’s been ridiculous levels of fun. To the point where I finish a 3-hour session and am ready for another scenario.

Reading up on the game, I kept coming across people wishing for Gloomhaven novels and fan fiction. It’s a compelling world, so it’s not hard to see why.

I thought, maybe I should write a Gloomhaven story.

But if I was going to tackle that, I needed to know more about the world. A LOT more. Because if I was going to write a Gloomhaven novel, I wanted to do it right and honor Isaac’s massive creative endeavor.

So I booted up Scrivener, my writing software, and started researching by reading the scenario book, pouring over the events, and studying the map.

The Gloomhaven fan community is also passionate about staying spoiler-free, so I wanted to honor that in my work. That meant only relying on the six starting classes of characters and locations that show up early in the book… or original ones created in the spirit of Gloomhaven.

The other priority I had was making it truly feel like the game. So that meant I needed to keep my party of protagonists to 1-4, applying item and scenario effects, and keeping the fights punishingly hard.

I wanted to mimic the rhythm of city and road events, characters leveling up, fight initiative, and other game mechanics that make Gloomhaven so much fun.

And if you have ZERO clue what I’m talking about, but enjoy adventure and fantasy stories, I wanted to make it fun for you, too. I didn’t want a reader to have to know the first thing about Gloomhaven before reading the book.

Now the writing begins

I have writing goals to plow through the writing. I’m not a fast writer, but that’s because I tend to produce fairly polished first drafts.

Good goal: 500 words a day
Better goal: 1,000 words a day
Best goal: 1,500 words a day

As far as what I’m going to do with it, my dream would be to have it be an officially licensed Gloomhaven novel. But even if that doesn’t happen, I can release it as fan fiction. Either would be a ton of fun!

If you’re interested in getting updates about the book as it progresses (and maybe get some sneak peeks), subscribe using the form below.

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