*~Star Trek Books FAQ 2009 Edition~*

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Marie1, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    So I wouldn't even submit my proper idea of the novel I'd like to get published, I would sort of submit a demo reel of my style and if I get the characters right and then wait for Pocket to give me a story?
     
  2. DarkHorizon

    DarkHorizon Captain Captain

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    I don't know much beyond what I said above, I'm afraid. That's what the authors have said whenever that question has arisen in the past. One of them would probably be able to be more specific.
     
  3. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    Something like that, you'd have to submit the full 10-page synopsis and the first three chapter of say, a TNG novel, and if the editor likes what they see, they'll add you to the list of authors and you can pitch to your heart's content I believe, or they'll give you something to test the waters. Perhaps one of the writers/former editors/freelance editors would be better suited to answer that.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    I daresay most professional Trek authors have written some fan fiction at least for themselves. I think Una McCormack was fairly well-known for her fanfic before going pro.

    But using fanfiction characters in a pitch for Pocket? Only if they're in the background. If you're a new writer pitching through the usual submission process, the requirement is to focus on the established cast.

    But I wouldn't be surprised if some writers had incorporated their fanfic characters into their pro fiction. Writers tend to hold onto ideas and characters and find uses for them. I was never much into fanfic, but the Torvig and Chaka characters I created for Titan were based on characters and species I'd developed for my original SF universe but that had fallen by the wayside as my plans changed. My T'Ryssa Chen character from TNG: Greater Than the Sum was based on a character I created for a role-playing game.


    If by "story" you mean something shorter than novel length, that's something an editor would have to commission you to write rather than something you could pitch. Now that Strange New Worlds isn't around anymore, short Trek fiction only occurs in themed anthologies that originate with the editors.


    I don't know about that. I think there's some precedent; I believe some of the SNW submissions were published in online forums for aspiring SNW writers, but I'm not certain.


    If you want to become a tie-in writer, you have to learn how to work within other people's guidelines and expectations instead of just doing what you want to do. The submission process is a test of your ability to follow instructions, to adapt to what's asked of you. If you get through that process and prove yourself, then later on you can gain the trust of your editor and have the opportunity to pitch the more experimental stories you want to tell.

    The thing to remember is that what you're trying to sell is not the specific novel -- it's you. You're proving your ability as a writer, and that's more important than the specific story. Any story can be told well by a skilled writer, and having a good story idea won't matter if you're not good enough to pull it off.


    There is no restriction on when Star Trek novels can be set. Yes, there is an ongoing series of TNG novels set after Nemesis, but that doesn't preclude the existence of standalone TNG novels set before it. After all, we got novels like Hollow Men (set during DS9) and Terok Nor (set before DS9) in between novels set after the finale of DS9. We got the String Theory trilogy (set between seasons 4 and 5 of Voyager) after the fourth post-finale Voyager novel.

    And again, it's not the specific story you're selling, it's you. The guidelines are a demo process. If you prove yourself by coming up with a good story that fits the guidelines, then you can earn the opportunity to do a wider range of stuff later.


    Not necessarily. It's possible that if you pitch a good idea that fits the guidelines, they'll want you to write that. Or maybe not. But if your "dream story" is outside the guidelines, then yes, it's something you need to save for later.

    But if your entire objective revolves around telling only one story, then the editors probably won't have much use for you. They're looking for people they can rely on, people they can work with on a continuing basis. Why invest their time and effort cultivating a new writer if they can only get one book out of him? And maybe not even the book they want?

    It's important to be flexible, to have more than one arrow in your quiver. If you're writing fanfic for yourself, you can fixate on your own preferences, but if you want to work as a professional, you need to be able to adapt and compromise. But that doesn't mean you can't do the things you want to do -- you may just end up doing them in a different form than you imagined. You might end up doing some aspects of your "dream novel" in one book and other aspects in a different book. You may not get to do the Kirk subplot you imagined, but then find a later opportunity to do it as a Riker subplot. Every writer has a drawer full of ideas that didn't work out the first time but might someday find new life in a different form.
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    Of course you'd submit your "proper idea". Hand in your best idea as a proposal, not your second best idea. The point is, you'll learn so much writing it, and rewriting it, that you may decide yourself you want to try something better next time.
     
  6. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    Thanks a lot for the detailed reply! :techman:


    But they clearly say they don't want a story with great changes, or a character dying, or a story focussing on new characters, not the familar TV characters, for example. So I would have to hand in my "second best" idea, in order to do what I really want at a later stage, wouldn't I? As Christopher said:

     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    ^Again, don't fixate on a single idea. Ideas are the easy part. What matters is the execution. You need to give them the best work, both in concept and execution, that you're capable of.

