Channa Ti, Pathfinder


Legacy of Fire

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So, anybody else looking forward to Channa Ti? Anybody else wish Paizo would post a guest blog from Elaine Cunningham to whet our appetite? Or that our buddies from Atomic Array try to score an interview with her?


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
So, anybody else looking forward to Channa Ti? Anybody else wish Paizo would post a guest blog from Elaine Cunningham to whet our appetite? Or that our buddies from Atomic Array try to score an interview with her?

Ed knows her well enough. We could probably arrange this.


Sweet!

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

good idea!


So...not many other folks are a-tremble with curiosity...?


I think a lot of attention is going on Round 3 right now, to be fair, and not a lot of activity is going on on other forums.
Renowned highly-skilled fantasy authors dropping by would be a welcome sight though...


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
So...not many other folks are a-tremble with curiosity...?

Have yoooou eeeeeeeverrrrr trrried to tttype whiille trembling with curiousity?

Spoiler:
I'm not trembling, I'm jumping up and down with anticipation

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Channi Ti is a half-elf druid. Her heritage is a little odd, and since she is not given to introspection, she does not offer any insight into why an elf fighter from the Mwangi Expanse came to father a child upon a woman of Geb. Channa doesn't say much about herself, other than to admit that she's not one to ponder her decisions overlong and that her curiosity is both a strength and a failing.

She was raised among the elves of the Mwangi expanse and, at a very young age, apprenticed to a human druid. She does not have a companion animal, but rather, an affinity to one of the elements--water, in her case. She does not harbor a romantic or sentimental view of Nature, and in some ways she is more comfortable in the form and mind of a predator than in her own skin. She doesn't like elves, and she's wary of humans. But in her role as Pathfinder (a natural career choice for someone who's more curious than your average tabby) and frequent guide to adventurers and explorers, she has learned to work with just about anyone. She just assumes they're going to betray her at some point and has gotten pretty good about predicting the double cross and throwing in a twist of her own. Despite this view of humanoid nature, Channa would not describe herself as cynical, but pragmatic.

She is nearly six feet tall, thin and strong. She keeps her curly black hair cropped short and usually wears a hood, head scarf, turban, or other means of hiding her half-elven ears. Her mixed heritage gives her a lighter skin tone than the people of Geb--a rich brown rather than near-ebony--and at first glance most people assume she's a Mwangi woman.

There are no illustrations of Channa in the first two episodes, but a very talented artist has expressed an interest in doing a "fan art" depiction of her. When that is finished--and the Paizo officials permitting--I will share that here.

I would also be very grateful for your candid observations on Channa's story as it unfolds. Golarion is a new world, relatively speaking, and I will be very interested to see how closely her story matches your perceptions of what the tone and style of Golarion fiction should be. These observations will not influence this particular story--all of it will be written before the first episode is published--but I will still be paying close attention. The fantasy zeitgeist has changed considerably since I wrote Elfshadow, and it has been a while since I wrote a shared-world novel in ANY setting. Your comments will inform any shared-world fiction I may write in the future, and I want to thank you, in advance, for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Contributor

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
So, anybody else looking forward to Channa Ti? Anybody else wish Paizo would post a guest blog from Elaine Cunningham to whet our appetite? Or that our buddies from Atomic Array try to score an interview with her?

I have never done a podcast interview and quite frankly, the notion terrifies me, but I'd be happy to do an email interview or just answer questions informally on a message board thread.

One feature of the www.Candlekeep.com forums that seems to work very well is a Chamber of Sages, wherein writers and designers each have a thread of their own. I would definitely support any such feature that might crop up on the Paizo message board. But this thread will do just as well, if you like.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

This is great info Elaine. I'm really getting excited about reading your work over the next six months. I'm tempted to say I'm more eager to read Dark Tapestry than I am for the rest of the Legacy of Fire path.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Thank you for the info Elaine,

Strangely enough, I happen to think that Arilyn would find Golarion frightenly normal. Artifacts and archmages come and go, but the people remain the same. :-)

And I could picture a Taldoran or Cheliaxian version of Danillo. though I fear he'd be a bit darker in his humour and temperment (He's one of my favourite male characters in the Realms, second to The Blackstaff himself)

I can't wait to see this druid :-)


Spoiler:
Woo-hoo!

