Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

dude

Drama Club by Tragic Rabbit

Recommended Posts

IMHO, i think both of these characteristics should be introduced in very matter of fact, unobtrusive way, unless a story is built around such details. mentioning that Mr Friedman, at the end of the debate meet, wheels himself through the dispersing crowd, on his way to the school van...and not giving it anymore airtime than that. Unless mr friedman being jewish is relevant to the tale, i wouldn't mention it. Unless he has need to mention that he attends one of the local synagogues, and then just say it and move on.

Like blue, i think that a lack of diversity in your characters is like leaving the cream filling out of the twinkie---it's still a twinkie, but a lot less interesting. LOL

cheers!

aj

Link to post

Welcome, welcome, aj.

I think TragicRabbit is just unsure how best to present such things. He understands diversity. I think his inclination is just to let it go unmentioned. The thing is, IMHO, that (a) people who aren't used to diversity need to see that it's there and other people are really not as different as they seem and (b) that people who are used to diversity want to see themselves and their loved ones presented honestly.

TragicRabbit is learning fast as an author and he has the talent and the writing bug.

Link to post

Aww, shucks, guys! *blushing*

I just finished Part 10, it ran a little longer than I meant it to...which seems to keep happening. Some of the characters can get pretty busy when they get screentime. I just love Gene and Angel! Well, really, I love them all...

Okay, time to sleep, I'm all writted out for now. Let me know what you think of Part 10 and please let me know if my prose is improving at all, or my storytelling ability. I'm nearly done with Stephen King's On Writing, its great, very inspiring. The new Elements of Style is too, of course.

Kisses...

Joey aka Tragic Rabbit :D

Link to post

Hey, TragicRabbit. I haven't looked to see if 10 is posted yet; so I haven't read it yet. ( duh :) )

I was looking back through the thread and saw something that I should've replied to before:

If the words aren't leaping out, should I leave it and return later or force myself through? If they're leaping but look bad to me, is that a cue to stop or to just let things happen?

Try to write when you can, but if it isn't working, take a break for a while, do something else, and come back later. Then you can rewrite or start that little bit over. -- Don't throw something out too soon. Keep the previous draft around a while in case you want to use something that was good in it. Think of that as editing scenes or lines together.

How stupid is this whole story, overall? I mean....I dunno.

Stupid? Not the story and not you!

Do I have to have a moral at the end, figuratively speaking? What if Exodus wins with Bobby, what if Angel were to wash his face and butch up....what if...what obligation, if any, do I have to present things in a positive way for gay readers, esp teenage ones? I remember you guys saying I shouldn't have people SMOKING because it sent the wrong 'message'...is that reasonable? What if I prefer the massage to the message?

Only you know what the story is with these characters and how to present it. Your obligation is to be true to them and their story. You don't have to superimpose some moral onto the story. Whatever you're trying to tell will come through on its own.

Only you know what happens with Bobby or Angel. Does one win and the other lose? Do both lose? Do both win? Maybe they win a little and lose a little. Maybe they fight long and hard to get to whatever awaits when the curtain goes down. I don't know and don't want to influence you one way or another.

A message, like about smoking or anything else? A massage (grin) in other words, entertainment? Personally, I like something to entertain me and something to think about along with that. But hey, I like just having fun too sometimes. If it's only about a message, I tend to get annoyed. Again, let the characters' story show what it shows.

Do you have a responsibility to be positive, particularly to teens? Oh, that's hard! There's danger and there's beauty out there. Art's your chance to say what the blazes you want whether anybody else approves or not. Very practically, as a teen, I just wanted honest, complete answers to all the questions I had about sex and love, and there was damn little access and info out there for an unsure teen with strict parents. What would you say to a varied audience, including all kinds of adults and teens? One might be totally naive, while the next one has been through he**. And who knows what opinions they have about being gay? -- I guess I don't really know how else to answer this one.

~Blue, still tryin' to figure these things out.

"I've seen sunshine, I've seen rain."

Link to post

please don't. I know that you're a skillful enough writer that if you do it, it will be done deftly, but the truth is that there are very few instances in real life that anyone is able to extract a 'moral' out of a series of events. ambiguity is a big part of the human condition. I think it's better to let the events unfold and let your audience draw their own conclusions. having your characters act in whatever manner you want them to will lead your audience to the conclusion you want them to arrive at. I actually really like the idea of the inconclusive ending...life is seldom a matter of 'cut and dried.'

