More Super Holly art: Yeti and Noir

Last weekend, I was at the San Francisco Comic Con. I bought a graphic novel called This Yeti For Hire! or The Yeti with the Lace Kerchief. The story of a Yeti police detective. I had Sean Morgan draw Super Holly turned into a yeti (abominable snow-woman), with my barber Lash sizing up the situation and using one of my favorite lines from the old Johnny Quest cartoon.

I also bought another issue of Afterburner: Tales of the Cool and the Wicked. On Friday, I talked to Robert Stewart about his art and writing, and I showed him some Super Holly artwork I had with me. On Saturday, he pointed to his portfolio of artwork, and said I should check it out. I saw this on top.

Wow. Super Holly as film noir, as Heavy Metal. Cool and Wicked. I bought it. That was very nice of him to draw for me before I even asked. Or maybe when he looked at me, he saw a dollar sign. I gave him a little more than his asking price.

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Scripting Change and my first Kindle publish!

HOLLY COVER Reviz 3I finally pushed my first short story to Kindle. Two Stories in One: Super Bad Hair Day, and The Poet and the Supersplainer! Two stories for a dollar, such a deal! Take a look, buy, read, and write a good review. (I’d rather be compared to Stan Lee than Hemingway.)

And Scripting Change 2016 has the story “The Terror of the Twisted Tonguester!” Former supervillain the Karate Queen defends her girlfriend from superheroine Holly Hansson, who has fallen under the spell of the vile Byle Boole (boo, hiss!).

I am now more than an aspiring writer. I am a published author, both self-pubbed and pubbed by local clubs. Bask in my glory.

 

Author Dave vs. Story Bloat!

Holly’s super bad hair day story is way overdue for Kindle. And yet, I could not bring myself to push it out. Why?

It was fat. Bloated. Almost 7000 words! During the holidays, my nieces read my 1500 words Super Holly vs The Wicked Word Witch story. (These girls are smart, voracious readers.) They laughed. They liked it. Then my older niece read part of the bad hair day, and she pointed out bugs, and thought the ending was strange, and she once said, “Ew.”

In my opinion, the biggest bug is the bad hair day story got way too BIG over many months. Today, I re-outlined it from 13 action beats to 9. Then I cut, pasted, and edited. I cut out a lot:

  • Bennie the Rubber Cop (based on Law & Order’s Lennie Briscoe, who deserves a full story and should not compete with Lash the barber in this story).
  • The singing. That did not work. I could feel that as my older niece read.
  • The super comb. Too much of a god-in-the-machine thing. I substituted a wire brush and big scissors.
  • Probably I’ll cut the shampooing scene, but I still want to mention Holly’s love of strawberry shampoo.

I hope to be way under 5000 words when I am done. Small enough that I can pad this story out with another short story. I have several in the works. I want my short stories to be quick and fun, like gobbling a candy bar. Or in my case, two at a time for a buck?

I thought of story bloat after I saw the third installment of The Hobbit on New Year’s Eve. I liked it, but so much stuff was added to the original story! Sure, I like more of that cool and grand Christopher Lee! But it took Thorin FOREVER to change his mind, and what was with his silly hallucination stuff?

I also thought of Harlan Ellison: “To say more is to say less.” And Elmore Leonard: “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.”

I thought of story bloat before today. I got serious about it today. I made good progress, and I should have a tighter and happier story when I am done. It can feel good to cut.

P.S. I agree with my friend Frank about the Hobbit part 3: the battle scenes were consuming (if a bit long), Smaug was fearsome, and anxiety was high. I will want Holly and Cal to fight dragons in a later novel. Smaug was not bloated, he was huge in the book. My dragons will need to be small enough that when they swallow a man (or a superheroine, hint hint) you can see the lump go down its gullet, yet large enough that you can saddle and ride one, and if you are fishing around for a body in the dragon’s digestive-juice-filled belly (with an air pocket at the top), it will take several scary moments to find the body. Yeah, I am writing ahead again, but this will be a GREAT scene.

P.P.S. When I said today, I meant January 1.

A tantalizing little bit of Holly’s Super Bad Hair Day short story.

I just put some of Holly’s upcoming story onto my Upcoming Stories page. Check it out. Get your cash ready to spend, all 99 cents of it. (That’s the going rate for a short story, I think.) And, I hope, get ready to laugh.

Now I know what Stan Lee meant when he said of Peter Parker (Spider-Man): “I just can’t resist torturing the poor guy.”

More Holly art!!! YAY!!!!!!

Batton Lash sent more art today. I really like how he has brought Holly to life. The face, the eyebrows, WOW.

I asked that the trunk line on the costume be lowered a little bit. One of my running gags is that Holly’s costume rides up her rear once in a while, ooo, she HATES that. But normally, no exposed cheeks (unlike so many superheroine costumes nowadays), so I figured the trunk line should be a little lower. Now, behold the art, and ENJOY! I know I have!

HOLLY_POSE Reviz HOLLY_EYES Reviz HOLLY_COVER

Holly in the barber chair.

Batton Lash is doing wonderful work for me, as you can see below. I did ask that the barber look a little irked (he’s my real-life barber, first name is Lash, no relation to Batton). Ah, this will be a FINE cover for my short story! Holly looks impatient, and that is Holly!

P.S. I just posted a reply to a post on Hugh Howey’s blog. Scroll down, I am number 17 or so to reply. My take on writing for an audience.

DAVE STROM COVER COMP