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Authors Seeking FREE Betas > 20,000 realist novella - Mediocre Man

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message 1: by Ewok (new)

Ewok | 17 comments Mediocre Man - The story of an office worker with artistic ambitions who goes off the rails.

It's 20,000 words.

Any beta readers would be welcome :)

Thank you,


message 2: by Ewok (new)

Ewok | 17 comments Here's the opening chapter, in case you're interested:

Chapter 1

Everything started to go wrong for Aaron Bakely after that open mic night, it had already begun before that, but that night set off the chain of events which led to his downfall.

He'd just finished setting up on stage. His eyes flickered across the audience, mostly other musicians. He scanned the customers standing at the bar, many of them in conversation. Others waited at tables, some of them even looked like they were interested in his performance! And then he saw Trent – Trent from work. He had to glance back again to be sure. It was Trent alright. He looked up at Aaron with smirk. He seemed to see everything. He saw the nervousness. He saw what he himself saw - that he wasn't a musician, he was a guy with a day job and desperate dreams that were simply sad to continue. It was more sad to continue than to give up. Why? Because you never know what isn't happening for you. You never know what you're not doing in your life when you're dreaming or daydreaming or some combination of the two.

He began to strum the guitar. He flubbed a few notes in the opening progressions and resisted the urge to look up into the audience. Thank God he had years of mistakes and failures behind him. Thank God making mistakes was so thoroughly integrated into his playing style that he could plough forward without being fazed by it.

He opened his mouth to sing. He wasn't sure if it sounded too quiet, so he sang louder, then he wasn't sure if he sang off key, so he changed his singing style. He could feel the eyes on him like a winter coat making each movement of his hand or neck sluggish. Instead of feeling the music he battled a voice in his head, this isn't you, they all know and Trent especially knows. He finished the song. There was a moment of hesitation before a light round of applause.

Then there was the always awkward post performance clearing of the stage moments. The chord always took a little too long to unplug. Aaron always seemed to trip over a miscellaneous cable on the floor somewhere, destroying any possible illusion that he was an unsung rock n' roll hero.

Aaron always felt self-conscious after a performance. Any person who spoke with cupped hands into the ear f someone else was talking about him.

He put the guitar into it's case, zipped it up and walked off the stage.

'Hey man..
'Hi Trent,'
'That was great.
'Oh yeah?
'Shame about the sound though.'
'Yeah, it was a little quiet. I thought the same thing.'
'Couldn't you ask them to turn it up..?'
'Yeah, I asked them before. They're strict about that here.'

Perfect Trent. He can barely get out a sentence without a criticism and the thing is he doesn't even notice it! That's just his natural way of being. How...sickening...
'Thanks for coming Trent.'
'Oh, well I came to see a mate actually. I've heard before you did music, it was cool to see you.'
'Thank you.'

Aaron got home and took the guitar from it's case. The same guitar he'd used all these years. The same guitar he'd tried to break in his actual punk rock days when he believed something was possible with music. Then he went through his even more punk rock phase where he knew it wasn't possible but continued doing it anyway. He still had the guitar and his new 'mature' stance that playing the local open mic night whilst pushing 30 was 'keeping music in his life' - that's what he told his therapist anyway.

He took out his smart phone and took a picture of the guitar and then logged onto Craigs List and uploaded the picture with the heading – used guitar for sale.

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