Anyway, correct me if I'm wrong but I get the impression that there are certain "guidelines" set by those in charge of the book company. So I have to ask a question: Isn't it a bit frustrating to have other people tell you what to write and not? I mean, I would get one of my well-known outbursts of rage if someone told me that I must kill off one of my main characters in my fanfiction stories.
And the only way to create some edge to the stories is to kill off beloved characters from the series?
This really is a case by case thing...
In the first place...I often see people refer to the "guidelines" that are or were part of the submission policy for unsolicited manuscripts for potential new writers. In that case, there were specific do's and don't's, including not killing major characters...but that never had anything to do with the actual books being written. That, along with the other stated perameters were designed to see if a potential author could follow established rules...whatever they may be...and still produce a compelling story. If they demonstrated that, then the work might begin on an actual story that might someday be published that would then be free to ignore the parameters established for the "audition" phase of the process.
If we're talking about actual books the publisher is contracting to publish, sometimes the editor has broad ideas and the authors get to create the details. Sometimes, as in Before Dishonor, the editor has one or many specific story requirements and the author has to follow those if he/she wants to write the book.
Is it frustrating at times? Sure. But it comes with the job. If you don't want to follow the editor's direction, you don't write the book and someone else does. If these kinds of creative contraints are too stifling to imagine, you're definitely better off writing your own original work and not trying to write tie-in fiction of any kind.
And, no, killing a major character isn't the only
way to create some edge, as you say. It is one of many choices that were before us, and the one we chose to explore at the time. That's all.
Thanks for your many kind words. Youre specific question about killing Janeway in a TNG book rather than a Voyager book was addressed somewhere above and basically had more to do with what was happening in Treklit as a whole at the time than any intention on anyone's part to tick off Voyager's fans.
As to 2012...nothing is official yet. When it is, I'll share.