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 Post subject: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 20 Oct 2015, 17:37 
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Beth R wrote:
Anyone else have any ideas of what could have been in the book or thoughts of someone(mentioning no names but a particular favourite book of mine is H A Headmistress) writing a fill in about that term.


I have been thinking a bit about this over the past few days and I am still not sure I have a definitive answer because it makes me feel quite hypocritical, but somehow I find the idea of a filling in a fill-in very uncomfortable. It feels like treading on the toes of someone else, as if I'm somehow taking something away from their book.

Strangely I don't feel like this at all about the 'original' fill-ins. I don't have the sense that they are in any way taking something away from EBD's own work, even if the principle is the same. I don't feel wrong about combing her books for clues to create another fill-in, but the thought of writing a fill-in that covers something someone else has written makes me feel as if I am criticising what they did in the first place.

I did actually consider this for a recently published fill-in as it covered a period that I had contemplated writing, and which I felt was not as thorough as it could have been. There seemed to be potential to write another version of the term. But I wouldn't want to upset or offend the author, in the same way I thing I may feel upset or offended if someone did that to me so I am unlikely ever to write it.

I would be interested in hearing from other fill-in authors and also readers of the books to see if my feelings are unique or if others share them.

TL;DR- as a fill-in author, I don't think I would be happy to cover a term another fill-in author has done, and would like to see if others agree with me.

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 20 Oct 2015, 20:51 
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I would normally agree with you KB but I thought it had been done before with A CS Headmistress, H A Headmistress and Mystery which all cover some of the same period. Also H A A was not published by ggbp and neither was Visitors, presumiably because of Patricia not being in EBDs canon.

Sorry about all the initials, I hope it makes sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 20 Oct 2015, 21:15 
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Visitors is really a special case because it came so much earlier than GGB. It could also be argued that Hilda Annersley and the other titles that cover more than one term are different from books focusing on a specific term and having more than one fill-in written about it, but I'm sure we can have a lovely discussion about it! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 20 Oct 2015, 22:19 
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I don't see any problem with different people writing fills-in that cover the same period any more than I would have problems with people writing drabbles that cover the same times.

I do see a difficulty with publishing. Fo example, I don't see GGBP particularly wanting to publish books that cover the same period as, presumably, they are operating to some kind of timeline. Additional fills-in would just complicate the "official" line but people aren't necessaily tied to publishing through the GGBP

On the other hand, some of the fills-in happen away fom the CS or do not cover substantial parts of what was happening at the time. This is presumably what you mean by filling-in a fill-in. Those kind of areas seem to me to be ripe for exploitation.
There's also, as we see with the drabbles, the possiblity of looking at a term from the viewpoint of someone else. We don't see very much of the Annexe, and nothing of Glendower House, both of which could be included in a CS Expanded Universe, as could Welsen.


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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 21 Oct 2015, 07:53 
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I didn't think that Hilda Annersley and A CS Headmistress really overlapped, because one was set mainly at the hospital where Hilda was recovering and one was set mainly at the school. I wouldn't see a problem with, say, one person writing about a term at Carnbach and another person writing about the same term in Switzerland, but I can see that two people writing about the same term in the same place could potentially lead to someone getting upset or offended.

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 21 Oct 2015, 11:27 
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I wouldn't be happy writing a CS school story about a term someone else has covered, and I wouldn't be happy if they did the same to one of "my terms". Even if I felt I would have set about it completely differently.

(I felt like that initially about Gillian, as I had planned to write about that term, and also disagreed with quite a lot of Carol's choices. But Gillian now "is" that term at the school, and I would never / did never consider doing my version. I wrote Robin instead :D )

I think when we include non-school stories in the mix it's different, because those are set elsewhere / have a different structure and purpose / are from a different perspective. So, I think a CS school story could be written about a term / period of time where someone has published a CS book - as long as it wasn't a school story set at the same part of the CS.

I think I'm saying I agree with KB!


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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 21 Oct 2015, 12:47 
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As am I - as the author of Hilda Annersley:Headmistress my book does actually cover a number of books both EBD and fill in - however I never felt there was a problem as it is not covering the same situations and the overlap is miniscule. Were I to consider writing a fill in that covered the same situations as one already written I would not feel able to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 00:22 
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I think I'd be gutted if someone wrote the same term as me. Just in case theirs was better! I have the self belief of a teabag!

yes I am writing... it may never see the light of day.

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 12:58 
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Sugar wrote:
I think I'd be gutted if someone wrote the same term as me. Just in case theirs was better! I have the self belief of a teabag!

yes I am writing... it may never see the light of day.

