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Update: July 17, 2007

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Writing Tidbits From Around The Web

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Alex Epstein interviewed Tom Fontana (St. Elsewhere, Homicide, Oz) a short time ago, and the first five parts are up. I've been terribly drained the last few days and am just now recharged enough to write, and hopefully ready to continue learning my craft. I've learned a lot from Alex's website, and Tom Fontana is basically a God. I am really looking forward to reading this interview, and I'm sure some others will as well. Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Alex also has a book on writing for television fresh out, which you can happily buy just to the left.

Jane Espenson writes about what kind of brads to use on your scripts:
"You know how, in this country, the most visible marker of a person's social
class is the straightness of their teeth? Well, brads are script-teeth. When I'm
handed a script by a professional writer, it has two one-inch brads - top
hole, bottom hole. And they're stiff - they hold their shape. When I'm handed
a spec script, it often has brads with long spiky legs. And it almost always
has soft brads that pull apart when the script's pages are turned. No one
gets to read your writing if your script falls apart.

She also writes about the value of having your friends read your scripts to find the holes that you've inevitably glazed over from having been over exposed to your own work. There is also advice on how much to worry about getting every little detail of a spec right, and this bit of weird-incident-turns-into-good-career-advice bit:
"Once, when I was very young (27-ish), I was in the Star Trek: TNG offices
shortly after a spec script had arrived. The episode was titled "Tangerine," and
it had been accompanied by, get this, a crate of tangerines. Some people in the
office were scared of the tangerines, but I ate one..."

Read the rest to find out where this goes.

Mr. Goldberg took a fanfic writer to task recently for "borrowing" other peoples characters without asking, and then being so bold as to forbid others from doing the same with her own original characters. Word must have gotten around, because she complained about his post in the comment section, and he offered a deal. She took her stuff down, huffing and puffing the entire time, and he took his post down.

He made solid points about fanficers that don't want to play by the same rules that they want everyone else to play by. Sadly, Google's cache of the post has expired, and I'm not really comfortable reposting it without permission, which I'm sure would be denied anyway. I would be well within my legal rights to do so, because copyright law has exemptions for educational copying, and I think this fits the bill pretty well, since this is entirely about what is and is not proper in copying. However, there is something to be said for being courteous. I know very well that Lee doesn't want it reposted, else he wouldn't have pulled his down as part of the deal in the first place. So excuse me while I paraphrase here for a little bit.

The post essentially essentially went like this:

People are free to use my characters, just as
long as they ask first. I am not a thief.

You use other peoples characters without
their permission, but demand that others do
not do the same to you. For shame!

She took her stuff down, and he rewrote his post. Now, Lee said nothing about his comment section, where The Wolf herself posted this, which I consider to be fair game:

You people are asses!!!! You do realize that talking about people like this only works if they don't get the web address, right? SO maybe I went a little overborad, but I am extremely protective of my characters. I work long and hard to come up with them and I do not want to see them used without my permission! And I never steal from other people! Unlike you I have respect for people! If ever a character of mine resembles that of another person, I would make mention of it. And I'll admitt that some of my stories aren't that good either. That's why I put them up, so people can critique them so I can get better!

Next time you want criticize me, talk to me directly, and not behind my back! You're parents obviously went wrong somewhere if you treat people like this.

And and for to answer a previous question, I'm 18, ready to turn 19.

- Shadow-of-the-Wolf

p.s. BITE ME!!!

Quite the mature lady, no? A little striking that she claims to respect the work of others while taking from them without permission, and then having the gall to refuse that right to other people. The tone of the message shows she has quite a bit of growing up to do. Ms The Wolf continues in another thread on the same subject.

Alright. You all have had your fun. Now it's time for Lee to take this down. My fan fiction has been removed from all the internet sites that they had been posted on. And you can tell your friends who are also mocking me with their own blogs, that they can remove their's as well. Especially the one who wrote that completely disgusting paradoy of a story that I had written as a public apology to my parents for being a fairly rotten child and disrespecting them through out my young life.

Now before you all go off and dance and brag over your victory, the removal of my stories occured not because of you. I had been debating taking them down for a while now, because they starting to become a major hinderence to my school work. I need to concentrate on getting through school and improving my artwork if I want to have a decent job as an animator someday.

Before you go off on me about "still not getting it", I fully understand and respect the copyrights of others. My little threat was meant to be nothing more than a joke. I realize I should have been more careful with my choice of words.

I hope you all had a good laugh, I did. A laugh at all of you. You have proved to me that people are cruel enough to band together and embarass a single person whom they don't even know, over something so trivial as a joke of a lawsuit threat. I'm fully convinced that this world is doomed to self-destruction with such people inhabiting it.

Now this is just bizarre. It starts off alright, with her taking down her work as part of "the deal", and we learn that someone on the Internets did something naughty with one of her own stories. Hardly surprising, she's lucky she didn't get worse treatment, given some of the crazies out there. A parody, nasty or not, seems like fair game considering the issue at hand is using someone else's work without permission.

But then she takes a nose dive, claiming she didn't take it down because of "the deal", but because she was going to take it down anyway. Okay, I might buy that for a dollar, but then her defense mechanisms kick in, once again trying to convince us that what she did was actually okay, and we're just a bunch of bored people with a mean spirit and a mob mentality. That's the spit in the eye, which is quickly followed by the kick in the balls. She's laughing at us now, even though deep down inside, she wreaks of a little girl who stepped into a hornets nest of people who are deadly serious about their chosen profession, which she treats with all the value of a hobby. On top of that, we're doomed. Not just losers, we're doomed. Oh, the horror. I can't go on.

What I see here is a young woman that is incredibly self-conscious about her writing, one that has no fundamental understanding of copyright law, much less the moral intricacies that permeate the ether between. She was smug and hypocritical about it, and someone with some street cred, if you will, held her feet to the fire over it. I'm sure she was intimated, who wouldn't be? But the selfishness just burns me up. She couldn't fess up that her disclaimer was stupid, and then just move on. She had to let us all know that her perfect insulated life wasn't so much as scratched by all this, that we are all mean jerks, and, of course, she meant well. It's really all our fault, you see, and now we've scarred her for life.

Whatever. I personally had nothing to do with any of this, and I wouldn't care if her work was taken down or not. It's the way she conducted herself that eats at me. She claims to have respect, but shows no respects anyone. Fanfic is cool, and legal, but disrespecting the rights of other authors is a quick trip to nowhere, and she better figure that out, fast.

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