Write a love story, they said, but don’t be afraid to be subversive. Oh, but do make sure it has a happy ending.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve written a lot of love stories: some have ended happily; others not so happily. This time, I wanted to challenge myself to do something I hadn’t done before, so I decided to set my story in a circus – a Victorian circus. These days, we’re all very aware of equal opportunities and accepting people’s differences, but the Victorians saw things quite differently. ‘Freak shows’ abounded in which anyone who didn’t quite fit society’s perception of ‘normal’ was branded an outsider – whether it was for being too tall, too short, too hairy, or having any kind of physical disability. In my story, the protagonist is the outsider by virtue of being the only person in the circus who isn’t considered a ‘freak’ by the rest of society. He despairs of ever finding love in a world where being ‘normal’ is seen in a negative light.
This story has been temporarily removed as I’ve decided to edit it and enter it into a competition.