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Old January 18 2013, 06:40 AM   #16
Supreme Dittodrone
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

I'd written a synopsis and pitch for my "first" Trek novel...but I've yet to get an agent and submit it.

Anyway--

Set during Season 7, DS9--shortly before "Penumbra". Sisko recieves a vision from the Prophets of a coming attempt to "divide the land". A mysterious young Bajoran questions Garack about means of mass destruction--and both are attacked by members of the Cult of the Pah-Wraiths. It turns out the young man was a former member himself--and left upon discovering a plot to "cleanse" the land.

Soon after, a massive reservoir is desroyed by a "dirty bomb"--bringing a massive flood of radiation-tinted water to an entire province. As Bashir and Ezri spearhead a recovery effort, Sisko, Kira, and Garak must uncover the full plan of the Cult--before the Prophets' warnings come to tragic fruition....

Along with the action-adventure main storyline (and a hint-of-romance-to-come subplot involving my favorite couple ), there is a direct parallel to the ongoing War on Terror (something which, in retrospect, makes storylines involving the Cult and the Circle from the series quite eerie in their ahead-of-time parallels...).

BTW--anyone else notice the decided lack of TrekLit set during DS9 Season 7? I almost get the idea that the novel writers didn't care for series-Ezri too much--hence the near-total "re-vamp" for the relaunch....
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Old January 19 2013, 07:05 PM   #17
Elvira
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

Excuse me Rush for pointing this out, but in your signature line I believe you transposed two words. Shouldn't it be ...

"Then I shall RISE and FIGHT again."

Unless this was deliberate on your part, in which case I'm just stupid.
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Old January 20 2013, 04:45 AM   #18
Supreme Dittodrone
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

^It's okay. I'd say I've seen both versions.
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Old January 20 2013, 08:46 AM   #19
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

Angry Fanboy wrote: View Post
Just a little conversation starter for a quiet Sunday evening:

...the incredible happens, and you're PM inbox flashes red with a message from an editor at Pocket Books who tells you that they've been monitoring your fan fiction writing and invites you to pitch a standalone Star Trek novel set within the confines of series continuity - that is TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT using existing characters who need to end the novel the same way they started it.

I'm sure most of us have read the old submission guidelines at one point or another but I've included them below. ENT isn't mentioned since these come from before 2001 but you get the basic idea - the novels need to be set within the series and you can't kill people off or make massive changes to the characters or universe.






In a one-sentence description, we're looking for exciting science fiction stories featuring the Star Trek characters. This means that something should be at stake, something other than the internal emotional problems of the crew. The optimum choice would be a problem that must be resolved quickly, solved in a race against time, that would have horrible consequences if the crew fails.

The majority of the books we publish are the regular Star Trek, Star Trek: TNG, Star Trek: DS9, and Star Trek: Voyager paperbacks. These are adventure novels of roughly 70,000 words (about 275-325 pages). We also have a line of hardcovers, but these are a tougher sell. We usually work very closely with experienced Star Trek authors to create the hardcover stories which are larger in scope than the regular novels.

Approvals
All material is subject to the approval of Paramount Pictures, which owns all copyright to Star Trek in its various incarnations and is very concerned about maintaining the integrity of the characters and the Star Trek universe.

To that end, we make a serious effort to see that the books line up with the episodes and films, though we recognize that absolute consistency is a practical impossibility.

DOs and DON'Ts
There are a number of plots that we would specifically like to avoid:

Any story primarily about a guest star or non-Star Trek regular. This means no stories about other crews, ships, or guest characters that become the focus of the story. The novels should always "star" Kirk, Picard, Sisko et al. Paramount Pictures feels very strongly that Star Trek stories should primarily be about the Star Trek characters, who must be the major problem solvers in any Star Trek novel.

Death of an established crewmember or character, or any other permanent change in the Star Trek characters, settings, or universe, such as introducing offspring or close relations of the characters other than those already in existence. Also no childhood or current sweethearts, although you can create temporary love interests. As with all series, the status quo must be restored at the end.

Any plot that hinges on or describes in detail sexual relations of any kind, especially between humans and aliens. We are not interested in books that suggest anything other than friendship among any of the Enterprise crewmembers.

No mixing of casts is allowed, which means no plots that mix the characters from one series with another. While we do intend to occasionally cross over between series this will always be handled very carefully in-house.

Traveling in time to change history or learn something, rescue someone, etc. Also, we are currently overstocked on alternate universe storylines.

For Deep Space Nine and Voyager, the books should stay current with the programs. Next Generation should, for the moment, be set between the end of the series and Star Trek: Generations, the first movie with the Next Generation cast.
No stories that turn out to have been a dream, a hoax, or a virtual reality sequence. We are also avoiding novels that start out with an action-packed opening that turns out to be taking place on the holodeck.

No "test" stories, i.e. stories where the Enterprise is tested by god-like beings studying humanity or judging our worth.
Avoid trying to definitively map out a character's history beyond what has already been done in the movies or television episodes. When we do biographical books, we work very closely with Paramount and the writer.

