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Clarification on column


RPGnet Columns

Post originally by sean2099 at 2005-11-12 20:57:51
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Mr. Brown,

I have a question about concerning why it is a bad to have a manuscript completely typed beforehand when you typed the query letter. Correct if I am wrong but I have heard that it is a good idea for a writer to "bank" a manuscript away just in case. Can you please explain why it is a bad idea to have some ideas saved on a hard drive or elsewhere?

I am new to the writing game and I am not understanding all of the considerations a publisher makes when he or she sees a query letter that says that the writer has idea X and has a completed manuscript available if the publisher is so inclined to look at it.



RPGnet Columns

Post originally by Lloyd Brown at 2005-11-13 22:43:38
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Hi, Sean.

What if you write a 90,000 Shadowrun supplement and FanPro turns it down?

Because it's based on an intellectual property they own, you have no other place to sell it (normally*). You've just wasted weeks or months of work.

Even with D20, you have to customize your work to the market, albeit less than you would for a different game.

In some cases, it's not a bad idea to have a manuscript already ready to go--short stories or even novels, for example.

If it's a short work (like an article), and you're pretty confident that you can sell it to a certain market, go ahead.

Now, you mentioned "ideas" later on. "Ideas" and "developed work" are two totally different animals. Ideas are worth the paper they're printed on. Developed work is what we get paid for. If you want to scribble down a summary and an outline, knock yourself out. Go ahead and spend a few minutes in planning so that if you find an opportunity to flesh that piece out, you're ready to go.

And please, call me Lloyd.

*Exception: A cool thing is happening in the industry these days, and I've long wondered why it didn't happen more often earlier. Some companies are licensing other companies to produce work for their game. For example, Fantasy Flight Games allowed Mystic Eye Games a license to produce Dragonstar works. In this case, if MEG passed on your proposal, you might be able to pitch it to FFG.
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