    So don't think of an idea as "second best" just because it isn't your personal dream. Instead, find another idea that fits the parameters and inspires you just as much, and put as much care and effort into it as you would put into your dream idea. Remember, this isn't a hobby. This isn't an exercise in personal gratification. This is a job. If you're applying for a job, you need to show your prospective employer that you're committed to doing your best possible work no matter what they assign you.

    And if you look beyond that one single idea and see what else is in you creatively, you may be surprised at just how much is there. You may find better ideas that hadn't even occurred to you because you were spending all your time thinking about just one idea. You may discover a new idea that you want to do even more than this current dream idea of yours.

    Years ago, I had an idea for a trilogy I wanted to do about Picard's missing years between the Stargazer and the Enterprise. When Marco Palmieri invited me to do the Lost Era novel doing just that, naturally my first thought was to do the story I'd originally planned. But when I took a close look at it, I realized it wouldn't work. And then I came up with something that turned out to be far, far better. I got to do my dream story, but in a totally different, much more satisfying way than I'd originally imagined.

    So just because there's one idea you really want to do now, don't assume it's your "best" idea. If you really have what it takes to be a writer, and are willing to do the hard work to make it happen, then your best ideas are still ahead of you.
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    No editor (or paying audience) wants to read your "second best" idea. But the editor does want to see that you can follow the strict rules of the guidelines for new writers, to see if you have much more than two ideas in you.

    Ideas are the easy bit.

    As many successful writers will say, get some mainstream, commercial writing credits behind you before taking the huge gamble of proposing something for a licensed tie-in.
     
  9. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    I am about to finish Full Circle. What should I read next out of these books:

    Soul Key, Losing the Peace, The Neverending Sacrifice.

    (They are all in my bookcase waiting to be read!)
     
  10. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    that's entirely up to you. and not really FAQ material
     
  11. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    Well I don't think a discussion of someone's "second best idea" and how to get it published is FAQ material either.

    I posted it here because posting such questions as a new thread always gets one pointed back to a FAQ so I figured this was the least annoying place to post it.

    Here's a question that got asked on the previous page of the thread:

    And guess what, it got answered without snippiness.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  12. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    Publication order - when all else fails.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    It doesn't matter. The two DS9 books both take place years before Full Circle, and Losing the Peace takes place roughly simultaneously with the latter half of Full Circle but has hardly any references to its events. The Destiny crossover aside, the various series are still pretty much self-contained and each one can be read without worrying about the others. The logical next book to read after Full Circle is Unworthy, its direct followup.
     
  14. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    Thanks Christopher. I think the Destiny crossover muddled me quite a bit, LOL. Unworthy hasn't hit the shelves yet here so I will read Soul Key.
     
  15. snakespeare

    snakespeare Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    Someone should poke around in the FAQ again. The sixth Titan novel is on bookshelves now, and another editor was laid off a few months ago.
     
  16. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    I would be happy to update it, if one of the mods will tell me how to do that.
     
  17. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    You start with a blank page... and you start typing... using the old one as a ref for the old stuff that is unchanged... edit the stuff that's changed... and add new stuff. You end up with 12 pages or something... as first draft. ;)
     
  18. LightningStorm

    LightningStorm The Borg King Commodore

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    If you guys want to keep the FAQ fairly regularly updated that's fine by me so long as it's not as frequently updated as to be overkill (subjective I know).

    But get yourself a good final draft start a new thread name it accordingly and one of us will unstick the old one and stick the new one -- and if necessary remove any posts that end up accidentally in between your posts since the whole FAQ won't fit in one post.

    Best way to go about it though is probably as Marie1 says to start it in a separate document (Word, or Notepad, or some such) and then once it's ready copy and paste it in parts into multiple posts in a new thread.
     
  19. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    Ok, cool. I'm having a busy week, but I'll take care of it over the weekend.

    Do you embed the links into the table of contents post, or should I figure that out when I post the new thread?
     
  20. Rosalind

    Rosalind TrekLit's Dr Rose Mod Admiral

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    Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

    how much change is required? if it's just one or two things, then the easiest would be for either LS or myself to edit into the current posts. usually we go two years before there's a need for a brand new FAQ thread.

    as for links for the first post, you post everything, and then edit the links in.
     

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