This Week in Rejection!: DC Comics

Read — if you can stay awake for it — this truly horrible story synopsis that was deservedly rejected by DC Comics back in 1993. Then stick around for today’s lesson, kids…


OK, so now that you’ve lost all respect for me as a writer, let me tell you something: That synopsis was actually for a truly amazing story! Honest. It was powerful and character-driven and loaded with pathos.

The problem, of course, is that I gave precisely zero indication of that in the synopsis, choosing instead to write something so generic and vague that the editor in question (quite rightly) wrote “Nothing unique” on it.

Whose fault is this? Duh. Mine. I was trying to hold something back. Trying to keep the story’s twists a secret so as to… So as to…

I don’t know! I don’t know what the hell I was thinking, to be honest with you. When you’re pitching a story to someone, you have to tell them everything. You can’t be coy and hold back the twists and surprises — they need to know these things to decide if they’re going to buy it or not! I got mixed up. I confused the editor for the reader.

Bad mistake.

Don’t try to impress an editor with your ability to leave him or her hanging off a cliff. Impress him or her with your story.

Today’s Tumblr – February 27, 2014

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Today’s Tumblr – February 25, 2014

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I Hunt Killers Trailer Script

I recently watched the I Hunt Killers trailer again for the first time since the book came out. And I remembered — dimly — that I’d originally written a completely different trailer. I dug around on my hard drive and voila! Check it out, if you like, and play it on the big screen in your mind…

FADE IN on a local TV news anchor, tight. His name is KEVIN. He’s visible from mid-chest up. Over his left (our right) shoulder is a graphic of a chalk outline and the words “LOBO’S NOD MURDERS.” There’s a chyron at the bottom of the screen that reads “KEVIN KIRK - WIHK” to the left and then “September 9” along the right.
News tonight from Lobo’s Nod, where police have made an arrest in the disappearance of two local women, both later found murdered.
KEVIN (v.o.)
The suspect is 43-year-old Lobo’s Nod native William Cornelius Dent, known locally as Billy. He is a member of the Elks Club and known best for driving the Lobo’s Nod Bookmobile during summer breaks.
KEVIN again
Dent has a young son, whose identity is being protected by police since he is a minor…
We’re back to Kevin. He’s in a different suit and tie now. It’s a month later. The over-the-shoulder graphic is a little more put-together: It’s a slightly Photoshopped copy of the mug shot, with “DENT MURDERS” bannered over it. The chyron is the same as before, only now it reads “October 28.”
KEVIN update tonight on those killings in Lobo’s Nod. Police and prosecutors now telling WIHK that they believe Billy Dent may also be the serial killer known as Green Jack, who terrorized the Mid-West a couple of years ago and was never caught.
This adds a new layer to things, doesn’t it, Gene?
CUT TO KEVIN’s co-anchor, Gene, a similarly dressed guy. Chyron updates to read “GENE HAMILL - WIHK”
Dent is a widower, and police are now saying unofficially that they believe he may have murdered his wife several years ago.
Makes you wonder what his poor son has seen… 
to a young boy’s hand picking up a large knife out of a kitchen sink. Footage should be slightly grainy, murky.
GENE this time. The over-the-shoulder graphic has changed to show Billy’s mug shot, superimposed with question marks. The chyron tells us that it is now December 2.
An update tonight on those Green Jack killings — police may have tied Billy Dent not only to murders in Lobo’s Nod, but also to several killings attributed to yet another serial killer, Hand-in-Glove. Kevin?
Well, Gene, if this is true, it might make Billy Dent one of the biggest mass murderers in U.S. history. If, in addition to killing those two girls in Lobo’s Nod, it turns out that he is both Green Jack and Hand-in-Glove, then he may have killed dozens of people, as many as fifty….
TITLE: Billy Dent eventually confessed to 123 murders. He was sentenced to life in prison.
TITLE: Four years have passed. Billy Dent’s son is now 17.
TITLE: And the bodies are piling up.
TITLE: Again.

And if you want to check out the creeptastic trailer we ended up putting together, here it is again:

Memory Monday: Balanced

malloOnly if your “true appearance” involves somehow appending the word “marsh” to your name, Mallo.

(From Action Comics #515, January 1981. Written by Bob Rozakis. Art by Alex Saviuk & Vince Colletta.)