Thanks, Elaine, for peaking in and for giving the nice background summary on Channa. It's a pleasure to have the author take time and offer comments in our little online community. I'm now even more intrigued by the character's background and more looking forward to reading the monthly installments of her story. I'll definitely be reading them closely, and if I feel like I have anything to offer, I will take you up on your kind invitation. For example, I'd be tempted to suggest that doing something new and terrifying might not only be a salutary exercise for a writer, but especially for a writer fleshing out a curious, impetuous adventurer...

If you're still reading, I'm also quite intrigued by the passing reference you make to changes in the zeitgeist of fantasy literature. Perhaps because my own dipping in and out of the genre has been pretty selective, or better, highly idiosyncratic over a pretty wide period of time, that I don't have a strong grip on what dominant features have been and how they've changed up to now. Have you written on this, or do have a particular critic or writer in mind whose reflections on this you have found particularly lucid? I don't want to sound like I'm asking for what could be a difficult and lengthy essay in explanation, so I thought perhaps if there was something out there you could point me to, it might not be too much trouble. In any event, again, thanks for your generosity in contributing to our online community.

PS The anticipation of the artwork also is exciting. I bet Gary or Vic could eventually give you a unique avatar of Channa instead of Vadania.

Contributor

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
For example, I'd be tempted to suggest that doing something new and terrifying might not only be a salutary exercise for a writer, but especially for a writer fleshing out a curious, impetuous adventurer...

That might be true, but given a choice between doing a podcast and bungee jumping, I'd probably start looking around for a nice tall bridge. :)

Mairkurion wrote:
]If you're still reading, I'm also quite intrigued by the passing reference you make to changes in the zeitgeist of fantasy literature. Perhaps because my own dipping in and out of the genre has been pretty selective, or better, highly idiosyncratic over a pretty wide period of time, that I don't have a strong grip on what dominant features have been and how they've changed up to now. Have you written on this, or do have a particular critic or writer in mind whose reflections on this you have found particularly lucid? I don't want to sound like I'm asking for what could be a difficult and lengthy essay in explanation, so I thought perhaps if there was something out there you could point me to, it might not be too much trouble.

This is a good question, but one that would take far too long to answer in any detail. Nor can I point to a particular essay or article that sums up my thoughts on shifting trends and tastes. In short, there are several things that, IMO, are significant changes. First, it's my perception that fantasy readers are increasingly leaning toward darker, grimmer, more visceral stories. Second, fantasy readers' expectations are far more interactive than they were a few years back. Fanfic, message board discussion, online reviews, and easy access to writers through email and online forums has created a give-and-take that will inevitably make an impact on the type of stories people are writing and reading. Also, fantasy writing styles have become increasingly cinegraphic. The popularity and cultural pervasiveness of fantasy computer games, movies, and graphic novels have made writing "visual" prose more important than ever.


Hee-hee. OK, the sell's off, Ms. Cunningham. (Which in my case, takes some discipline.)

Thanks for the quick comments, which I will plug into my continuing pondering. This may have something to do with a post that I'm working on re Mona and Tolkien.

Contributor

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
I bet Gary or Vic could eventually give you a unique avatar of Channa instead of Vadania.

Is it possible to upload our own avatars?


No, that's all done by Paizo.


Elaine Cunningham wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
I bet Gary or Vic could eventually give you a unique avatar of Channa instead of Vadania.
Is it possible to upload our own avatars?

Not usually.

The Paizo staff have been known to occasionally add new avatars for use by specific posters or staff, such as the Bella Sara pony for Sebastian, Kobold Cleaver's personalised smurf, or Jason Bulmahn’s playtest avatar.

Thank you for dropping in to post with some background by the way; I live in the UK, so sadly I am like to be a couple of months behind everyone else in offering feedback, owing to shipping times.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Elaine,

I appreciate your comments on this thread, and hopefully we can keep it going. A couple of questions:

1) You mention the access the fan base has with the writers, via message boards, etc., what is your thought on that? Is it too much for the writer?

2) What was your impression of writing a serial as opposed to a full novel?

Contributor

Mr Baron wrote:

Elaine,

1) You mention the access the fan base has with the writers, via message boards, etc., what is your thought on that? Is it too much for the writer?

