Discussion Re: Getting fanfiction entered into canon

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by twowolves, Oct 9, 2013.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. twowolves Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2013
    star 4
    I was chastened by Briannikin regarding an earlier post as I bungled my way through the forums, so, let me emphasize that this thread is not for me seeking to be "noticed" by Star Wars official staff. Rather, this is meant to open the debate as to a) whether or not it is possible to get fanfiction entered into cannon; and b) if it is possible, what are some avenues we as authors can pursue besides the obvious.

    I really am interested in hearing about the efforts of others, and the progress they have made, as I think we can all learn from their difficulties and successes so as not to repeat the same mistakes. I personally have some very interesting concepts I would like to see become canon, and I'm sure I'm not unique in this.

    Obviously, getting an agent is the first step, but what about approaching LucasFilm staff at conventions with portfolios? Isn't that one of the purposes of conventions? I know in the past, LucasFilm has resisted unsolicited manuscripts, especially ones from unknown authors.

    What other ways are there?

    (Hopefully, this will be okay with the moderators in this form, and if not, I apologize and will abandon this thread concept)
  2. Jedi_Lover Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I think if we knew how to do that we'd all be trying. I do know of one member of these forums that was recruited to help out with a guidebook, but I think he memorized every freaking Star Wars novel and was probably recruited because of his extensive knowledge of canon. I am not sure if he ever got his ideas added to canon or not. I remember seeing things in the Essentials Guide that I've never seen before, but it was probably in a video game or something.
  3. twowolves Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2013
    star 4

    Alas, we can't all be Leeland Chee! lol I have a good working knowledge of the technical aspects of Star Wars, such as ships and whatnot, but I know that I am far from having the encyclopedic knowledge that others seem to display! :)
  4. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I'm still trying to get hired as an official SW artist, and I'm taking the easy route by going through Topps. I've shown my portfolio to all the right people, and they have my contact information. I've been playing the waiting game for over a year. Prior to that, it's been portfolio review after portfolio review. So, yes, it's been frustratingly difficult.

    As others have tried to get their stuff published with SW before, I'll repeat what we've been told countless of times. Lucasfilm selects already-established authors for their work. Meaning, you need to have a professional writing career under your belt. Then, it's a "don't call us, we'll call you" game.

    About the closest thing you'll see to having your stuff in canon would be if Insider or someone uses a Wookieepedia article and rewords what you had written for that article. I've seen a tidbit that I had written appear in Insider.
    DarthBreezy likes this.
  5. Jedi_Lover Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I agree with @TrakNar. They will seek you out, not the other way around. So take your fan fiction and remove it from the SW universe and put it into another universe of your creation and get that published. Didn't Fifty Shades of Grey start out as Twilight fan fiction?
  6. Chilla Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Yes, @Jedi_Lover, it did.

    I heard how Mike Stackpole got into SW: He approached a publisher with his fantasy novel. Publisher said "this is too long, but we like it" and Mike wound up with a contract for Battletech novels. And then some time after releasing a ton of (great) Battletech novels, he was asked to work on the X-Wing series.
    Lots of SW authors are established Fantasy authors, so try it there. :D

    As for conventions.....highly unlikely. I was among the volunteer staff at the Celebration Europe II and doing line/crowd management. At the end of an interview with Kathleen Kennedy, a guy approached me. He told me he had worked on Episode III as a concept designer, I think, and very politely asked to speak with Mrs Kennedy. I told him I couldn't do that (being only a lowly volunteer) and he should talk to the Staff members (paid crew with radios and all). He did and was turned down right there. Didn't get to go backstage at all.
    Most important people that were there didn't really mingle much with us fans anyways. I'd say approaching them with your work (be it a novel or art) is most likely not going to be successful.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention: A lot of authors also are pretty much forbidden to read fanfiction. Here is what Mike Stackpole wrote on his website:

    "What would it take for you [Mike] to read over and comment on a story I’ve [new author] written?
    Short answer: A court order
    Long answer: I’m under orders by my lawyer to refuse to read over stories by unpublished authors. While I know YOU would never do it, there have been instances where a writer has been sued by someone whose story he read “as a favor.” Avoiding that sort of problem is a good idea, hence my prohibition on reading unpublished stories.
    Another problem with unpublished stories (or published stories) is that I have a phobia about being accused of having plagerized someone else’s work. As a result I work hard not to cover the same ground as another author. I don’t want to find myself looking at a story in which there’s a very cool idea — and an idea I might have hit upon on my own — because I won’t allow myself to use it in a story. (While working on Once a Hero I started reading Dennis L. McKiernan’s Eye of the Hunter (Dennis is a wonderful writer) and had to put it down because he began to explore areas I wanted to explore in my book. In another instance of parallelism, Jack Williamson’s book Demon Moon was published in the same month as Once a Hero, and we both used similar narrative styles on the books, down to alternating chapters and viewpoints in the same way. We were unaware of the parallels until over a year later.)"

    Therefore, going the route of getting an SW author to read your work won't work, either.
    Last edited by Chilla, Oct 9, 2013
  7. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I've spoken with Troy Alders and Mary Franklin has my contact information. I have a better chance of getting that dream art job through Franklin, because she coordinates with Topps. Others, such as Leland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo, have seen my portfolio, but they're not in the position to help me get a job. They can, at most, serve as references. Mary Franklin, currently, is my best bet.

    In terms of writing, I've spoken with various authors and they said that you need to be established. Take some creative writing courses, get involved with writers' markets, and submit to small publishers and anthology magazines. We all need to start somewhere. Once you become established, submit to larger publishers. Then, if Lucasfilm is on the hunt for new faces and tey see your work and reputation, they may give you a call.

