Writing a Book (That Will Never Be Read)

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Never originally set out to come up with a book length story (and I still haven't), but over the past couple of months I've seen the pieces falling together that would be needed to write one.

I have my central characters, I have my secondary characters, a few noteable tertiary characters.  I have a vague overarching plot that can serve as a scaffold which everything elsce can be built off of, and I have a handful of noteable scenes all rattling around in my head.  Whats mainly missing now is, you know, the fine details and stuff that would likely only be settled out by sitting down and actually doing the hard work.

My question is, would it even be worth the effort to do so, knowing that no one would ever be allowed to read it?  I mean, even if I came up with the greatest glorified fanfiction novel in history, everything is still so firmly entrenched in the Eberron universe that it would not be possible to extract it, nor do I believe that WotC would be overly generous in allowing me a liscense to play in their sandbox that didn't entail liscensing and royalty fees that would freaking break me if it didn't become the next big thing.

Even if, assuming the dice gods smiled natural 20's on me and WotC just gave me a free liscense to the universe, I know I have... "interpretations" that are drastically different from WotC's.  Some of them are fairly minor (like I have the general mongrol shifters, but I have trueblood clans that are clearly watered down werewolves, werebears, werebats, weretigers, etc), some of them are fairly major (WotC is flat out wrong about how Changelings were handled, much of the 4e stuff never happened, etc).  If I were to write all of this stuff out, I wouldn't be toeing the company line with any of it.

So, the question remains, would it be worth the effort to actually sit down and take my best swing at hammering out an actual book, knowing that I could never publish it (even self publish or publish through Amazon as a kindle book) without WotC's ninja lawyer team stepping out of every shadow at once?
My understanding is that it is easier than ever to publish a book.  You can have your books set up to be bought by kindle customers.  The question is mostly: would the profit you make be enough to make writing the book be worth your time.  I don't really know how much you would make, but it would at least be available for people to read.

The second issue you bring up is the legality of changing the world of Eberron.  I would say that you can write it and then see how much you are required to change.  I used to read star wars books all the time that contradicted each other.  I certainly don't know how true you would be forced to stay to the book, but if the Lords of Eberron try to force too many changes on you, you can decide to just change the names and publish your book by yourself without any famous world to tie it to.  That doesn't sound too bad to me.

Most authors don't make much money anyway, so you should probably write it mostly because you love writing and because you want to share your tale with the world. 
My understanding is that it is easier than ever to publish a book.  You can have your books set up to be bought by kindle customers.  The question is mostly: would the profit you make be enough to make writing the book be worth your time.

Oh I assure you, my time is quite worthless.  Well, as long as you don't tell my employer I said that, anyway.  Believe me, I know the difference between being a writer and someone who writes something, and I'm no writer.  Leastways not right now I'm not, and would not be through most of the process beyond the "sit down and type it up" phase.

but if the Lords of Eberron try to force too many changes on you, you can decide to just change the names and publish your book by yourself without any famous world to tie it to.  That doesn't sound too bad to me.

Most authors don't make much money anyway, so you should probably write it mostly because you love writing and because you want to share your tale with the world. 

Thats just the rub.  The main characters and the plot are very Eberron centric.  I couldn't even port much of it into another game setting and still have it make sense, much less a stand alone novel.

Warforged Paladin, Shifter Artificer, a rogue with an Abberant Mark, and a plot driven by the Shadow in the Silver Flame.  Just way too much to be able to expy the entire thing without it being absurd.
I would just write it if you feel the urge and have the ambition. I would read it. WotC isn't going to do anything about it unless you try to make a profit, claim the elements as your own, or attempt to subvert their marketing with your radical ideas.
The general concept of your book sounds good.  I think you should write it.
The general concept of your book sounds good.  I think you should write it.


I've got the major plot points handled, I know the major factions that are involved and why each side is doing what they're doing.  I have my adventuring party characters, their backgrounds and motivations, etc.

Only thing I am actually lacking  to be able to sit down and write something up are the minor encounters.

Heh, I could sit down and DM it as a campaign right now, but keeping a cohesive story going on for a reader, that takes a lot more work getting the details exactly right.

