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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

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

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Old July 29 2014, 06:57 PM   #16
Greg Cox
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

Smitty wrote: View Post
stupid question, what is a "copywriting job" mean?
thanks
Not stupid at all. Besides writing my own books, I often write the cover copy for other people's books. You know, the stuff on the back covers of paperbacks or the inside flaps of hardovers:

"The bestselling author of Mud-Pits of Lost Atlantis returns with another breathtaking adventure into the unknown, pitting Special Agent Mark Cosmos against a deadly new dimension of intergalactic peril . . . . "

That kind of thing, which also sometimes includes press releases, catalog copy, scripts for radio commercials, etc. Advertising copy, basically.

This has been a sideline of mine for decades now, ever since I used to write the cover copy for "adult" westerns back in the day:

"Slocum rides shotgun with a whole passel of frolicsome fillies!"
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Old July 29 2014, 08:04 PM   #17
Jeffrey_Lang
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

I believe most of my colleagues who've responded thus far are full-time writers (or close enough that there's no distinction), but I have a day job that needs love and attention, so I don't ever have so many irons in the fire at once. After I handed in Light Fantastic, I started working on a new original project, but had to set that aside when an idea for a Trek story came to me. Now it's back to the original novel until I hear back from editorial about the pitch. I also need to get back to finding an agent (and, subsequently, publisher) for a completed original novel. Basically, I have poor hand-eye coordination and can only handle one ball in the air at a time...
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Old July 29 2014, 10:41 PM   #18
Man of Steel
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
ryan123450 wrote: View Post
You guys have such cool jobs.
Thanks for the reminder!

And I'm being totally serious about that. Sometimes, when you have a tight deadline breathing down your neck, and you need to proofread those same damn pages one more time, and the check may or may not be in the mail, it's easy to forget how lucky we are to be able do this for a living.

It's good to sit back and appreciate that for a minute . . . before diving back into work!
When you get the final product delivered to you (the one you wrote ) do you read it as if someone else wrote it or do you just let it sit and collect mothballs?
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Old July 29 2014, 10:54 PM   #19
Greg Cox
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

Man of Steel wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
ryan123450 wrote: View Post
You guys have such cool jobs.
Thanks for the reminder!

And I'm being totally serious about that. Sometimes, when you have a tight deadline breathing down your neck, and you need to proofread those same damn pages one more time, and the check may or may not be in the mail, it's easy to forget how lucky we are to be able do this for a living.

It's good to sit back and appreciate that for a minute . . . before diving back into work!
When you get the final product delivered to you (the one you wrote ) do you read it as if someone else wrote it or do you just let it sit and collect mothballs?
I'm always very excited to receive the actual book, and run around town showing it off to all and sundry, but I seldom go back and re-read my old books except for research purposes.

In general, by the time you've gone through multiple drafts of a manuscript, dealt with the copyedit, and proofread the uncorrected pages one last time, you never want to look at those words again!

I put a copy on my brag shelf and mail a copy to my mom and get back to the next book . . ..
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Old July 29 2014, 11:02 PM   #20
David Mack
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

^ What Greg said.
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Old July 29 2014, 11:06 PM   #21
Greg Cox
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

True story: When I was working on Godzilla, I knew that I had written a scene at a nuclear power plant before, but I swear to God I couldn't remember when or in what book!

Believe it or not, they do start to blur in your memory after awhile.
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Last edited by Greg Cox; July 30 2014 at 02:48 AM.
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Old July 30 2014, 01:03 AM   #22
William Leisner
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Besides writing my own books, I often write the cover copy for other people's books. You know, the stuff on the back covers of paperbacks or the inside flaps of hardovers:

"The bestselling author of Mud-Pits of Lost Atlantis returns with another breathtaking adventure into the unknown, pitting Special Agent Mark Cosmos against a deadly new dimension of intergalactic peril . . . . "
There's a new Mark Cosmos novel coming out? Hot damn!!
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Old July 30 2014, 04:47 PM   #23
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

Not to hijack this thread.
How often does an idea get shot down for a Trek story? Have any of you authors came up with similar ideas that led to issues arising?

Oh and note to the mods: I started a similar thread to this a few days ago. If y'all want to merge them and make them stick to the top, might be a good idea. Be one place for folks to ask the authors questions and such in one place.
http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=249790
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Old July 30 2014, 06:29 PM   #24
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

David Mack wrote: View Post
^ What Greg said.
You're also sending copies of your books to Greg's mom? How sweet.
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Old July 30 2014, 07:16 PM   #25
David Mack
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

^ What can I say? I'm a giver.
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Old July 30 2014, 07:21 PM   #26
David Mack
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

voyager1 wrote: View Post
How often does an idea get shot down for a Trek story? Have any of you authors came up with similar ideas that led to issues arising?
More often than you might think. Sometimes an editor will ask an author to submit "some TNG post-finale pitches." Maybe the writer sends in just one; sometimes I draft a few one-page pitches, to see what captures the editor's imagination.

Sometimes none of them do.

As far as duplicating ideas, that happens, too. I seem to recall one of my first proposals for "an epic Data story" to anchor the Cold Equations trilogy turned out to be almost identical to what Jeff Lang had written almost a decade earlier, in Immortal Coil. On the editor's recommendation, I tracked down a copy of that book, read it, and realized my faux pas. Then I used that story as a sprinboard for a new tale: "What would happen next...?"
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Old July 30 2014, 07:30 PM   #27
Greg Cox
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Re: Random Question For Authors and Writers

voyager1 wrote: View Post
Not to hijack this thread.
How often does an idea get shot down for a Trek story? Have any of you authors came up with similar ideas that led to issues arising?

Oh and note to the mods: I started a similar thread to this a few days ago. If y'all want to merge them and make them stick to the top, might be a good idea. Be one place for folks to ask the authors questions and such in one place.
http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=249790
It's not uncommon for ideas to get shot down, for any number of reasons. Comes with the job. And sometimes ideas get tinkered with significantly along the way. "We've got a lot of Klingon stuff coming up. Can you make the bad guys Romulans or Orions instead?" That kind of thing.

But that doesn't mean you can't recycle them sometimes. I turned a rejected Voyager pitch into a Farscape story, a rejected Firefly pitch into a Terminator novel, and even a rejected Voyager pitch into a TNG novella. The moral being, never toss anything away. And don't be afraid to cannibalize yourself!

And, yes, it's not uncommon to pitch several ideas with the hopes of selling one. I remember the ROSWELL people asked me for four short, one-paragraph premises to choose from.
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Last edited by Greg Cox; July 30 2014 at 09:26 PM.
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