Used or unused teabag? I have the same problem with self-belief, so I can empathise with that.

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 13:30 
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I have been re-reading all the posts on this thread and I honestly don't understand why it is such an aweful suggestion. Surely anyone who writes fanfiction changes and contadicts other fanfiction writers, not to mention EBD herself, and, their stories are published (I don't think you can say only on the internet anymore) for all to read.

I am not suggesting that the plot is changed in anyway, just that the 'new' story would concentrate on what happens in the school during that term, mentioning, in passing, things that happened in Visitors (if that is allowed under the copywrite act. Ihave no idea of the law regarding that).

I apologise if I have caused offence. It was just a passing thought that took a life of its own. And one that I have had to think about more carefully myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 14:25 
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I don't think anyone's taken offence: it was a perfectly valid question.

I think that maybe there's something definitive in people's minds about a book. Or maybe it's a book that's published by a particular publisher and aimed at the same audience? I've read loads of drabbles which involve the same main characters but have them going in completely different directions, or put different interpretations on the same series of events, and I'd never say that one of them was the definitive version of events. & there have been some drabbles in which an original character from another person's drabble has made a guest appearance :D, with their creator's agreement. There's just something more ... I can't think what the word is, but something about a book that's actually been printed and sold!


Out of interest, would people feel the same about follow-ups, rather than fill-ins? I don't know what GGBP's position on follow-ups is, because there's only been the one, New Beginnings (I rather like CGGU, but I wouldn't class it along with all the other books because it's so completely different!), but there's so much more scope for individual authors' ideas there. If someone wrote a book in which, say, Con didn't get together with Roger Richardson, Mary-Lou married Rix or David instead of another archaeologist (sorry, I can't remember the guy's name!), and Wanda or Renata became HG rather than Jack, would people feel that that was inappropriate because it contradicted something that'd already been published?

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 15:16 
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Both Star Wars and Star Trek have handled this situation.

Star Wars went for control of the published material so technically all the Star Wars novels are "canon" - and then they got themselves into a mess when they started on new films!

Star Trek didn't and there are published books that contradict each other, Interestingly, "nuTrek" (I know, I know - I cringed too) has adopted some non-canon stuff (for example Spock's childhood as set out in the Animated series) because it had effectively become canon - and now IS canon although in an alternative timeline.

There are two issues here. One is whether it is legitimate to write about a period where a fill-in already exists. (ie whether there is a non-EBD canon in the SW way). The other is whether such a book might be published.

In the first case, I don't think an issue exists in that no-one frets about the fanfiction.

In the second case, I think there are practical problems. As GGB have effectively established a timeline and we, as readers, have accepted the published books as near-canon (whether GGB or elsewhere), there's a clear issue as to whether a book would be published by a publisher or, if self-published, would sell.


Last edited by Victoria on 22 Oct 2015, 16:37, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 15:16 
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If someone wrote a book in which, say, Con didn't get together with Roger Richardson ... would people feel that that was inappropriate because it contradicted something that'd already been published?

Since I can't see Con and Roger as a couple at all, that wouldn't bother me in the least!

I'm not sure my thoughts are coherent, but for what they're worth:

I think there's a difference between writing a completely different, separate take on a term that someone has already filled in, which I can't see any problem with, and writing within that person's universe, using her characters and situations.

But where does one draw the line? If it's acceptable to write fanfic about EBD's works, why should it not be acceptable to write fanfic about a fill-in, providing all proper acknowledgement is made to the author? I don't know the answer, just throwing the question out there.

I think the distinction between what is fanfic and what isn't, is becoming increasingly blurred. Does it stop being fanfic if it's authorised and paid for?

What category do things like Fifty Shades (originally Twilight fic) or Jill Paton Walsh's Wimsey continuations fall into? Is it OK to write Fifty Shades fic (I expect there is some) or to write an AU of the period JPW has covered, or to write fic using her characters and situations?

As I said, not sure my thoughts are coherent, I'm just throwing them out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 16:26 
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I think I'd be happy to see a book published that covers a term already written about if it is written from an entirely different perspective - which is what Lesley's lovely book does.

It's difficult to know where to draw the line with fill-ins as everyone will have their own ideas. I can't see GGBP publishing alternative fill-ins - where would they stop?! But I suppose if someone had a real burning desire to write about a particular term then there's no reason they shouldn't self publish - though I think you'd have to justify why people should buy it when that term had already been written about.

I can understand why GGBP are reluctant to do follow-ons - with fill-ins, there is often a reference later in the series to something which could be said to have happened in a missing term but apart from the hints about the triplets' future, which not everyone agrees with anyway, there is no guidance on what could have happened next so it would really be up to an individual.


