Going Viral – Dustin Stevens

Going Viral

Official Blurb

Three years ago, Charles Doyle was an average American millennial. At twenty-eight years old he was content to still live in the bedroom he grew up in, working as a manager at the fast food chain he first joined in high school. Upon the death of his father, Charles realizes there might be something more for him out there and decides to try his hand at the potential of social media for introducing himself to the masses.

Starting as a web series of self-exploration, Charles soon finds himself seduced by the allure of faceless followers. What began as a first cigar or shot of whiskey soon escalates much faster, an entire new persona developing.

Told after the fact, the story allows first-person insight into the mind of a man that in just six short months manages to go from an anonymous face in suburban America to internet novelty and ultimately death row inmate Chaz D.

Side Commentary

One of the items that is never far from hand for me is a Steno notebook, which I am constantly sketching character and plot outlines in. I often (jokingly) liken my selection process for choosing which story to work on next to the baseball Hall of Fame ballot in that ideas show up and linger for a while, marinating until I get things just where I want them in my mind before beginning.

This was a story that I first envisioned some time back that really took on a life of its own. The original premise was for a writer that lacked authenticity to begin venturing out in hopes of bringing some credibility to his work. From there I began to think of the social media sphere and the way it has enhanced exposure for artists of every kind, whether they be writers, actors, singers, etc.

While this story ultimately showed things going down a dark path, I would like to note that none of the experiences mentioned here or thoughts made about writing/publishing mirror my own in any way. The numerous people I have met through this endeavor have been nothing short of amazing and the experience as a whole has me constantly coming back for more.

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