Questions and comments about writing here...

Discussion in 'The Workshop' started by garamet, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    And that's wrong? They're only making you pay your fair share, after all.
  2. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    Surely you're not trolling in the Workshop.

    The 15% is what an employer would pay. By hiring freelancers, they have virtually no overhead, and they still get a break on taxes.

    It's never bothered me overmuch, because what I don't have to pay in time and $ to commute, maintain a corporate wardrobe, or be chained to a desk from 9 to 5 is compensatory.

    Where it sucks is not in the extra 15%, but in the fact that the employer offers no benefits. Yanno, little things like health insurance.
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  3. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    I'd be happy to explain foreign distribution rights if I thought you were actually interested. :)
  4. tafkats

    tafkats So much goddess Moderator

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    When a Star Trek novel is published -- and I guess this applies to written spinoffs of any TV or movie fandom -- how many of the people involved (the writer, editors, etc.) are likely to be fans, or at least to have watched a significant amount of the original material?

    I started wondering about this while reading a TNG novel in which basically every single character talked like Data. It was less noticeable for Picard or Worf, since their dialogue in the series was always pretty formal, but very jarring for characters like Riker and Troi.

    I can see how even a Trekkie author could make that mistake just through being bad at writing dialogue, but I wonder how it got through editing. Do editors just not mess with writers' words to that degree as a matter of principle? Are they unfamiliar with the source material and therefore unable to do the "can I imagine Frakes or Sirtis delivering this line" test in their heads? Or is it that they could fix up the dialogue but either don't have the time or don't care?
  5. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    Good question, but I have to caution you that I really have no idea what's going on at Pocket since shortly before Unspoken Truth was released in 2010.

    During the Eighties, it was a given that both the writers and the editors were Trek fans/fanatics, and IMO some of the best writing came out of that era. The Final Reflection; The Wounded Sky; and My Enemy, My Ally are among my personal favorites; and Howie Weinstein had the jump on all of us, having sold the script for "The Pirates of Orion" when he was only 19.

    Several changes of editor later, and a bit of a brouhaha between SFWA (the Science Fiction Writers of America) and Pocket over very delayed royalty payments (the standard - as specified in the writers' contracts - had been payment six months after release; suddenly it was 18-24 months for Reasons), and the then-editor decided it would be Really Kewl to court SFWA members, whether they were Trek fans or not. The results were, shall we say, uneven.

    Through the Nineties up to the present, YMMV, and I have to admit there's just too much "product" for me to commit to reading them, so I'm not in a position to assess quality or accuracy. All I can say is that the last two editors I worked with were brilliant, intuitive...and "excessed" - again, for Reasons - once CBS became the parent company. :garamet:

    Once upon a time (circa 1989) the then-editor brought in a bunch of us for a brainstorming session that resulted in Doomsday World. The four authors listed in the credits were on board; I was not a big fan of TNG, and begged off. But Gawd, that was a fun evening! :D
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  6. spot261

    spot261 Fresh Meat

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    Curiosity, which novel was that?
  7. tafkats

    tafkats So much goddess Moderator

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    The novel that made me ask the question was The Last Stand, which features one of those premises that could just as easily by done in Star Trek or a Douglas Adams novel depending on how seriously it's taken -- a generation ship is on its way to wreak vengeance on another society but most of the people on the ship are completely unaware. Bad dialogue doesn't seem to be that uncommon in Trek novels, however.

    Interestingly, the author of The Last Stand also wrote A Flag Full of Stars, which I enjoy rereading periodically and have never noticed any problems with.
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  8. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    Oh, dear. I'm wondering whether The Last Stand underwent some of the same slash-and-burn "rewrite" as A Flag Full of Stars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Flag_Full_of_Stars :unsure:
  9. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    The Wounded Sky is my favorite Trek novel.
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  10. tafkats

    tafkats So much goddess Moderator

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    I haven't read that since I was in ... middle school, maybe? It's probably worth finding a copy and reading it again.

    TNG was my entry into the Trek fandom, so those are usually the novels I gravitate towards.
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