    In the meantime, though, don't hold your breath. The waiting game will make you pass out long before then. Like I said, I'm still waiting and I've been making contacts everywhere as often as I can.
  8. twowolves Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2013
    star 4


    That's really a shame about the conventions. GenCon was really great in that aspect, because Brom and Michael Monte Moore were right out in the open and would talk to you. Monte Michael Moore even looked at some of my artwork and critiqued it for me. Moreover, officials from Fantasy Flight Games, in particular, Mr. Navarro, said their company welcomed freelance art for their Star Wars series.

    I once had a concept of designing a website where it would be a clearinghouse of ideas for Star Wars. Basically, anyone could submit artwork, novel ideas, character concepts and images, floor plans of buildings, ships and other locales, and anything else, and it would sit on a list to be reviewed periodically by official SW employees.
    Then, the next time they needed a character for an episode of Clone Wars, for instance, or a location, they could select one off the website, and that person would be awarded with like an autographed set of encyclopedias, or something, and earn the recognition that hey, I contributed to the rich tapestry of Star Wars. It would encourage creativity and make the jobs of the designers easier. Plus, authors who write for SW could draw on it, too, using some of the character concepts and locations submitted by others. This would be a sort of free-trade zone, with anyone submitting being presented with the standard boiler plate legalese granting them recognition and one payment in the form of an award of books, movies, or some other swag, and having their name entered into a hall of fame style roster. For me, that would be all the recognition I would ever need.
  9. twowolves Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2013
    star 4
    Alternately, I would love to work for Dorian Kindersley publishing, too. They do the cross-section books, some of which I have extropolated the designs for ships like the Nubian H-style yacht, and the Republic Cruiser to make floor plans for them.
  10. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Topps accepts freelancers, too. However, be prepared to play the waiting game for a very long time. As I've said twice now, I'm still playing it.
  11. newdawn12 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2013
    star 4
    Plus they've started a new continuity, so anything you create now, might not fit the new Star Wars universe.
  12. Darth Apocalypse Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2017
    The easiest way is to turn your Fanfiction into a work of original fiction.Lucasfilm will notice you if you're a good writer.Basically, make the characters (and their species) original.Do the same thing for the planets.Finally,change the Force and don't call it the Force.

    Write your Fanfiction when Lucasfilm hires you.It then becomes canon.
  13. DarthBreezy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Man, everything old is new again, huh?

    Back in 2003 there was an attempt to even allow a fanzine of fan fiction to be given away at Celebration 3, there was even precedence because Star Trek had published 'Strange New Worlds' - a collection of fan written stories - but in the end, it just didn't work out. Star Wars has always had a funny relationship with fan fiction (the written kind) - while Lucasfilm actually embraced fan film, fan fiction has and seems will always be the proverbial 'red headed stepchild', and now with the new cohesive 'Expanded Universe', the parameters will be even tighter than before.

    Best hope for writers who want to 'break in' is to 'break away' . Quite a few fan fiction writers from this very community have gone on to become professional, published writers (NOT of Star Wars though - not yet anyway) . You may someday (through the collective 'thought' of the Universe - thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters for a thousand years kind of thing.) Can you imagine my shock and delight when Rebels debuted a 'mouthy Jedi named Caleb who goes blind' - yeah, I did that in 2004 but his official counterpart is a lot nicer - felt like I'd brushed the eternal thought and got me thinking about all sorts of infinite worlds and other existential stuff). Ultimately, if it gives you joy, the best thing you can do is keep writing regardless, fan fiction or no, but looking to make 'your' fan fiction works canon is akin to building a soapbox racer, and asking for it to be produced like a Ford or Chevy.,. or in some cases of 'published writing', sticking wheels on a turd and spray painting it silver then getting picked up by a Krylon executive who owns stock in a prune juice plantation (AKA 50 shades of 'find and replace'.)

    @TrakNar -serious good wishes for success! Todd Hodges was a 'fan artist' who used to post here, and was eventually picked up by Lucasfilm - his work was the Lucasfilm Christmas card one year...

    Ultimately, create for yourself, but hold yourself to the highest standards - you never know who or what may be watching/listening, but don't expect the golden platter...
    leiamoody likes this.
  14. Sith-I-5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 6
    I know a roleplayer on here, who got contracted to do a series of artwork for the cards.

    The Essential Atlas gives thanks to several Board members.

    A fan 3D artist who had been posting his creations on starwars.com, got a couple of his Imperial deep-space installations included in
    a SW book; and I am fairly certain that the occasional fan-made prop has helped LFL out before.

    As an aside, it is ridiculously easy to read something, absorb it, then later regurgitate it, convinced that it was your own idea.

    I don't know what the effect is of submitting a university dissertation, with quotes from other people, presented as your own, but I saved an art school degree student from doing just that, while printing the whole thing in an internet cafe.

    He was so proud of having thought it up, to encapsulate the work; but fortunately, I recognised it, Googled it, and showed him.
  15. DarthBreezy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Oh hell, aside the thought that ideas build on and beget ideas, and there is nothing new under the sun really, I still prefer my thoughts that we are all interconnected somehow in the great cosmos.

    I've read and written so many stories (and god knows how many are unwritten) over the years, I wouldn't be surprised to see 'my' ideas jell with others...
  16. MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2017
    star 3
    You can get your own fanfiction into your own star wars canon. Hell publish your fanfic into epubs or mobis and share. Of course free of charge.
    This is why I'm authorizing people to use my own OC as they see fit (as long as they don't kill them without my permission). Please don't try to make money from them or disney will give cease and desist orders on everyone.
  17. DarthBreezy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6

    [face_rofl]

    :yoda: For 15 years, creating my own universe I have (colloquially called the 'Breezyverse' by someone else, a long time ago).
    Four generations worth...
    Last edited by DarthBreezy, May 24, 2017
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