SW 135 INT Author of STAR WARS, HALO, STARCRAFT, HITMAN, and MASS EFFECT novels, William C. Dietz, explains HOW TO WRITE IN SOMEONE ELSE’S WORLD
START WRITING Podcast: “How to write in someone else’s world,” an interview with William C. Dietz, author of Star Wars, Halo, StarCraft, Hitman, and Mass Effect novels!
“DAMN FINE SPACE OPERA!” — James Wolfhampton
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I’m a fan of the StarCraft videogames, and I recently read a spin-off novel called HEAVEN’S DEVILS. I had somewhat low expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised and even impressed. William C Dietz delivered vivid characters, great descriptions, and a thoughtful, smart story. It was also fun to go on a new adventure with some of my favorite characters, including Jim Raynor and Tychus Findlay—as they’re getting their start as Space Marines.
So I reached out to Mr Dietz, and we discussed a couple of interesting insights for aspiring authors. The first centers around writing in other “IPs.” IP stands for intellectual property, and in this context, that means a world and its characters. Bill Dietz has written in a lot of famous IPs that are not his original creations, including Star Wars, Halo, StarCraft, Hitman, and Mass Effect. He tells how he got started doing this and about the highs and lows that come with this sort of work-for-hire.
The second main insight is this: He started in the traditional publishing world, and now he has a strong presence in indie publishing too. I asked him which of these two he preferred, and his answer surprised me.
This was such a fun interview. I am so impressed with his humility. I was also intrigued by his final admonition to all of us listeners.
Before we start, I wanted to make a personal comment. When I was a kid, I was so obsessed with the Jedi Knight video games that I even checked out the audio dramatizations of that story from the local library and listened to them with my older brother (who I wrote about in Stealing Indiana Jones). But it has been so long since then that I actually forgot! Well, it turns out that these novelizations were written by William C Dietz. So you’ll hear me say something in this episode that makes me sound like I was unfamiliar, but after recording this episode, I looked them up, I relistened, and all the memories came flooding back. It was a ton of fun to relive that part of my childhood. I also checked out the cool artwork of the book versions and those are impressive as well.
Okay, I’ve said enough. Here’s our START WRITING interview with William C Dietz on How to write in someone else’s world.
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WILLIAM C. DIETZ LINKS:
World War III: https://amzn.to/45e8JUQ
William C. Dietz books: https://amzn.to/47BVPBv
Douglas Reeman books: https://amzn.to/45fPmuu
Franz Kafka books: https://amzn.to/3E86Cpm
Mark Twain books: https://amzn.to/3E6tbel
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl: https://amzn.to/3YDFl7X
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“Warning” by Beat Mekanik (Johnathon M. Horner), sourced from the Free Music Archive, is licensed under Creative Commons BY 4.0.