December 28, 2009

An acceptance! The Small Town Storyteller

My fourth overall publication acceptance. The Small Town Storyteller will be going into Crow's Nest Magazine early next year. This was a story I did for a travelling show anthology and it was the second story in a row (after Screen Six) that had a time-travel aspect to it.

This was one of those stories where I struggled with the ending and I eventually changed the final 10% completely after its initial rejection - injecting a whole heap of mystery into it that wasn't there originally. You need to craft every part of a story with equal care. "Always bring your A-game" is something I learnt in poker and it's equally valid in writing. Don't sell yourself short, keep the quality high throughout and don't submit poor work.

At 3600 words, this is the longest story I've so far had accepted too. The seed of the story was a famous quotation by Arthur C Clarke: "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." I suppose if you travelled back 400 years and told tales of microwave ovens and pagers, they'd burn you as a witch - unless you got yourself to the sanctuary of a travelling show and passed yourself off as a slightly odd storyteller.

The storyteller placed himself high on a branch of a tree and beneath, a hundred or more listened. This man so tall spake with words that were to my ears mighty peculiar. He told the citizens of Norwich about his world, across the great oceans, he said. In his world, I heared him say, a man can travel faster than ten horses and roast a whole fowl in mere minutes. He spake of things that were too fantastic for normal human reason to investigate, but the folk did not wish him ill fortune nor speak poorly of him. Every soul I witnessed enjoyed the show and his stories caused mirth and merriment.

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