I imagine that for some writers, it can become too much to handle. That said, even the most prolific and popular writers often find a way to interact with fans. One such example is the romance superstar Nora Roberts, who apparently is fairly active on message boards. And it's not unusual for very successful writers to hire a publicist to keep the flow of information going. News letters, website updates, FAQ pages and interviews also add to the online profile and create a sense of connectedness.

But! If you let it, online interaction can eat up far too much of your writing time. Like everything else, it's a matter of finding a workable balance.

Mr Baron wrote:


2) What was your impression of writing a serial as opposed to a full novel?

I've been interested in writing a serial for some time now. It strikes me as a form whose time has come around again. But if I write another serial, I will definitely write the entire story as one continuous piece and have it completed well before the first episode is due. Some writers write very clean, orderly, straightforward first drafts. I envy them. Even though I write detailed outlines (the outline for "Dark Tapestry" was 16 pages, single spaced), sometimes I don't figure out what the story is really ABOUT until the first draft is written. And as you spend time with the characters and get to know them better, the story tends to shift a bit. Channa's story has stayed on track pretty well, but the writing process has yielded several small twists, turns, and surprises.


Elaine Cunningham wrote:


I would also be very grateful for your candid observations on Channa's story as it unfolds. Golarion is a new world, relatively speaking, and I will be very interested to see how closely her story matches your perceptions of what the tone and style of Golarion fiction should be.

Will do, but I'd also like to say something about tone and style of Golarion fiction:

Like everything Golarion, I think the fiction can, will, and should, support a wide range of styles and tones.

The Pathfinder Chronicles seem to support more or less every kind of fantasy you could think of. Sword&Sorcery, Wuxia, Sword and Planet, High Fantasy, Gothic Horror, Lovecraftian Horror, Superscience, Urban Intrigue, Wild Frontier, Points of Light.... If you can give it a fancy name, it's probably possible in the Chronicles.

The tone in the adventures, articles, sourcebooks and journals has run the gamut from light-hearted and numerous to grim and gritty.

I'm sure the fiction will be the same. One of the things I really like is that if the story or world calls for mature themes or gritty elements (be it rape, prostitution, ritual mutilation, people with non-standard sexual tastes and orientations, you name it), you don't have to beat around the bush or rewrite it, but neither are you forced to use that stuff. I call that a win-win situation!

I, as a long-time fan, look forward to this, and hope that Channa will join Arilyn, Liriel, Tsigone and GiGi in my list of all-time favourite heroines. I always loved your writing style, and I think it will fit right in.

Liberty's Edge

Elaine, just letting you know that there are a few of us Candlekeep scribes over here and we're anxiously awaiting the first chapter of Channa's story.

Contributor

Good to know, maatdroz. :)

I just finished and sent in the final episode. It's always a great feeling to finish a story, but I'm going to miss Channa.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Elaine Cunningham wrote:

Good to know, maatdroz. :)

I just finished and sent in the final episode. It's always a great feeling to finish a story, but I'm going to miss Channa.

You don't have to miss her... :) novel? :)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Elaine Cunningham wrote:

Good to know, maatdroz. :)

I just finished and sent in the final episode. It's always a great feeling to finish a story, but I'm going to miss Channa.

You don't have to miss her... :) novel? :)

unless she's dead :P

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Matthew Morris wrote:
unless she's dead :P

oooh, now I'm saaad.

Contributor

Matthew Morris wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Elaine Cunningham wrote:

Good to know, maatdroz. :)

I just finished and sent in the final episode. It's always a great feeling to finish a story, but I'm going to miss Channa.

You don't have to miss her... :) novel? :)
unless she's dead :P

Heh. No, what I was referring to was the separation from a character that occurs when you type THE END and mail in the manuscript. It's hard to explain, but it's a little like the difference between a friend you hang out with on a regular basis and a friend you remember fondly from college.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Elaine Cunningham wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Elaine Cunningham wrote:

Good to know, maatdroz. :)

I just finished and sent in the final episode. It's always a great feeling to finish a story, but I'm going to miss Channa.

You don't have to miss her... :) novel? :)
unless she's dead :P
Heh. No, what I was referring to was the separation from a character that occurs when you type THE END and mail in the manuscript. It's hard to explain, but it's a little like the difference between a friend you hang out with on a regular basis and a friend you remember fondly from college.

