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-   -   Who is Shatner kidding? (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=207445)

James T. Vader March 27 2013 08:06 PM

Who is Shatner kidding?
 
So I was watching a documentary with Shatner, and he admitted to never watching Star Trek TNG because he "prefers the news and sports."

Who is trying to fool then with all of the Shatnerverse novels with his name slathered across the cover.
It came out he "provided the ideas" and they wrote the books.

Don't get me wrong, the first two trilogies are great. But that's more a testatment to the Reeves-Stevens. Although Super Kirk does wear a bit thin, espeically when his hands are blown off and he still manges to fly Voyager and fight Tiberius hand to hand, or I guess stump to hand.

I just wonder if another author could get away with it. Could David Mack have Chris Bennnett write a Destiny and Mack goes and does all of the interviews and takes the credit.

Christopher March 27 2013 08:21 PM

Re: Who is Shatner kidding?
 
Quote:

James T. Vader wrote: (Post 7859725)
Who is trying to fool then with all of the Shatnerverse novels with his name slathered across the cover.
It came out he "provided the ideas" and they wrote the books.

That's untrue. The authors have discussed their process in detail, and it's a full collaboration. Yes, Shatner develops the basic premises and Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens then flesh out the full outline (and work in the broader Trek-universe elements), but the writing process involves all three. Shatner writes Kirk's dialogue and actions, the R-Ses do the first draft of the rest, but they rewrite each other's portions (as collaborators usually do), and Shatner has the final say on every word.

And it's worth noting that Shatner's collaborators did get credit on his Trek novels (although not always on the front cover), which is more than can be said of his TekWar series (written with Ron Goulart) or his Quest for Tomorrow series (with W. T. Quick), where his collaborators went uncredited.

Therin of Andor April 1 2013 10:07 AM

Re: Who is Shatner kidding?
 
Supposedly Barbara Cartland used to write her many romance novels while resting on a divan, sipping drinks, while her stenographer and typist got down each word.

There are many, many ways to collaborate on a project. He's not "trying to fool" anyone. Shatner boasted in a "Starlog" interview that he used to narrate the lines he wanted Kirk and Jake (and TJ Hooker, too) to say, plus all the action sequences of his novels, into a dictaphone while racing around on errands, then he had his secretary transcribe the tapes so he could send a manuscript off to "the experts", the Reeves-Stevenses and Ron Goulart.

I'm sure many authors are experimenting with voice-activated computers these days. I recently had some surgery to a skin cancer on my ear and the plastic surgeon narrated his report to my doctor into a computer. Pressed a button, did some quick edits and emailed the report!

Defcon April 1 2013 02:06 PM

Re: Who is Shatner kidding?
 
^ Kathleen David has mentioned in her post stroke updates about PAD that Peter used Dragon Dictate during that time to work on his stuff.

Christopher April 1 2013 04:00 PM

Re: Who is Shatner kidding?
 
Dictating isn't collaborating, though. Those are completely different things, because the transcriber doesn't contribute anything creatively, just converts the writer's words to text. Dictation is simply an alternative to typing or longhand. Lots of solo writers have used it, including Cartland, Rod Serling, Erle Stanley Gardner, and J. Michael Straczynski.

So the method Shatner used to record his writing is beside the point. Either way, he wrote portions of the work and his collaborators wrote other portions, and they rewrote each other's words. That's how most collaborations work.

Therin of Andor April 1 2013 09:22 PM

Re: Who is Shatner kidding?
 
Quote:

Christopher wrote: (Post 7883086)
Dictating isn't collaborating, though. Those are completely different things, because the transcriber doesn't contribute anything creatively, just converts the writer's words to text.

Sure, but there will also be degrees in how much the transcriber might be asked to contribute. Punctuation, corrections to the narrator's grammar, perhaps even a first edit, marking sections that seem to need expansion, or places where the narrative strays.

In any case, after Shatner gets back his transcript and fiddles with it, he passes it on to another writer(s).

Christopher April 1 2013 09:26 PM

Re: Who is Shatner kidding?
 
^But that's not co-writing either. It's editing. Please stop confusing the issue.

Therin of Andor April 1 2013 10:24 PM

Re: Who is Shatner kidding?
 
Quote:

Christopher wrote: (Post 7884577)
^But that's not co-writing either. It's editing. Please stop confusing the issue.

Pardon me for "confusing the issue".

I've done cowriting and I've done editing and they feel quite a bit the same to me. Part of the creative process. Perhaps that's been my problem: too much editing before the first draft is done. But my point is that the collaborative process of writing doesn't have any hard and fast rules. For some writers the steps will blur into each other.

I talked about how Shatner works, and he has mentioned the details of how he collaborates. Whether some bits are writing, some bits are editing, some bits are cowriting, and some bits are transcribing: I don't really care. It's not necessarily going to be easy to define something that everyone does in their own way.

Danger Ace April 1 2013 10:29 PM

Re: Who is Shatner kidding?
 
Quote:

Christopher wrote: (Post 7883086)
Dictating isn't collaborating, though. Those are completely different things, because the transcriber doesn't contribute anything creatively, just converts the writer's words to text. Dictation is simply an alternative to typing or longhand. Lots of solo writers have used it, including Cartland, Rod Serling, Erle Stanley Gardner, and J. Michael Straczynski.

So the method Shatner used to record his writing is beside the point. Either way, he wrote portions of the work and his collaborators wrote other portions, and they rewrote each other's words. That's how most collaborations work.

Thanks, Christopher, for your insightful clarifications.

I think part of what is going on here is some feel Shatner was a Johnny-come-lately to writing. You're knowledge comes across as pretty widespread so correct me if I am wrong, but Shatner was interested in writing before his involvement in Star Trek.

I seem to recall him mentioning in an interview somewhere that during his days of struggle he almost shifted focus to writing and directing to make endsmeat. Anyone else recall this? Wish I could recall a source, but there you go (for what it's worth).


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