Story Behind the Story: A Many-Splendored Thing

So Buckshot Magazine‘s third issue came out last week, including my flash fiction story A Many Splendored Thing. Which I realize now is wildly different from the way I originally imagined it.

Back in 2008, I read Guyland by Michael Kimmel, and got creeped out by one of the twentysomething men Kimmel quotes, venting about how That Bitch he’d been hitting on shouldn’t have the power to decide whether he got laid that evening. Of course, she doesn’t, she only has the power to decide if he sleeps with her, but apparently he felt that was unreasonable. So I started with a simmering, pissed-off potential rapist and imagined someone egging him on, encouraging him to cross the line.

By itself, that wasn’t enough, so I began adding more incidents, more people out for sex or love and getting really bad advice. Why were they getting it? Well, read the story. Like Dark Satanic Mills in Atlas Shagged, it became a satire on lifestyle magazines and their endless advice about finding the right person, wearing the right suit to attract the right person, being sufficiently manly or sensitive or … well, whatever.

In the process, it got a lot funnier, so I had to rewrite the initial incident. A rape incident didn’t fit with a light-hearted satire, so I kept “why should she decide?” line but just made the guy resentful about being turned down, not a potential rapist.

It’s flash fiction so if you want to click on the link, it won’t take you long to read.

#SFWApro. Don’t know cover artist, but all rights to image remain with current copyright holder.

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