Ah, having often started stories but never finished them, I don't get that feeling :-(

(and I was just trying to cause trouble with the 'unless she's dead' comment)

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Elaine,

I have a question: How many words were in each episode? What was the target on word count?


By this time next week, we'll have read the first installment.
:D

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

I can't bloody wait for Legacy of Fire... sigh.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I thought this was to be an 18 episode run, but the Council of Thieves fiction has a diffferent author credit. What's up with that?

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
logic_poet wrote:
I thought this was to be an 18 episode run, but the Council of Thieves fiction has a diffferent author credit. What's up with that?

It's a 12 issue run... they said 18 months the first time or 2 they mentioned it, but after that they said 12 month arcs

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Cpt_kirstov wrote:
logic_poet wrote:
I thought this was to be an 18 episode run, but the Council of Thieves fiction has a diffferent author credit. What's up with that?
It's a 12 issue run... they said 18 months the first time or 2 they mentioned it, but after that they said 12 month arcs

Elaine's arc is only 6 episodes, as she's just writing for LoF.

Contributor

Mr Baron wrote:

Elaine,

I have a question: How many words were in each episode? What was the target on word count?

The target word count was 4000-4200, plus sidebars. The episodes all fall within or very near that range.

Contributor

Just to clarify - For the foreseeable future, all Pathfinder's Journal story arcs will be 6 episodes long, as we want each adventure path to have its own self-contained tale. Spanning several adventure paths like we did with Eando's story makes it difficult for new folks to get on board, and longer works are more appropriate for the forthcoming novel line anyway....

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

James Sutter wrote:
Just to clarify - For the foreseeable future, all Pathfinder's Journal story arcs will be 6 episodes long, as we want each adventure path to have its own self-contained tale. Spanning several adventure paths like we did with Eando's story makes it difficult for new folks to get on board, and longer works are more appropriate for the forthcoming novel line anyway....

More appropriate for the wha? Say again?


Note that Mr. Sutter has not said *when* said novel line may be forthcoming. It could well be some years off yet. :D

Edit:
Indeed, if it were in the near future, I think Paizo would have announced it in the products schedule recently?

Contributor

Charles Evans 25 wrote:

Indeed, if it were in the near future, I think Paizo would have announced it in the products schedule recently?

That would depend on what you mean by "near future." A novel can take several months to write, and the production stage--editing, revision, copyediting, typesetting, proof reading, printing--can add several more months. But that doesn't necessarily mean a novels line is years away.

Let's play with dates a bit and create a best-case scenario. A book can take many months to write, but sometimes you CAN write a good, entertaining story in one relatively brief, non-stop writing frenzy. Anne Rice wrote Interview With a Vampire in four weeks. J.A. Konrath writes each of his Jack Daniels thrillers in a month. My shortest time for a first draft was a little over six weeks for The Unicorn Hunt, a short YA novel, and that was working around two preschool kids. Now that my sons are away to college, I could conceivably write a solid, polished first draft of a 85-90K word book in two months.

Assuming I started that hypothetical novel TODAY, I could turn in a draft on May 17. Most editors require two or three weeks to read the ms and make revision notes. This could take less time or a whole lot more, depending on what ELSE is on their desks, and trust me, editors seldom have just two or three on things on their desks at any given time. And in a shared-world setting, the game designers are also going to have to review the ms and weigh in on continuity issues, which, depending on what else THEY have going on, could take a while longer. But let's assume I'd get revision notes back three weeks later, June 8. Since I'm a LOT faster at revising than I am at writing, I could probably turn around revisions in a week, assuming they're not too extensive. But let's give it two weeks, with a final draft date of June 22. The editor would reread the ms, possibly request a few tweaks, then send it on to the copyreader. Let's give the copyreader two weeks to do his job, which assumes the schedule clicks that tightly AND that he could focus solely on this ms. Let's say he sends the marked-up ms, along with his notes, by FedEx, and it arrives here July 8. I have until the following Friday, July 17, to go through the ms and respond to all questions and corrections. Thanks to my handy scanner, I can scan the pages with changes and send them as an email attachment, so I have no problem hitting that deadline. Let's give a week for the copyeditor to input these changes and send the ms to whoever does the formatting. (This step used to be called "typesetting" and still is sometimes, despite the fact that technology has rendered it inaccurate.) If they can finish formatting and printing the ms by EOD Friday, July 24, they could send it to me by FedEx for a Monday, July 27 delivery. Give me a week to read the galley pages for a final pass, during which time the proof reader (or proof readers) will also be reading the ms. I send back any corrections, which at this point should be very minor, by the following Monday, August 3. One of the editors will collate these changes with those noted by the proofreaders and make sure they find their way into the ms. THEN the finished ms goes to the printers.