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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 23 Oct 2015, 04:55 
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I think reading multiple author takes on the same period would be quite interesting - maybe not as full novels, but a compilation of novellas - but I can see how it would be odd to have multiple contradictory fill-ins by a single imprint.

For fill-in practices, I think the logistics depend a lot on circumstances. If a work is out of copyright, it's fair game, and any author can write and publish whatever they want. If a work is in copyright, and the copyright is held by someone other than the author (like for the CS), it's up to the copyright holder to establish a policy.

GGBP's policy seems to be that individual fill-ins are pitched by individual authors, to be accepted or not, without duplicating the scope of individual books, but that an author does not need to consider previous books as canon.

For sequels it would be trickier, as it would be very confusing to have wildly different plot sequences in books published by the same imprint for a single series. They could establish a master canon that new authors have to stick to (either assembled on the fly, or designed in advance). Or they could commission a single author to take over the series continuation, which seems to be the most common approach in this case.

The third situation is one where the author is the one in control, and can decide what is and isn't done, and maintain creative control. The Man-Kzin stories in Larry Niven's Known Space universe are a classic example, where the author is in charge, but invites other established authors to play in his world, by opening up a specific time period in the history that he isn't going to write in. David Weber has done similar things with the Honor Harrington series, and those stories are considered canon. He has also writing three side series co-authored with others.

Personally, I've never been all that keen on continuations of a series by another author in general. Even when they are very well written, they just don't taste right. I do think there's a difference between published works and informal drabbling, though, psychologically - we're not meant to consider drabbles as being part of the real series. Although I tend to enjoy drabbles more when they are not intending to match EBD's style.

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 23 Oct 2015, 05:35 
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jennifer wrote:
GGBP's policy seems to be that individual fill-ins are pitched by individual authors, to be accepted or not, without duplicating the scope of individual books, but that an author does not need to consider previous books as canon.


Yes and no. Yes, fill-ins are pitched by individual authors and GGB decides whether they are acceptable or not (and whether the relevant authors are willing to make the changes GGB ask for) but we do need to consider other published GGB fill-ins as canon. We can't just ignore or contradict them at will. They want some sense of continuity.

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Last edited by KB on 12 Oct 2016, 09:12, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 23 Oct 2015, 16:38 
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Aren't GGBP supposed to be publishing the story of Robin and Joey's trip to India even though it has already been published by Bettany Press. What are people's thoughts on that?


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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 23 Oct 2015, 16:59 
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KB wrote:

Yes and no. Yes, fill-ins are pitched by individual authors and GGB decides whether they are acceptable or not (and whether the relevant authors are willing to make the changes GGB ask for) but we do need to consider other published GGB fill-ins as canon. We can just ignore or contradict them at will. They want some sense of continuity.

Do you mean "can't" ignore or contradict KB?

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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 23 Oct 2015, 19:32 
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Laura V wrote:
Aren't GGBP supposed to be publishing the story of Robin and Joey's trip to India even though it has already been published by Bettany Press. What are people's thoughts on that?



I have read the existing "Two Chalet Girls in India" but wasn't overly impressed by it. I was particularly disappointed by the explanation of why Joey tore the pictures out of Mollie Bettany's copy of Queechy - it doesn't really fit Joey's reaction when she mentions it later on and, frankly, tearing out the pictures seemed unneccessary. The "Robin's relatives" subplot seems highly unlikely and, if it were "true", would have been mentioned in the CS series. The concept of Joey being dowdy and uninterested in clothes seems likely but she's also portrayed as being socially inept and withdrawn which doesn't fit very well with the fun and friendships she has at the CS with all sorts of people.

I am looking forward to seeing a version that fits better with EBD's style and way of thinking, and which fits better within the canon.


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 Post subject: Re: Filling in fill-ins
PostPosted: 23 Oct 2015, 19:49 
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cestina wrote:
KB wrote:

Yes and no. Yes, fill-ins are pitched by individual authors and GGB decides whether they are acceptable or not (and whether the relevant authors are willing to make the changes GGB ask for) but we do need to consider other published GGB fill-ins as canon. We can just ignore or contradict them at will. They want some sense of continuity.

Do you mean "can't" ignore or contradict KB?


Sorry, yes, can't.

As for India, GGB accepted that title from the author way back in 2005 and signed a contract with her in that year, having no idea that NCC would publish their title, which they did only a few month before GGB acquired the copyright (in 2006). Having contracted Heidi to write her version, they have to/want to go ahead with it.

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