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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old July 27 2008, 06:59 AM   #1
CommodoreNero
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Writers! -Use of character permission - Writing an unpublishable story

So I know this would likely fall under the Fan Fiction section moreso than here, but I basically need to ask for advice and permission. I'm writing a Star Trek-inspired story.

Inspired? Yes. An idea popped in my head several weeks back, and for the life of me, it will not leave me alone. To be honest, I'm actually very proud of it. I have read a LOT of Pocket Books Star Trek fiction, especially in the last 4-5 years, so I have a profound respect for Trek Lit and how you all have made excellent strides in not only more fully fleshing out these beloved characters, but also creating wonderful originals ones yourselves.

Which is where my question of permission comes in. My story is somewhat, er, scopetastic and will likely cover a lot of time and ground. There are two original character from recent works I could not help but what to include in this so far: Federation president Nan Bacco and Esperanza Piniero.

While I would love for Pocket Books to be bowled over by my "amazing and wonderous skill in communicating the human condition", I think my book probably goes a few thousand light years out of the realm they'd feel comfortable supporting.

So, I guess, I'm bouncing this specific request to Mr. Palmieri and KRAD. I didn't want to continue my story without getting at least your permissions to use those two wonderful characters in my story. I promise that I'll treat both of them with the utmost respect and I believe wholeheartedly that I can speak in their voices.

Also, if you'd like to hear my idea, please just let me know. Thanks!

While I won't divulge the idea publically, I will share its title. "Delta"
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Last edited by CommodoreNero; July 27 2008 at 07:08 AM.
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Old July 27 2008, 07:43 AM   #2
Trent Roman
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Re: Writers! -Use of character permission - Writing an unpublishable s

If this is fanfiction, you can use whatever character you want in the story; it all falls into the same grey zone.

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
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Old July 27 2008, 07:50 AM   #3
Therin of Andor
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Re: Writers! -Use of character permission - Writing an unpublishable s

CommodoreNero wrote: View Post
Which is where my question of permission comes in.
No one can grant you permission for CBS-owned characters being used in fan fic, nor can the authors read what you did with characters.

You just can't make a profit from people reading it. Nor publish it here.
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Old July 27 2008, 07:54 AM   #4
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Re: Writers! -Use of character permission - Writing an unpublishable s

If you're writing fanfic, you can do whatever you want.

If you're writing something that will hopefully impress Pocket, you're going to fail, because this story won't meet their guidelines. Period. They won't consider it. But I think from your title you already know that...

If you're writing an original work that you hope to get published that is not Star Trek but does use those characters, that's also illegal, as those characters are owned by CBS. The authors don't actually own them any more than you do, and can't give you permission.
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Old July 27 2008, 09:15 AM   #5
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Re: Writers! -Use of character permission - Writing an unpublishable s

Trent Roman wrote: View Post
If this is fanfiction, you can use whatever character you want in the story; it all falls into the same grey zone.

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
I figured that was likely the case, but I figured I'd err on the side of caution/respect just in case.
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Old July 27 2008, 09:17 AM   #6
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Re: Writers! -Use of character permission - Writing an unpublishable s

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
CommodoreNero wrote: View Post
Which is where my question of permission comes in.
No one can grant you permission for CBS-owned characters being used in fan fic, nor can the authors read what you did with characters.

You just can't make a profit from people reading it. Nor publish it here.
I guess my story falls somewhere between fan fiction, being that I am a fan, and someone discovering it and going "this must be published because it is amazing" -- No sweat, right?

And I wouldn't want to make profit on it. I'm pretty comfortable in the living department. I want to use Trek to say something in a way I haven't seen done yet.
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Old July 27 2008, 09:19 AM   #7
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Re: Writers! -Use of character permission - Writing an unpublishable s

Thrawn wrote: View Post
If you're writing fanfic, you can do whatever you want.

If you're writing something that will hopefully impress Pocket, you're going to fail, because this story won't meet their guidelines. Period. They won't consider it. But I think from your title you already know that...

If you're writing an original work that you hope to get published that is not Star Trek but does use those characters, that's also illegal, as those characters are owned by CBS. The authors don't actually own them any more than you do, and can't give you permission.
Well, I just kinda figured that to be the case, but as a point of respect, I wanted to make sure just in case. I would have hated to have included some, and then found out later that it's a breach of writer etiquette not to ask for permission.

But yeah, where I'd like to go is so very far off the path... which is exactly why it won't leave me alone, I think =)
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Old July 27 2008, 11:21 AM   #8
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Re: Writers! -Use of character permission - Writing an unpublishable s

dude, multi-quote. or the edit button. triple-posting is seen as spamming here...
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Old July 27 2008, 11:43 AM   #9
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Re: Writers! -Use of character permission - Writing an unpublishable s

captcalhoun wrote: View Post
dude, multi-quote. or the edit button. triple-posting is seen as spamming here...
Sorry about that. Mostly a lurker.
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Old July 27 2008, 01:10 PM   #10
Therin of Andor
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Re: Writers! -Use of character permission - Writing an unpublishable s

CommodoreNero wrote: View Post
I guess my story falls somewhere between fan fiction, being that I am a fan, and someone discovering it and going "this must be published because it is amazing"
No, it's fan fic. Because the only professional publisher licensed to publish it won't be accepting your manuscript unless it meets the submission guidelines - and you can't use original-to-novels characters in your agent-submitted proposal-plus-sample-chapters. No matter how "amazing". And if it's already self-published (even on the Internet) then Pocket won't/can't buy it.

If you impress them with a submission that fits the guidelines, then maybe you'll get a chance to pitch a story that might include original-to-other-novel characters. But your odds of success are reaching... almost zilch.
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