So. Assuming a Wildly Optimistic Schedule in which everyone works without distraction and at high efficiency, and assuming a schedule that fits together like a high-quality jigsaw puzzle, you could conceivably have books showing up as soon as late 2009. But! That's assuming a start date of TODAY. If Paizo already had authors working on novels, or if the novel line is still in the planning stage, the picture could change considerably.

Bottom line: just because products have not yet been announced, it doesn't follow that they are years away from release.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
If Paizo already had authors working on novels, or if the novel line is still in the planning stage, the picture could change considerably.

Should we take that to mean you arn't already signed on for a novel?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Elaine, is there something you want to tell us? Or is this really all a hypothetical situation as you present it? Should I be reading as much into this as I am?

The Exchange

Not reading anything into this. I have to say that this is an interesting background of what it takes to get a story out. Thank you for sharing.

Contributor

Crimson Jester wrote:
Not reading anything into this. I have to say that this is an interesting background of what it takes to get a story out. Thank you for sharing.

Good call, Crimson Jester. That's exactly what my post was intended to express.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
Crimson Jester wrote:
Not reading anything into this. I have to say that this is an interesting background of what it takes to get a story out. Thank you for sharing.

Good call, Crimson Jester. That's exactly what my post was intended to express.

I wasn't particularly reading into it.... just trying to gleam extra information if possible - hungry for information... yeah... that's it..


So little time for something to get into print these days, if everything comes together... truly incredible.
Thank-you for the insight, Elaine.

On an impertinent note, I don't suppose I can interest you in a trip to the UK for a couple of days of gaming at PaizoCon UK in mid-July this year? (Insert cheeky :D emoticon here.)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
stuff

Thanks for breaking down the process, it's interesting to see what goes into the creation of a book. I would not have been able to even hazard a guess as to what the timelines were like.

Contributor

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
So little time for something to get into print these days, if everything comes together... truly incredible.

Keep in mind that this scenario is Wildly Optimistic. For starters, writing a first draft in two months, while possible, requires almost total immersion, of the sort that my husband refers to as "going off on an extended business trip." And since editors juggle many simultaneous projects, it's hard to predict how much time each of the steps will realistically take. It doesn't make sense to schedule things TOO tightly, Murphy's Law being what it is.

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
On an impertinent note, I don't suppose I can interest you in a trip to the UK for a couple of days of gaming at PaizoCon UK in mid-July this year? (Insert cheeky :D emoticon here.)

I don't need much provocation to hop a plane, and the UK is one of my favorite destinations. Unfortunately, I've made another convention commitment in July, so it seems unlikely. Alas.

Contributor

Callous Jack wrote:
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
stuff

"Stuff." Heh. :)

Contributor

Cpt_kirstov wrote:
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
Crimson Jester wrote:
Not reading anything into this. I have to say that this is an interesting background of what it takes to get a story out. Thank you for sharing.

Good call, Crimson Jester. That's exactly what my post was intended to express.

I wasn't particularly reading into it.... just trying to gleam extra information if possible - hungry for information... yeah... that's it..

Heh. Something tells me you've grown accustomed to wink-nudge hinting, of the sort that goes on at the "Secrets of the Realms" seminars every GenCon. I don't DO coy. What I'm more inclined to do is disseminate information, sometimes at greater lengths than the situation requires. Just ask my kids. They'll tell you, "Just nod and smile."

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
Just ask my kids. They'll tell you, "Just nod and smile."

I'm good at that, I have a Girlfriend :)


OK, rather than take a nap like any sensible person would after two solid days of chapter revision, I read the first Channa Ti installment. I'm hooked: pulled me right in, and not only made me stay awake but passed the "made me forget I was reading" test.

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