The main plot driver is that the rakasha bound in the flame is trying to build up his power and followers.  Years ago during the war, the followers of the Shadow in the Flame managed to capture a celestial and milk it's essence to make a powerful drug that increased the user's battle prowess (basically something like a +2 to all stats when consumed), at the price of being intensly addictive.  The idea was to get all of the warriors of the Church hooked on the stuff (and by extension most of Thrane's army) to the point they were little more than crackhead junkies that would do whatever it took for their next hit (and in turn would be the most loyal army a demon could ask for).  Their plans were thwarted though when one of the people holding the celestial falls in love with her, breaks her out, and has a child with her while on the run.  Both parents get killed during an ensuing fight, while the hit squad overlooks the baby.  Fast forward to the current time, main characters get sent to the village where the child was raised, and end up sending reports back to the church that there is something special about the young woman she grew up to be.  Cue the girl joining the adventuring group as the dark underbelly of the CotSF tries to reclaim her to continue their dastardly plans while the party tries to figure out who and what the girl is, and the history of what actually happened.

The 3.5 mechanics actually make some of it easier to write, as the girl would mechanically be the cohort of the team leader, and the level required for the cohort is the same level that he could take the first level of his PrC (Exorcist of the Silver Flame), so that writes itself as being the reason why he would be the one going to check on the villiage as well as what the threat there would have to be.  Heh, so I've got the basic beginning, and I've got the basic ending (I would love to make the ending scene be where the girl gets left under the protection of the trusted church official, only to have them alone in a room and him say "You look just like your mother..."), and I know the general middle.  Its just getting them all connected in an interesting way that needs doing.

The characters of the party are all actually old PCs of mine that fit well together (and my habit of making unecissarily long and detailed backgrounds for characters I rarely if ever got to play really paid off).

Lead: Crucible, warforged paladin of the silver flame.
General Role: Group leader, front line fighter, tank
Personality: I guess its easiest to describe him as a mixture of Optimus Prime, The Doctor, and Sailor Moon.  On the surface he's Optimus Prime, the wise, unflappable leader that everyone looks up to.  Underneath that is the 11th Doctor's dark past that gets to peek out from time to time (as before becoming a Paladin, as a warforged he was less than a mercinary that just fought and killed wherever he was pointed at), with a dash of Sailor Moon in that he's the team focus that holds everyone else together by being the one that sees them as the diamond in the rough that shows compassion, pulls them out of their misery, and gives them purpose.

 Primary Support #1: Elyse, shifter artificer
General Role: Blaster and magical support
Personality: Persistant, stubborn, bit of a hot-head.  Member of a pureblood shifter family that turned her back on tradition by becoming an artificer and was disowned by her strong warrior family because of it.  Was about to die in the gutter from neglect due to being too proud to become a begger until Crucible found her and took her in the same way the church had found him in the gutter and taken him in.  Loyal to Crucible above all others, but not trusting of the CotSF in the least.  Was the first "stray" taken in by Crucible.

Primary Support #2: Darien, human rogue/fighter
General Role: Support fighter, information gatherer, dirty fighter
Personality: He's a mourner that lost his family in Cyre.  Was a fairly well known entertainer that did dance/martial arts routines with a quarterstaff before getting throw into the trash heap with the other mourners.  Was married to a Cannith, but lost that as well when he developed an abberant mark.  Hated and despised the world until Crucible stood up for him.  Joined as the second "stray" after regaining some measure of faith in the world through Crucible.  Classic ruffian with a heart of gold type.  Has a soft spot for protecting children, due to having lost his own.

Primary Support #3: Gwendolyn, human divine soul
General Role: Healer, plot device/macguffin
Personality: Shy, reserved, unsure of herself.  Found out she was rescued as a baby and brought up by an adoptive father who dies shortly after revealing that fact.  Always knew she was different, always teased by the other kids growing up for having abnormal abilities.  Now thrust into a world she doesn't fully understand with an unlikely crew of guardians, chased by people she has never heard of before for reasons she doesn't understand.  Fills the roll of being the character that is exploring the wider world for the first time so that the reader can be introduced to it all as well.

The group overall is loyal to Crucible, each having been rescued by him in one way or another.  While Crucible is looked at favorably by the Church (mechanically would have a variation of Favored in House, only with the CotSF instead of a DM'ed house), his crew is not.  Rather looked down upon and called "The Pack" by the rest of the church, as in they are a pack of strays that Crucible has collected.  They however have adopted the name as an honorific, with Crucible as the pack leader.