Alan Bissett once told me

An introduction to a story should always be shorter than the story itself

So I’ll try to keep this short. First of all we should start with the story itself. First self published on Writers Carnival I’ve now taken it off that site and published here exclusively at the moment.

This story was written during my 100 word stories phrase which started when I discovered that Reader’s Digest 100 Word Story Competition. Now I never entered as I heard they claimed the copyright for your entry and I quite liked the idea of keeping the copyright to myself.

Footprints is my favourite of the 100 word stories I have written. Most feel either too jokey or are longer pieces squashed into something too small. However, it isn’t perfect and I will probably change it at some point in the future – mostly just words out-of-place more than anything.

The idea came to me when walking to work and seeing the tread of people’s shoes on the wet pavements. The rest of the story came from there. The park, which is never named, is a mixture of Harrison Park in Edinburgh – the view from my window(!) – and Seaton Park in Aberdeen that I walked through everyday during my first year at university.

More interesting for me is the gender of the main character. Although it is never stated, in my head he was always male. I think, this is due to the fact that the story is written in the first person perspective and I am male. This is probably laziness of the author – something I definitely suffer from – but I don’t think it is a problem for this story. Certainly for a while a lot of my protagonists in my first person stories all sounded the same. I think this has changed over the past few years as Barney in A Mother’s Love? sounds very different to the main character of Footprints in the Rain. What do you think? Also what gender did you think the main character in Footprints in the Rain was before I told you?

Footprints in The Rain by @The_Red_Fleece (Tweet this tale)