As a general rule, the best chance for a Star Trek submission by a first-time Star Trek writer is to submit a "traditional" Star Trek mission story that follows the Problem on Planet/Problem on Ship (or Station) formula. If you've been reading the novels, you know that we do take some chances and publish books that push the boundaries somewhat, but be advised that we approach these stories very carefully, working closely with experienced Star Trek writers and Paramount Pictures.
Do not introduce any levels of technology beyond what has been established in the television shows.

A Word About Style
The major thing the books have to offer that the television shows do not is an internal point of view, revealing the inner thoughts, feelings and reactions of the characters. Therefore Star Trek books must adhere to strict point of view with scene breaks to denote any POV shifts. We are not interested in external or "camera eye" prose. We are also not interested in first person books.

The best style guides for your Star Trek proposals are, of course, the recently published Star Trek novels.
That's it. Thank you for your interest in Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. Good luck with your writing.
The problem with these guidelines is that the most interesting/fun stories don't use them.

I'd do either TOS or Voyager. I never did like DS9 much, and TNG is so sanitized, it tends to bore me.
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Old January 20 2013, 01:32 PM   #20
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

I tell them thank you for the offer but I don't write when my hands are tied. Have a nice day.
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Old January 20 2013, 04:29 PM   #21
Elias Vaughn
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

DS9: Here's the plot I'm shocked the show never did: Quark gets Odo's shapeshifting powers and discovers that Odo's life isn't as easy as Quark assumed. Would probably be set during season 1 or 2 of the show, and the end would restore the status quo by revealing that the entire thing was an Orb experience.
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Old January 21 2013, 08:22 AM   #22
Supreme Dittodrone
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

Timewalker wrote: View Post
The problem with these guidelines is that the most interesting/fun stories don't use them.
Well, FWIW, the guidelines are, from what I could make out, just for your original "pitch". They don't necessarily expect the pitch (and first three chapters) to be your first novel--they just want to see if you're able to write under their jurisdiction. That is, if they "commission" you to write certain things to make your novel fit with the overal editorial "direction", you'll do it.
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Old January 24 2013, 12:29 AM   #23
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

TOS - Captain Kirk and the USS Enterprise are sent to a new Federation world to help enforce its recent ban on slave trading, bringing the ship and crew into contention with Orion Trading Clans.
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Old February 5 2013, 05:44 PM   #24
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

Picard undertakes a diplomatic first contact mission to a new interstellar republic outside the Federation. His only path of contact is through a wide spread species that is a former member of the Federation, a people who left because they found the prime directive ethically inadequate. Explores the occasional failures in maintaining the Federation in one piece.
Write this! (not to sound too demanding or anything lol) Maybe this could explain the absence of Denobulans in post ENT and nuTrek? Or however you wanted to do it
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Old March 5 2013, 08:31 PM   #25
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
VOY - Voyager is hit by an unknown energy wave that causes the crews memories and personalities to switch into the bodies of those nearest them.
Interesting. Has it occurred to you that "nearest" is not a reciprocal relationship? For example, where there are three people in a line, the minds on both ends would jump into the body in the middle, creating Tuvix-like situations in some bodies and a complete lack of consciousness in others. (Alternatively, the bodies on both ends get copies of the mind in the middle, while the body in the middle gets a mind from one of the ends.)
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Old March 17 2013, 02:37 PM   #26
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

Well if it weren't for that rule about no mixing of casts, I would write a book about a Federation Civil War. It would, naturally, feature a debate about the rights of individual star systems verses the Federation government. In this case, the Federation is unwilling to allow them to secede, either because of their location or because of some rare unobtanium resource that the systems possess. The systems could also be tired of paying all the 'taxes' that are necessary to sustain the replicator economy and want to shift to a more normal economic system.
The Federation government, meanwhile, simply refuses to understand why anyone would want to leave the 'paradise' that is the Federation--this was already their attitude toward the Maquis.
This story would, of course, be set after the Dominion War and so would have Starfleet also starkly divided between the Militaristic and Exploration factions and the Militarists are still, by and large, the ones in control. But even many of the Explorers are still siding with the Federation, they're just divided about what to do.
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Old March 17 2013, 02:47 PM   #27
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

I really wouldn't bother. I am so sick of the 'everything back in the sandbox' novels I have trouble reading them, let alone write one ! I wasn't a fan while the shows were on air, and I am even less of one now the Trekverse has opened up so well.

They are redudant.
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Old March 17 2013, 04:50 PM   #28
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

I would pitch a series of adaptations/novelizations of the Phase II scripts that were written back in the late 1970's for the series that wasn't made. I would start with the two-part episode Kitumba to kick it off.

Either do them with Decker/Ilia/Xon in place as an "alternate history" of Trek (my preference), or tweak them to reflect the actual canon/continuity we saw on-screen.
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Old March 17 2013, 06:50 PM   #29
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
TOS - Captain Kirk and the USS Enterprise are sent to a new Federation world to help enforce its recent ban on slave trading, bringing the ship and crew into contention with Orion Trading Clans.
I would want to read this. There has never been enough Orion back-story and I didn't like what Enterprise did with them.
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Old March 30 2013, 06:40 PM   #30
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Re: So you're commissioned to write an actual Star Trek book...

It would be kinda cool to have your own story published, but the idea I have, well they definitely wouldn't publish that considering it's a crossover, but it would be interesting to see if anyone does come up with something for this.
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