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Everything posted by Graeme

  1. Graeme

    dont know

    aj, I understand what you are saying, and yes, many families in this situation end up in tragedy. I can speak with some confidence on this as I am currently going through the same issue. In my case, though, my wife and I have decided that we want to stay together as a married couple - not just staying together for the sake of the children. We are only just starting this process and it's not easy. From what we have been told, only 15% of couple even try to stay together, and only 7% actually make it. Luckily, the 15% is a statistic, not a probability, and we are automatically in it because we want to try. Our chances are also enhanced because I do NOT have an "other love interest" - my coming out to my wife was for different reasons (honesty being the main one). I have to disagree with the term "willful" that you used. The situation is rarely as simple as that. In my case, I did not "ignore" my nature, but instead was incredibly fearful of the consequences of accepting it. "Willful" was certainly NOT what I was doing. Having said that, I sincerely loved my wife when I proposed, and I still love her today. If you look at percentages, I'd probably say that I'm 80% homosexual and 20% hetrosexual. Yes, I knew I was gay before we married, but I am certainly NOT unhappy in my marriage. I can dream about what life I could have had if I'd gone down another path, but then I wouldn't have the life I have now (including two wonderful children). Last weekend I said to my wife, "We can't regret the things that could have been. We just have to celebrate the things we have." I'm now off to continue my celebration. Graeme
  2. Dude, I have to ask - was it less than enjoyable simply because you were looking for, or expecting, a "feel-good" story? I will admit that I ran through a gamut of emotions reading chapter five. The ending, in particular, was very much heart-felt. The emotions were not always positive. Does this make it less enjoyable? If I'm looking for something to make me feel good, then I'd have to say yes. If I'm looking for something that I can emotionally relate to, then I would have to say no. The ending is obviously setting things up for something to happen in chapter six that is not going to be "feel-good", though the outcome may be - depends on where Ryan wants to take the story, and how well he writes it. Maybe I can just relate more to depressing stories than you (though I hate reading them) but the most memorable parts of stories I've read are usually split pretty much evenly between points of triumph, tragedy and significant plot twists. Graeme
  3. Graeme

    Bail Point

    A lot can also depend on where the "bail point" occurs in the story. In "The Least of These", that rape scene was so far in that I was already hooked. It was also not overly explicit. On the other hand, the opening chapter of "The Wednesday Boy" hit my bail point. I will admit that it's because Keith is such a great writer that I bailed. I felt the situation too strongly for me to be able to continue the story. If it was someone who didn't create such evocative images, I may have continued. Driver, in "The Quarry", had what could be considered a "bail point", but he prefixed it by having the narrator start by saying he was about to describe his descent into hell. This gave me some warning on what was to come, plus gave some hope that there was going to be some light at the other end. In my case, I read it at the worst possible time - I read the "bad" chapters late at night, and wasn't able to get to the following "good" chapters for over a day. However, the ending of that story is so upbeat, I'm glad I persisted. These are examples of "bail points" that are because I became very uncomfortable with the subject matter. The serialisation approach makes these even worse, because it may be weeks before you get a resolution to the stress. In the case of "The Quarry", I was reading it after it was finished, so I got over it quickly. If it was still being serialised, I may not have gone back to it for weeks, or even months. Other "bail points" have simply been because the story's appeared to drift for a few chapters, and I just couldn't be bother going back to them. Sometime later, I may go back and catch up and, in at least one case, re-discover the enjoyment I found in the story. Regards, Graeme
  4. I just wanted to say that I'm finding this particular thread extremely interesting. Constructive criticism that is also supportive is often hard to find. I think writebymyself and blue have been doing an excellent job. I'm looking forward to this thread, and others like it, continuing. Graeme
  5. While I like both science fiction and Epic fantasy, I have a soft spot for the fantasy genre. Only because you asked... Graeme
  6. Thanks for the complement 8) For the record though, Australians don't have an accent - everyone else does... Graeme
  7. I agree that as long as conflict carries the story forward, I don't have a problem. However, when it stops me from being able to suspend my disbelief, it detracts from my enjoyment of the story. One example (and no offense intended to the author - I enjoyed the story, but I found this grated): 1. Gay youth going through a tortured series of misunderstandings with his boyfriend, resulting in relationship breakup and the boyfriend ending up with someone else. 2. Gay youth also has an anonymous stalker that keeps sending threatening notes. 3. Gay youth's best friend (who he started having a relationship with after falling out with first boyfriend, as described above) is killed in a car accident. 4. The best friend's former girlfriend is dying of a incurable disease. 5. It turns out the best friend and his former girlfriend had a baby boy a few years ago. The baby was put in foster care, in another state. As part of the best friends will, the gay youth is asked to become the young boy guardian. 6. The young boy, and one of his foster brothers, turns out to be being physically abused by the foster dad. The gay youth becomes the guardian of both. I'll leave off the details of the various gay bashings and abuse that also occured in the story. Those, I could accept as I could connect them to other events that had occured. These conflicts are not "unrelated", but reasonable extrapolations of past events. As it turns out, the stalker is also an extrapolation of past events, but with the added throw-in of a mental illness on the stalkers behalf to explain the extreme nature of the homophobic response. A few of these, I could accept. I could even accept the best friend/girl friend/baby boy situation if that was the premise for the story. But when it appears as an extra to the rest of the story, I just had trouble maintaining my disbelief. I did not intend to imply this for real-life. It's just that I find an uncomfortably large percentage of authors that seem to use this as part of the plot of their stories. Again, I can accept it when it forms part of the premise of the story, but it seems that some authors almost think "I have to introduce some more conflict - I know, lets kill the parents in a car accident". If I have not made myself clear, please tell me and I'll try to explain it better. Graeme
  8. My personal complaint is where authors heap large amounts of unrelated conflict on the main character. For example: Based on what I've read, being the parent of gay teenager increases your chances of being killed in a car accident by a dramatic degree. Now, I can accept this, if this forms the premise of the story, but where it is just one of a stream of disasters to hit the character, then this just pushes my levels of credibility to the limit, and hence detracts from my enjoyment of the story. I have no problems with large amounts of conflict if you can see a link between them, or if the probabilities are high. So, have religious zealots and other homophobic types around is reasonable. Having family tensions because of a coming out is reasonable. Any major conflicts that can be traced back to some event mentioned earlier is reasonable. Just my opinion, mainly as a reader, not a writer. Graeme
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