Link to post

Lest it be said dude is a goody two-shoes who praises every chapter by every author...

I thought for the most part Chapter 10 was great. We learned some deeper things about our characters, making them more understandable.

Camille was well done and more of Doug came out in this chapter. Anthony emerges from the shadows and we learn a hell of a lot more about Angel. And we meet Trey, whom I was really beginning to identify with. The Drama Club geek... so repressed he didn't even know he had feelings. That was me in high school. Then the boom is lowered... literally. The extreme act of violence at the end of the chapter really put me off. I suppose we won't have to wait as long to find out what happens as we did with Justin at the end of Season One of Queer As Folk... but it looks pretty bad.

Before I started this site, I read a lot of stories on Nifty. I often get to a point in a story, my bail point, where my defense mechanism kicks in. Something happens that I just don't want to read about it. Usually, when I'd hit my bail point I'd do just that... move on to another story more to my liking.

Having been a news reporter for er, a while... I know I have to put up with the reality stuff every day. The Matt Shepard, Jesse Valencia, Scotty Joe Weaver stories. Somehow, when I read fiction, for me it is an escape from that. Sorry to say, the last paragraph of Chapter 10 was pretty close to my bail point.

Anybody else have a similar response? Or am I -just like my old HS classmate, Ben Dover, used to say when I took long showers in PE and almost missed lunch- all wet?

By the way, I'm not gonna bail. I am already committed to the characters and the story... not to mention the writer! Keep up the good work, you wascally wabbit!

Link to post

so i read chapter 10, and it was hard for me. let me talk about the things that were going right, first.

Overall, the pacing was a lot better and thoughts flowed more fluently. There was an ease of language that i really liked. This was most evident in the 'gene' section, i think. It pulled me in enough that i was feeling real sorrow, watching this guy withdraw more and hardening his heart. Hard to read, but lovely writing.

The description of the play is very nice, almost lyrical. I know, I know, it was a transitional section, just a vehicle for moving on to the party where the real action is, but it was still a very yummy piece of writing, and clearly where your passion for theater comes through. Angel is more clearly realized in this section than in what follows, i think... we get to see what's really driving him.

I liked that the sex in this chapter was handled a lot more discreetly too. It felt like it was advancing the plot, and not being allowed to overwhelm the plot.

I wrote a whole long thing about how i felt this weird dissonance in Angel's character at the party, but i wasn't saying it very well, so let me just say this: there's a coldness and jadedness to angel at the party that didn't match his age

and experience, imo. anybody else troubled by this? maybe i'm off...

cheers,

aj

Link to post
so i read chapter 10, and it was hard for me. let me talk about the things that were going right, first.

Overall, the pacing was a lot better and thoughts flowed more fluently. There was an ease of language that i really liked. This was most evident in the 'gene' section, i think. It pulled me in enough that i was feeling real sorrow, watching this guy withdraw more and hardening his heart. Hard to read, but lovely writing.

The description of the play is very nice, almost lyrical. I know, I know, it was a transitional section, just a vehicle for moving on to the party where the real action is, but it was still a very yummy piece of writing, and clearly where your passion for theater comes through. Angel is more clearly realized in this section than in what follows, i think... we get to see what's really driving him.

I liked that the sex in this chapter was handled a lot more discreetly too. It felt like it was advancing the plot, and not being allowed to overwhelm the plot.

I wrote a whole long thing about how i felt this weird dissonance in Angel's character at the party, but i wasn't saying it very well, so let me just say this: there's a coldness and jadedness to angel at the party that didn't match his age

and experience, imo. anybody else troubled by this? maybe i'm off...

cheers,

aj

Hmm. Well, the stuff about lyrical prose flowing fluently made me feel really good, thanks! I've gotten such a mixed reaction to Part 10 and that's surprised me. Gene's section had me sad, too, in fact, I had to take a day off finishing the chapter because I was feeling Gene's mood (there were actually two sections written from Gene's perspective) too much, I think. Really strange but I can't honestly say it was entirely unpleasant, just strange to be so caught up in the feelings of what I have to admit is an imaginary person. (Gene just poked me for saying that...j/k)

Funny you liked the 'discreet' sex, I've gotten some gentle complaints from dedicated readers that indicate they'd prefer a little less discretion, lol. I'm still trying to figure out how to please everyone, I guess, which isn't realisitic of me, I suppose. I'd also had the feeling the sex might be overwhelming the plot but I do like writing the sex scenes so what's the litmus test here, how can you know when its enough sex but not too much? or too much detail? I had just opened up the Word doc to add to the sex scenes in Part 10, in fact, as an experiment when I read this post! Now, I'm not sure what I want to do...

