This is the story of a little story that could: "Charley vs. RealiTV," a 1,000-word piece of flash fiction that survived 26 rejections before finding a good place to call home.
I've always enjoyed watching The Twilight Zone: the spooky storytelling, the quirky camera angles, the unreal encounters. With "Charley vs. RealiTV," I decided to move a 1960s Twilight Zone-style episode into the 21st century. It's very short, over before you know it, but I hope it leaves readers with that same lingering feeling I always got after a riveting Rod Serling story. What if...?
"Charley vs. RealiTV" received a few warm rejections along the way to publication and was even accepted by a magazine a year or so ago. Unfortunately, that publication folded, and "Charley" had to endure a dozen more submissions before being accepted by Theme of Absence. During those long, cold months in between, it received mostly form letter rejections, but here are a few comments from some of the other editors:
Interesting twist, but I'm not sure the ending is strong enough.
There is very little conflict or consequence to make us care about Charley.
The prose was very smooth, but the story itself was missing a sense of wonder.
The excellent idea is reduced to being mostly an outline for a story.
The Morgan character does not ring true as a teen-aged girl.
I liked the main character. I didn't really enjoy the plot though.
Check out "Charley vs. RealiTV" and let me know what you think. Agree? Disagree?