Deadline #1 met with the addition of ‘The Marketing Messiahs’. This story was written for the 2500 word ‘The Best of Times Short Story Writing Competition’. This year’s theme being humour, not comedy, but humour. So methinks that means chuckles not thigh dampeningly funny so I conjured up this story. I think the idea was beginned as I was driving home one day looking at the advertising billboards. For some reason these hoardings grab my attention, not for the adverts, but for the stories behind them. Who are the actors in them, what happened when they did the photo shoot, what if you fell in love with the person in one (see the SMART Recording) and of course, who put them up.
It struck me that this was a very public job to do and yet drivers largely ignore ANYTHING that goes on along the side of the road. I saw the opportunity for “humour” here and started to add in my characters and search for the twist. I had the story finished in plenty of time for the 31st of March deadline and a colleague had told me to push it up to the 2500word limit and squeeze out every last bit of funny I could. I think I did a 7 out of 10 job at doing this as I’m still a bit reserved about slashing into the text ruthlessly.
I briefly considered having Tony desperately trying to get to the dinner so he could propose to Susan but that seemed way to cliched. I also considered subbing Susan’s Dad out altogether and swapping in Susan, but this lacked the punch I needed for Phil’s reaction and subsequently being overlooked.
Without Dust in the country I haven’t had the discussion as to whether we’re going to illustrate this one or if someone is up for doing a cover so stay tuned for pictures. I’ve got to admit, I missed the dusty sounding board for this one. Whilst I have some excellent people who provided solid feedback, I think Dust has the same sense of what’s cool as I do and I definitely don’t have the confidence to be happy with this till more feedback rolls in. Hey, who knows it may even place in the competition??