Until the syndicated television show, Babylon 5 has run its five year course, the producer/writer of the show, J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) has requested, for legal reasons, that story ideas be kept off the net, otherwise he will not be able to participate with the fans on line. Because many people have been confused by what constitutes a story idea, here are some guidelines.

A story idea is made up of one or more of the following:

  1. Something not already hinted at
  2. Specific scene/event description

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does this involve specifics as to how you would like or expect to see something played out particularly if that description involved things not already seen/told about on the show or that JMS has posted to the net?

  2. Does this introduce new plot ELEMENTS that have not been seen or mentioned on the show or that JMS has posted on the net?

  3. Does this start with "Wouldn't it be neat to see...." or "I'd like to see a scene where...." [Note: This alone does not make it a story idea but when combined with 1 and/or 2 then it probably crosses the line into a story idea.]

  4. Can you back up your speculation by pointing to specific events/dialogue that have been seen or hinted at either on the show or by JMS on the net as the basis for your ideas?

If you answer "Yes" to any one of the first three and/or "No" to 4, then chances are, it's a story idea.

Example of what NOT to do:

Someone said, "Wouldn't it be neat if G'Kar and Garibaldi were stuck somewhere and G'Kar said to Garibaldi, 'Don't worry, they can track us from the bug that Sinclair planted in me [from the pilot].' and Garibaldi says, 'Well, ambassador, I have good news and I have bad news.'" JMS responded with, "Damn."

Which means he had something planned along those lines. In this instance, the answers to 1-3 would be "Yes." Also, even though the non-existent bug was introduced in the pilot, there was never a hint of how it might come in to play later so the answer to number 4 would be "No."

How that speculation could have been worded so that it wasn't a story idea:

Since G'Kar thinks he has a bug in him, there might come a time where his belief that the bug exists will become important.

What made the original speculation a story idea was that a specific event, not suggested by events in the show or by JMS on the net, had been described. It was not that the person was speculating about the bug.

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