Tall And True Short Reads
A Night Out
Episode 49 (26 March 2022)
Their eyes locked across a crowded room at the cocktail bar. He looked well-heeled and handsome, and his brazen gaze told her he knew it. But she was his equal with pert features and confidence. They raised their glasses to each other and soon found themselves shoulder to shoulder at the bar.
A Night Out
Season Two: Episode 49 (26 March 2022)
A Night Out is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.
Read A Night Out on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/a-night-out
Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads
Buy Robert’s short story collections online:
- Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Fairhead/e/B086HZ36NM
- Rakuten Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/author/robert-fairhead
A Night Out was my eighteenth entry for the Australian Writers’ Centre’s short story writing competition, Furious Fiction, in November 2021. The story had to include:
- Someone PACKING A SUITCASE.
- The phrase “ACROSS A CROWDED ROOM” (as dialogue or narrative).
- The words CHARM, CRUSH and FAINT (longer variations were permitted as long as they retained the original spelling).
PACKING A SUITCASE and ACROSS A CROWDED ROOM suggested several romantic plots, likely involving a broken relationship. And that was the premise of November’s winning Furious Fiction story, with the protagonist watching his partner pack her suitcase.
But I recalled being burgled in Bondi in the mid-1980s. And how the thief used one of my bags to carry off my goods and chattels. And it occurred to me I could combine a “romantic” night out in a crowded cocktail bar with a twist ending for the suitcase.
Finding places for the required words in the cocktail bar setting was straightforward. However, the story’s point of view [(POV)] shifted between the first and final drafts.
In the first draft, the point of view [POV] was third person omniscient. As in the final draft, I didn’t dwell on the characters’ internal thoughts, but I portrayed them equally in narrative and dialogue. While editing the story, I realised I needed to emphasise my female protagonist’s actions and words. And so, the point of view [POV] became third person limited.
Apart from the POV, the most significant change in the story between drafts was the female protagonist’s occupation while overseas. Initially, I had her in “public relations”, a play on words for the sting she was hatching. But I thought a “barista” would have more chance of slipping something into a late-night coffee back at the apartment.
I hope you enjoyed A Night Out and the nightcap twist. You can read this and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.
The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, don’t forget to browse your feed or the podcast website, for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.
And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing with other listeners.
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Podcast Theme and Sound Effects
Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.
Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:
- Cocktail Glasses Clinking: https://freesound.org/people/KenRT/sounds/319994/
- Loud Voices in Bar: https://freesound.org/people/Zac_Gist/sounds/457286/
- Woman Laughing: https://freesound.org/people/sagetyrtle/sounds/33658/
- City Sounds: https://freesound.org/people/AApolo/sounds/590763/
Tall And True Short Reads produced using Audacity.
Podcast recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.
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