Thursday, February 02, 2006

Media Tie-Ins

[The posts for Thursday and Friday keep vanishing from the blog. I'm not really sure why... Fortunately, I've been writing my posts in "The Journal" software, so I have back-ups.]

I was reading an interesting discussion on the Other Worlds Workshop mailing list about a guy who just had his first professional sale, but wasn't sure whether to celebrate it or not. My initial reaction was, "Say what???" but apparently it was a Star Trek short story that was bought for an anthology. He had heard that some editors (and writers) consider those who write media tie-ins to be hacks, so he wasn't sure it was something he should celebrate, much less something to mention to an editor in a cover letter.
In my mind, that's just silly.

Writing is writing. It doesn't matter what you write, it doesn't matter what form you write it, what matters is whether you're writing is any good. A good Star Trek novel requires just as much skill with the written word as does a story set in your own world. Somebody thought his story was good enough to pay money for. Go back to Heinlein's definitions: If someone buys your story, you are by definition a successful professional writer. You've proven that you write something saleable.

It may be that there are editors that turn up their nose at a media tie-in credit, but I'm willing to bet there aren't many. I think most of this attitude comes not from editors but from other writers. That's jealousy, plain and simple. The publishing industry is tough right now, maybe tougher than it's ever been. We should celebrate the successes of our peers, not denigrate them. The more good stories that are written, the more the general public will attracted to reading over other forms of entertainment. And that, my friends, helps us all.

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