Extract from Written Off: Eric receives a reply from an agent to his submission

From the age of four he knew that to read anything he should start at the top, scan from left to right and make his way down to the bottom of the page. This, he understood, would be the most effective method of absorbing the substance of the words now expanding to fill the screen before him. But there’s a curious phenomenon that grips the anxious. Rather like eying one’s dinner plate and deciding to eat everything on it in a single gulp, Eric tried to take in the text before him in one go, to understand its meaning all the quicker. This had the unfortunate effect of trying to read a fruit machine in mid-tumble with the icons reeling and falling in a blur. As the cylinders subsided Eric could finally work out what he’d won. A cherry: ‘Sorry’. A banana: ‘disappoint’. A lemon: ‘not for us’. He was going to have to play again. And all without the aid of a nudge function.


Extract from Written Off by Paul Carroll.  Available in paperback and as an E-book.