Archive for the ‘Woulda Coulda Shoulda…’ Category

Coulda Been “Alien Spotlight: Nausicaan”

April 24, 2009

NOTE: If you haven’t already, you might want to check my previous post — Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda… Writing Possibilities — before proceeding further with reading the post below.

dtnextgenDuring my tenure as an Editor at IDW Publishing, the opportunity to edit the newly acquired Star Trek license was definitely the highlight — as much as I dug what we accomplished with Transformers while I was there. (Ugh, that last sentence could’ve used an editor.) Star Trek has always been the favorite of my geek-habit “children”. Having the opportunity to contribute to the Star Trek galaxy was — as cliché as it sounds — a dream come true. I felt what we accomplished with Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Space Between, Klingons: Blood Will Tell, Star Trek: Year Four, and Star Trek: Alien Spotlight was something really special. In fact, at one time I was set to contribute as a writer to the Alien Spotlight series, but it didn’t work out. I probably phasered myself in the foot with that one.

After leaving my post as Editor at IDW to pursue the “whimsical” life of a freelance writer I still hoped to keep the dream alive and contribute to the Star Trek galaxy. This included an effort in submitting a few pitches for the second Alien Spotlight series. One of the pitches involved the nasty Nausicaans — which were featured prominently in The Next Generation episode “Tapestry” (Season 6, Episode 15), one of my all-time favorite episodes.

Like most writers know, when you throw pitches and stories up against the wall to see what sticks, a lot of what you’ve entertained ends up falling into a pile on the ground. For whatever reason, for better or worse, the following pitch didn’t stick — but, I wanted to share it nonetheless.

Alien Spotlight: Nausicaan – “A Severed Thread”

Opening scene on two young male Nausicaans, equivalent age to a 10 and 12 year-old—Kier is the younger Nausicaan and Zon is the older of the two. They are in a forest and have come upon a cornered boar-like creature. Zon pushes for his younger brother to take on the creature and slay it with the sword he was just given by their father. Kier balks and Zon calls him a coward—an evaluation that hurts the younger Nausicaan. Two decades later, the two Nausicaan brothers are serving aboard a pirate vessel, and Kier has just received communication that he has a newborn son. Zon teases his younger brother that at least his son will have an uncle to look up to since it is unlikely that Kier will ever amount to his level of superiority. The pirate vessel attacks and boards a merchant transport and the boarding party of outlaws is ruthless as they plunder the cargo and harm the crew. Kier again shows a moment of weakness when he hesitates to finish off one of the transport’s crew—an act that doesn’t go unnoticed by his brother Zon, who belittles his sibling by referring to him as being unworthy of owning their father’s sword. Shortly thereafter, the two Nausicaan brothers, in addition to a third Nausicaan, find themselves at a Bonestell casino where Zon cheats human Starfleet Ensign Corey Zweller. This leads to an eventual fight where Kier, in order to prove to his older brother that he is a worthy Nausicaan, stabs another Starfleet Ensign in the back and through his heart with his sword—Ensign Jean-Luc Picard (ST:TNG “Tapestry”). The Nausicaans are arrested and sent to prison for their crimes. Kier ends up serving fifty years, contemplating the actions which led to his incarceration and the lost opportunity of seeing his own son grow. He is eventually released due in part to an early Nausicaan/Federation treaty brought on by a Nausicaan diplomat—Kier’s own son. Upon his release, the much older Kier travels to Earth and surprises now retired Jean-Luc Picard in his vineyard. Kier apologizes for his actions some fifty years previously, but states that his and his brother’s absence from his son’s life—and the lack their violent influences—may have in fact, led to Kier’s son becoming a diplomat and a new beginning for the Nausicaan and the Federation. Kier then presents his father’s sword to Picard and leaves without saying another word.

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda… Writing Possibilities

March 12, 2009

So, last night I was thinking about a couple of pitches that I sent to an editor at a comic book publisher. In fact, it was a couple of pitches that I thought were pretty damn good that I never heard back on. This got me started on a blog post about one of the pitches in particular, and I thought that I’d share it with my vast readership. After I typed it up I read it over and I felt that I’d sort of came across as if I had just come off of binging on sour grapes.

That’s not what I was going for. I just wanted to share what I thought was a good idea that I was proud of. The other writers out there know what I’m about to type — especially the comic book writers… We come up with ideas all of the time — some good, some bad, and some ugly. But, we put a lot into these ideas and many of them turn into pitches for screenplays, comic books, short stories for anthology collections, etc… You throw up against the wall in the hopes that they’ll stick like a perfectly cooked piece of spaghetti. It seems that lately I’ve got quite a pyramid of pasta piling on the floor.

So, I figured that rather than just sweep ’em away I’d share them here — my somewhat soapbox of self-promotion. Am I going to share them all? Probably not. But, I’ve got plenty of ideas and pitches that I’ve formulated enough that I want to share rather than let them rust on an external hard drive that I’ll end up crashing on me anyway. (Yeah, that happened to me just the other night.) But, I wanted to throw this introduction to my plan out there first. Warn those editors that passed on said pitches that might happen to find themselves reading my blog — not that they’re flocking here after passing on my pitches — that it’s nothing personal. I don’t have an objective. I’m just sharing ideas that would have, could have, or (in my mom’s opinion) should have gestated into a final product.

They’re not all gems — I know that. I’m not fooling myself and claiming that everything I write or pitch is pure gold and that the powers-that-be who make the decisions don’t know a future Pulitzer Prize winner when they read one. But, I feel like throwing some of these ideas and pitches of mine out there. At the very least, they can serve as filler material for my blog. At the very best, maybe one of those powers-that-be that make the decisions will spot that perfect piece of pasta pasted to the wall.

Stay tuned…