All Authors: The First Pitch(es)

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All Authors: The First Pitch(es)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:16 pm

This is a question particularly with regards to Marines of all stripes: renegades, loyalists, chaos, etc.

Whenever you submitted a pitch to BL with regards to marines, were you working with established chapters or did you experiment with DIYs? Does BL prefer people to send in submissions that relate to established chapters, as in they have a name and some background or established chapters with just a name or new chapters that are the writer's own creation?

I've developed a lot of backstory for a chapter of my own and it is featuring in one of my submissions for the upcoming window. A concern raised when I asked for opinions on the sample was that it was risky to use a chapter of my own for it. Is that really the case? Would it be one of the negative points for the submission or does it depend on how the chapter is developed in the sample/short-story?

[Edit: I went through a lot of established chapters to get some idea on which ones might fit, and barring a few obvious and already well-used ones, I didn't really feel a connection with any of them and most of them happened to be either of unknown foundings or unknown primarchs or whatever and I just feel that that is a concept over-used in a lot of fanfic.]

Any and all thoughts are welcome.
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Re: All Authors: The First Pitch(es)

Postby Rob P » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:45 pm

I know this question is for authors and I am certainly not one, so i'll keep this as brief as I can.

During one of the previous submission windows (Planetkill and HOTSM) someone on the blpublishing form produced an 'unofficial FAQ' . It took quotes from various people on the BL publishing team and fashioned them into answers to questions. I will give them the credit as soon as they make themselves known :) .

It's quite a large document and I don't know if it still exists (other than in the printed form I have in front of me), but one the questions was 'What factions may I write about? What Space Marines chapters can i use?'.

Lindsey Priestly: Don't invent Space Marine Chapters. There's loads already. If you'd prefer not to use a well-known Chapter, just use one of the many named ones that has a livery, but no official history.

and

... it's the story that is most important and your characters, not the Space Marine Chapter you use.

Nick Kyme: ... you won't be penalised for not writing a story about a Chapter/Legion with a good chunk of codex devoted to it. But if you're looking to get noticed just because you've decided to write about obscure Chapter "X" then you're going to be disappointed.

and

If you decide to invent a new dwarf hold, providing it's in keeping with background, we won't dismiss it out of hand ... It's just more sensible to go for something that already exists and work within that established background/character.

Inferno: So, no inventing new Space Marine Chapters, enemies and so on. That has all been pre-defined by Games Workshop. You have to study the subject matter of the background, and then set your story within it.

If I am reading it right, the message is: Stick with the established background material until you have your foot in the door.

I hope this is helpful.
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Re: All Authors: The First Pitch(es)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:45 pm

That is indeed quite helpful. I guess I have to go through the background once again to find the right successor for the legion I am writing on. The official successors and the suspected successors don't really fit with what I have in mind, barring one but their location is completely at odds with the story.

Ah well, challenge is a challenge. Although I am still interested in other people's views.
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Re: All Authors: The First Pitch(es)

Postby Eroldren » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:18 am

Might as well ask here, @ Rob P: were the exact source for 'no inventing new Astartes Chapters' information? Did BL apply same policy to other forces of the Imperium such as less noteworthy Imperial/Traitor Guard regiments?

In interpreting "There's loads already. If you'd prefer not to use a well-known Chapter, just use one of the many named ones that has a livery, but no official history." ..... that's basically saying I'll take the Excubants, Nemesis, or the Contenders, write a short but don't add major background fluff and whatnot newcomers till you get your get yourself in BL?

And plus on a gene-seed note do all latter foundings descend directly from one of the First Founding's gene-seed tithe stockpile rather than established Successor Chapters (those list are only the named, but not all confirmed chapters?) etc. as I've haven't notice any chapters originating from the 2nd generate and so-forth on Lexicanum, or its 'founding chapter' referring to their head forefathers?

@shadowhawk2008: Indeed it would be bit hard to detach oneself from a personal (named) creation that'd evolve something quite dear to you.
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Re: All Authors: The First Pitch(es)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:53 am

Eroldren wrote:Might as well ask here, @ Rob P: were the exact source for 'no inventing new Astartes Chapters' information? Did BL apply same policy to other forces of the Imperium such as less noteworthy Imperial/Traitor Guard regiments?

Its not quite the same though. Space Marine forces, through training and elite status and interesting levels of resources, are able to respond much faster to events than the Guard can. Mostly because the Guard is dependent on the Navy for transportation. And depending on the subsector/sector the particular navy group is a part of, the quality of the navigators may well vary. Space Marines on the other hand use pretty much the best.

With that in mind, it makes sense for BL to have people make use of existing chapters for their pitches. Its much easier for say the Ultramar PDF-ish guard regiments to respond to situations within Ultramar and the surrounding sectors/subsectors than it is for them to respond to something on the other end of Ultima. The Ultramarines are not as hampered by this.

Then there is, again, the elite status. There are hundreds of billions of guardsmen compared to a million or so marines.


In interpreting "There's loads already. If you'd prefer not to use a well-known Chapter, just use one of the many named ones that has a livery, but no official history." ..... that's basically saying I'll take the Excubants, Nemesis, or the Contenders, write a short but don't add major background fluff and whatnot newcomers till you get your get yourself in BL?

Depends on how major it is I guess. Obviously it doesn't make sense for random chapter XYZ to be at Armageddon when there is no record of them being there. Or chapter ABC to participate in the Damocles Crusade when we know that less than half a dozen chapters participated in it and we know their names as well.

That said, I am sure there is no barrier to developing your own standalone major background for chapters which have no back story. Or you know, you can take the Celestial Lions and write a novel about how they suffered on Armageddon or how they had their falling out with the Inquisition or even write a "prologue novel" that ends with one of these events.


And plus on a gene-seed note do all latter foundings descend directly from one of the First Founding's gene-seed tithe stockpile rather than established Successor Chapters (those list are only the named, but not all confirmed chapters?) etc. as I've haven't notice any chapters originating from the 2nd generate and so-forth on Lexicanum, or its 'founding chapter' referring to their head forefathers?

The Astral Claws spawned a successor chapter, the Tiger Claws. There is speculation that the Raptors may have had their own successors as well. The Novamarines have provided marines for ultramarines gene seed descended chapters the Dark Sons and the Angels of Fury. Also the Ultramarine Second Founding successors are known as primogenitors IIRC and several of them have spawned their own successors.

@shadowhawk2008: Indeed it would be bit hard to detach oneself from a personal (named) creation that'd evolve something quite dear to you.

It is a little hard but I gave it a lot of thought this past week and I am going ahead and changing the name of the chapter like I mentioned on my blog. I kind of found the appropriate canon chapter and I'll be sticking with it.
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My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
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