This week’s Teaser Tuesday comes from Wonder Boys, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon. This is a book I actually finished quite some time ago, but which I’ve been saving for after my series about The Event was finished.
Since that series is now complete, here is your long-deferred Wonder Boys teaser.
So having finished up Queen of the Tearling, which was about as good as the scathing reviews suggested it would be, though it was just like The Hunger Games insofar as the heroine’s name started with a “K”, and it was just like Game of Thrones insofar as … um … oh! There’s a “red” sorceress in it.
Still reading The Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut’s classic from 1959, this week. We’ve just gotten to the point of meeting the members of a new religion whose members handicap themselves by carrying heavy weights, dressing in ugly clothes, wearing bad makeup, etc. Shades of “Harrison Bergeron“! And by “shades” I do not mean “dark glasses worn to impair your eyesight and eliminate any advantage you may enjoy due to your superior vision.”
So it seemed as if things were progressing nicely with Eclipse Comics … I was writing “Night Watchman” stories, my artist was drawing panels, and my editor was getting married and moving away. Good times for all concerned! Sadly, good times never seem to last …
When we last left off with the Eclipse Saga Part II, I was getting good feedback from the editor at Eclipse Comics about “Night Watchman”. So, while I continued to work on that, I started sending him proposals for all the other series ideas I had. I don’t have the scripts for all of them, but they included several that eventually became novels, as well as others that remain on the shelf in my mind gathering dust.
So after getting those encouraging letters from the editor at Eclipse, I had to actually produce the scripts. Fortunately that wasn’t a problem; I was pretty prolific back in the day. However, formatting was an issue. From reading reference books (in 1993, you couldn’t just hop on the Internet to find examples of comic book script layouts), I was aware that when submitting comic book scripts as a writer, you have to format them similarly to a movie script, with the action divided into panels. You have to supply POVs, camera angles, etc., and each line of dialogue is numbered; this is all so the artist will know how to arrange everything on the page.
As you can see from the Eclipse editor’s copious notes, in this early Night Watchman draft, I wasn’t very good at any of that yet.
So this week I pulled something really juicy out of my pile of rejections. I may have mentioned before that a number of my books, including Night Watchman and Dragon Stones, started out as comic book series proposals. I was working with an editor at the now-defunct Eclipse Comics on developing several of these. Unfortunately I’m not a particularly good artist, so I was submitting them as scripts that would be illustrated by others. How did it all work out in the end? Well, let’s just say I’ve lived in the San Diego area for eight years now and have yet to attend a Comic-Con.
In the comments for my “Pinch Bobby ‘Til He Bleeds” post, Almostgotit asked how I got into writing horror and why I got out. Like many things in life, I just sort of stumbled into it, but getting out again was a little more complicated.
Here’s another example of a form rejection letter that manages to convey a little more information than just “go away”. While obviously not nearly as valuable as one that contains actual feedback, I was still happy to get this sort of rejection, because at least I felt that someone had taken the time to read what I sent them.