The basic principles of writing a book are simple – come up with an idea, write it. Of course, it isn’t really that simple, it is a lot of hard work, but that’s about the size of it, right? Well, not always. What happens if you are asked to write for a hugely popular franchise? The idea might not be anything to do with you, the characters and the world already well established, the story required to fit into extremely narrow parameters…

So how does writing a book for a franchise differ from creating something original? What happens when you have much bigger forces to answer to?

We don’t often have episodes where we dig into the craft of writing, so we have been looking forward to this one! In this episode, we are honoured to be joined by Una McCormack to discuss the art of franchise writing.

Be warned: this episode was an excuse for Charlotte and I to unreservedly wax lyrical about Star Trek (yes, more than usual). Oh, and Star Wars… yeah, this is one of those major fangirl moments.

Texts and authors mentioned in this episode include:

  • Star Trek: Picard
  • Stark Trek: Voyager
  • Doctor Who
  • Wookieepedia
  • Memory Alpha
  • The Two Towers
  • Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Star Wars
  • Vonda N. McIntyre
  • Star Wars: Forces of Destiny

Una McCormack

Dr Una McCormack is a New York Times bestselling science fiction author. She is passionate about women’s writing, science fiction, and helping people find their words and voices. Her latest release, the Star Trek: Picard novel The Last Best Hope, became a USA Today bestseller.

Una’s next novel, Wonderlands, a Star Trek: Discovery novel, is out in June.