Friday, 10 August 2018
I have a new story published by decomP magazinE today. And this one really is a new one in that it was written this year. That said, I had the original idea decades ago - well over twenty years - after having read Bradbury's "The Crowd." From what I remember, for those who haven't read it (and you should - all Bradbury is worth reading), "The Crowd" is basically a story based on the premise that every crowd you see - gathered outside opening sales, gawping at roadworks, jostling around accidents - is actually the same crowd, an amorphous blob of people that appears and disappears depending on there being a need for a crowd. (Or at least that's how I remember it. As I say, it's probably been 25 years since I read it).
Anyway, when I read that story I couldn't help but think of, "What would the story be like from their point of view?" Hence an idea that for many years lay in my ideas file as "A Day in the Life of the Man in the Street" until such point as I realised that flash fiction was the perfect form for many of my ideas that couldn't really support a longer story. The actor angle came from reading a flash piece a few months ago that all the writers and editors that I follow on Twitter were lauding. It was rather good and was a first person actor tale thus inspiring the actor angle, which I thought worked rather well as a narrative framing device.
That said, I think the Twilight Zone-esque elements of the original story got somewhat lost in this shorter piece and I think it could actually support a longer story of 5,000 - 10,000 words. So while I am happy with this piece as it stands (and I'm certainly happy with where it's been published - decomP is very well-respected and has many of the stories that it published be nominated for prizes and awards, including the prestigious Pushcart Prize - I still don't consider this idea done quite yet.....
decomP also has the rather nice feature of also having the authors read their pieces as audio files. So you too can now get the full experience that the dozen or so audience members at the Worcester Speakeasy 2018 LitFest Special had when they heard me read this a couple of months ago! ;)