Sunday, October 21, 2012

This Is No Time to Talk About Time! We Don't Have the Time!

This is to say that I've been accepted into Martin Ingham's The Temporal Element anthology, to be published by Hall Bros Entertainment.  I'm quite pleased to say so, because this involved something that I rarely do, which is completely rewrite something I've previously written.  Sometimes I'll rewrite chapters or restart chapters or stories based on previous ideas about how to approach it, but a strict rewrite usually isn't something I'll do.  I nearly wrote the anthology off when the initial version was rejected, even though Ingham encouraged a rewrite.  I gave it some time and eventually decided that it was worth doing.  The story remained much the same, except for a perspective change.  And yet Ingham still wanted to make a few changes, which I decided was okay.

There seems to be a lot of controversy in the comics industry about accepting direction from editors, anger at rewriting or following a certain mandate.  I've always considered myself to be adaptable, but have rarely had the chance to demonstrate this as a writer.  As someone who would love to work in comics, I find it a little ungrateful to complain about certain things that ought to be understood when writing some of the most well-known fictional characters in modern fiction.  It's something fans of Star Trek have always had a hard time understanding as well.  They will sometimes have some pretty wild ideas about what should be possible.  Complicating this belief is the trend from Pocket Books to execute all of these ideas in its fiction, which has led to a splintering of the fanbase in the past.  I figure that there will always be certain things that should at least be reconsidered when generating stories for established characters.  It comes with writing something that a lot of people feel they have a certain amount of ownership of, a familiarity that negates some of the distance between an original vision and predetermined notions.

My short story is not Superman.  It isn't even Benjamin Sisko (much less Benny Russell).  Yet I think I had a personal breakthrough in my decision to rewrite it.  I was forced into a situation where the integrity of something I had written was called into question.  Over the summer I had a chance to examine how my fiction flies with a broad audience.  It didn't seem to connect so well.  This story was different.  Ingham simply requested another pass, and I decided to make that happen.  Usually when rewrites are necessary, it's to streamline and simplify a concept so that more people will be able to understand it.  In fiction this is a trickier deal. Ingham rightly suggested that it needed to be more relatable, which I suppose is similar to what I was just talking about, but different in a crucial way.  I didn't change too much.  I simply made it easier to identify with what was happening, which was Ingham's original point.

It should be noted that you should read the title of this post whilst poking something, preferably someone.  It's funnier that way.


  1. Interesting Tony. I'm curious to see how this turns out. I thought the title was from First Contact when Troi gets drunk and complains "we don't have time to talk about time." BTW I think you'd be an awesome comic book writer. Your knowledge of comics is impressive.

    1. That's exactly the scene it's from. The last line in the post is a cheat, though, because she pokes Riker while saying, "So don't go criticizing my counseling techniques!"

      I'm trying to break into comics. It ain't easy.

  2. How about that! I thought I was way off.

    1. "It's a primitive culture. I'm just trying to blend in!" "You're blended all right!" I can quote far too much from that movie.


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