Legalism and Contracts: The Ties That Bind

When I received my written contract from Frontier on Friday last week, I was extremely excited. Signing something makes it feel so official, so real. Then I read the contract. Frontier, like all companies, have to protect their interests—especially when those interests are vested in intellectual property, trademarks, and copyrights for virtual created items. I’m sorry to break it to everyone, but the Elite: Universe doesn’t exist as a physical entity, but only as a virtual and legal one. To say that intellectual property law is complex would be an understatement. Who owns what, and who has the right to use it and under what circumstances becomes a convoluted maze of legalistic verbage that will twist even the most stable individual in on themselves until they are wibbling and drooling like a wet sponge. I have been floating, mired, in the sucking mental mud that is a legal contract since … Continue reading

The First Draft: Making a Mess

What happens when you leave a writer alone with a PC, MS Word, and a rough outline for the first draft? The same thing as when you leave a three-year-old alone in a room with a box of crayons and a perfectly wallpapered white wall. You get some creativity and a lot of mess. My first drafts are never pretty (except if you like red highlighting), but this one looks more like partially digested spaghetti than most. Things at Frontier towers are still very much in transition, with lots of really basic setting stuff undecided. (Paradoxically there is also a lot of really specific detail that’s been nailed down for weeks—just not what I need for my story.) My protagonist is currently from an unknown planet; lives on an unknown planet; is travelling to unknown planets via more unknown planets. As you can imagine, my story isn’t exactly brimming over … Continue reading