For 99 cents you can now download a copy of “Small Town Super Nobody” as an ebook, available through Amazon! What a deal! What a buy! You can officially own a 99 cent novella that you are still welcome to read for free here on TheStoryFolder! For this amazing offer, click on this SLOW, SUPERKIDS AT PLAY sign:
(Or type this into the URL bar: https://www.amazon.com/author/alschultz)
I’m calling it a convenience fee, though really the charge is there because it’s the lowest price I can set for an ebook through Amazon. The ebook market is another avenue for me to explore in my attempt to get my name out there and my stories read; whether or not I make money is, at this point, secondary. Certainly I hope to (and, let’s be honest here: need to), but I’m still building a niche, and publicity is worth its weight in gold.
In preparation for the ebook release, I’ve re-read “Small Town” approximately five hundred times this past week, editing as I go. While I’m opposed to making any major changes to an already published work (even one that’s only been published on my website), I ran “Small Town Super Nobody” a bit more stringently through the wringer than I’d originally planned. It feels like cheating to make too many changes (a la George Lucas), but it’s a good lesson to me to be more meticulous about my online postings in the future. I just wanted to make sure I was putting my best foot forward, and breaking apart some of my seventy-word sentences into two – or even three – complete thoughts seemed like a good editing decision. Hopefully I haven’t fussed anything my original audience liked into oblivion.
It was also a chance to ctrl+f my most commonly used descriptive words to make sure that I hadn’t worn them out. Subsequently, I discovered that “clearly,” “suddenly,” “realized,” and “immediately” topped the list. Clearly, characters in my stories suddenly realize a lot of things. Immediately. While I replaced some with synonyms, I was able to drop a number of the adverbs completely. According to a number of my former writing teachers, clarifying your verbs is a poor way of “telling” when you should be “showing.” Personally, I like clarifying my characters’ actions. I want readers to know when an action is supposed to feel sudden, rather than to have them miss it. In my defense, many of my works are written from a character’s somewhat direct viewpoint, so when something happens suddenly or seems clear, it’s actually the character saying so. In this case, Jeremiah simply has a penchant for the word “clearly” (having used it a whopping thirty-six times; I got him down to eleven).
Also, there are not that many great synonyms for “realized.” Understood, comprehended, apprehended, grasped, gathered, recognized; all excellent words, but none of them with that vague feeling of “Eureka!” that I too often want to invoke.
Of course, my enthusiastic overuse of adverbs would go a long way towards explaining how you get 28,000 words out of this, the original outline for “Small Town Super Nobody”:
Broken into six scenes: six conversations
- Jeremiah hadn’t meant to bring up Teddy.
- Jeremiah vs. Teddy. Awesome normal kid vs. goof-off (and goof-up?) super one. Mrs. Grayson is the college advisor (among other things), but somehow they got to talking about Teddy joining a hero association. Not where Jer meant to go with the conversation, but he has to roll with it. Moves the conversation (subtly) into supers with minor or no powers. She figures him out. “What would happen if Theodore punched you in the face?” Mortified.
- Hanging out at the dive (where he works). Early out for school but they have practice soon. Somewhat chaos. Old lady with a crush on him, girlfriend there? His buddy laughs – we’re nobody. Someone like Teddy has a chance, but not us.
- Almost Dad. Trying to bring it up with him. Interrupts him: has Teddy talked to you? Mentions Jeff the sheriff, his dad’s friend and the guy who recommended they keep Teddy for a few days. Jer still has no idea why they adopted him. Trying to hang on to his temper.
- Argument. She’s dismissive, he catches Teddy eavesdropping. Reams him out, dad is not impressed. Flood warning.
- Flooding, they get stuck together, and Teddy brings up “I always knew you were going to be a hero.” Jer is very good at organizing people and getting them moving. He really is heroic, though he’d get his face smashed in if he tried to go toe to toe with a supervillain. Brings up story of drunk when they were children. You weren’t scared at all.
- Grayson. Jer has decided to double major in pre-med and engineering/robotics. Teddy’s going to be a superhero. He doesn’t have a choice.
Three hundred words, kids. Did I actually increase my word count by over 9000%?
WAIT JUST A MINUTE.
Hahaha, I just made my own day.
Some housekeeping notes: I just updated the Amazon, Facebook, and RSS feed icons at the top and bottom right of the page. If you click on the RSS feed (the orange one) you can actually subscribe to it, which I think means that you can have the feed send you notices when I update my website. I might look into creating an actual email subscription method on the website, so I’ll undoubtedly be talking about this more later. Just FYI for now.