That Celeb Smile

That Celeb SmileI never took any pictures of him, but I know exactly how I would have done it. He had long, wiry hair, very dark with here and there a startling silver strand. I would have stopped right down for the shallow depth of field and focused on a tangle of it, with the pores of the forehead behind. A hint of grey stubble, spark of something in the eye, all on the same plane; tip of the nose in front and ear ring further back, both beginning to blur. Black and white would have been good. Slowish film, with the prints blown up big enough to show the grain.

The May Broadsheet Story is That Celeb Smile by Martin Cooper.


2 Responses to That Celeb Smile

  1. Nicole Kuek says:

    Sinister. Maybe a bit of an odd comment to make, but I liked how this sounded so real to me. The voice flowed really smoothly and the way it was written made it sound like it was talking about a real event.

    • Glad you enjoyed it.

      First person stories are the hardest to write, I find. This is partly because you have to sustain the voice – and it’s not at all like a person talking or thinking; everything has to be turned up a notch. It’s also because you have to be so careful not to let the character really do the narrating. Events have to sort of emerge out of the monologue. Otherwise it’s too easy to fall into the trap of the author simply informing the reader about what’s going on, which is rarely very interesting.

      Naomi Alderman’s story I Love You Crazy is a brilliant example of how to do it.

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