Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dan Dreyfus: The Missing Years

In the Character Bios under the Special Features page you can read about Dr. Dan Dreyfus, world-renowned Egyptologist.  But Dan wasn't always an Egyptologist.  He didn't always work with Emma Earl either.  And their relationship used to be a bit more intimate.

In a now-scrapped short story, Dan Dreyfus is first introduced.  His name in that story was actually Dan Freeman, but for A Hero's Journey I decided that since Emma and Becky had alliterative names, why shouldn't Dan?  So I changed it to Dreyfus like the star of Jaws and Mr. Holland's Opus and also because it sounded similar to Dan Dreiberg (Nite Owl II) in Watchmen, which is the kind of silly, meaningless joke I enjoy.

In the short story, Dan is actually the curator for the city's historical society, while Emma is the curator of the natural history museum.  In that story they're also about the same age and have a more conventional relationship.  There's a paragraph relating how since they're so busy at their jobs they hardly could find time to be together and wound up making out while watching Benjamin Button--a play on the Seinfeld episode where he and his date make out during Schindler's List and get spotted by Newman.  Anyway, in this story their relationship was more grown up than in the novel.  But Dan pretty much stayed the same in personality.  He was always the nice guy who loves Emma.

In that short story Dan briefly becomes the Scarlet Knight after Emma is incapacitated.  Then he winds up being killed by the Black Dragoon.  So maybe it's a good thing I scrapped that story, at least for Dan.

E is for Emma Earl:  What's in a Name?

8 comments:

  1. In jokes are pretty much all I have in my writing. I think everyone should have more of them.

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  2. My editor keeps telling me she likes the humor in my novel, then she edits out all the funny stuff. I just put it back in. So why do I have an editor?

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  3. You do love your alliteration, don't you? Is there any particular reason why? I mean...why couldn't he be "Dan Smith?" just to be different from the other characters you are using.

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    1. You should ask old comic book writers why they liked alliteration so much. And there are plenty of characters in the book without alliterative names.

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    2. Okay smartass. Next time I'm hob-knobbing with Todd McFarlane and George Perez at the coffee shop, I'll ask them why they liked alliteration so much.

      While I'm at it...maybe I should just get Oprah and Barack Obama on the phone and chit chat about my book promotion.

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  4. I've heard of authors who use a short story leading into their novel as a way of suckering people into buying the story and then having to wait FOREVER to find out what happens. I'm glad to see you didn't go down that road, unlike some less-than-honorable people.

    Don't listen to Michael. He's just being crabby. Characters in superhero stories have a long honorable tradition of alliterative names: Peter Parker, J. Jonah Jameson, Clark Kent, probably others, I can't remember.

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  5. Well, mostly it all had to do with Stan Lee. He was the one that loved alliteration so much and named all of those early Marvel characters. That doesn't include Clark; he doesn't count.

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    1. Well really I think it started farther back. I do count Clark Kent because it's the hard-K sound on both words. And you can't discount his girlfriend Lois Lane.

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