However, I was actually most strongly motivated to post in defense of Angel. The way I see it, he's never been in love, never even close, and his behavior is just consistent with that. If he's jaded, its only in regard to casual sex, not anything else, or shouldn't be anything else. Sex is sex and friends are friends, is all and love has yet to be a factor in his life. This may be changing but it hasn't changed yet...am I not expressing that at all in the story? This was almost the whole point of what Michael was doing by saying no to sex with Angel, he wants Angel to open up in a different way, to be with him in a different way to what he's used to.

I thought the coldness, if that's what it is, I wouldn't call it that myself, was exactly right for his age. Not speaking for anyone else here but at fifteen going on sixteen I was about as likely to fall in love as I was likely to end world hunger. Hell, I wouldn't have even said the word. Now, maybe I misunderstand what you meant and maybe I need to rewrite that scene because I do want Angel to be a sympathetic character, just a realistic one, if possible.

If Angel is coming off as unpleasant, then I'm not happy. I'm trying to show him struggling with something new, not just falling in love like falling off a truck but really fighting it and not understanding his feelings. This is my first real fiction, so maybe I'm missing the mark. I do, however, want to show Angel as human: he's a little vain at times, he's a lot selfish at times, he's not always thoughtful, he's not always good. I want him to be likable DESPITE that, to be someone that readers still want to see happy. How close to that am I coming with Drama Club?

Okay, since I'm not rewriting the sex scenes after all, at least not this minute, I'm going to go back and try to post replies to previous comments here...if the browswer doesn't dump me again.

Hugs,

Joey/Tragic Rabbit

Link to post

Edited: cut and paste added returns, that frelling text editor has a wonky setting somewhere. Grr.

Oh man, I haven't gotten enough sleep the past few days. Lot on my mind. So I had to skim back over ch. 10 to refresh my memory. Not the fault of the writing, TragicRabbit, just that Blue's thinking a lot about the issues around coming out, and what a couple of other folks are going through.

Ch. 10 comments:

I agree with aj, you seem to be more comfortable with your dialogue and narration now. I feel like you've changed your scene changes from abrupt curtains to more flowing transitions. Hmm. Not sure which type of scene change fits better for the story. Both have their place.

Wow, that sure tells us a heckuva lot about Camille and Doug. (BTW, I may be Blue, but I'm def. not pregnant!) Both Camille and Doug are directly against the expected stock chars.; good. They've surprised me and moved from background chars. to their own subplot, also good. This section's well written. I'll read on and wonder where they're going. No, I don't expect it to work out any particular way. Mustn't impose my opinion on the story.

Gene and Friedman's scene: Helps explain how people can shut down their emotions to avoid hurt. This tells a lot about Gene's past and present. Friedman stays an enigma.

You asked earlier about sympathetic or (dis-)likeable chars. You have me invested in Camille, Doug, and Gene, and puzzled by Friedman. How many chars. should be front and center with big roles? Depends on the story. Some have a single main character, others a few, still others are an ensemble where nearly everybody gets something. -- BTW, you keep getting me to draw prose/novel versus script/play analogies. Not sure where that's leading me, but it's sure making me think and really enjoyable. Thanks!

Trey's workout bit, interesting insights and an important detail on Bobby nicely snuck in while nobody's looking.

The section at the play and backstage, good stuff. We're getting more depth on Angel as his character continues the arc of change.

:arrow: The after-play wrap party: I disagree with aj here (sorry, bud). I see Angel changing from a boy only interested in sex for fun's sake, a boy with a past history that's partly driven him to be adamant about his sexuality, to a boy or young man who's suddenly begun to realize he wants more than some fun sex, he might want a relationship, love. That gets reinforced as he interacts with Tony and then Michael. I don't see Angel as jaded or cold. Look back at what we know of his past with his father. Just IMHO, he's partly motivated by that past of hurt to make a point to show his sexuality and to be detached emotionally from sex and love. He sees it as just fun, unaware he might have other things going on inside from earlier, and he's not yet aware he wants love, just friendship or sex or both. Just IMHO, I could be wrong. (And specifically, this is about Angel and the story, not its author!) One other point, Angel is intelligent enough that he feels a little superior to his friends and classmates. We learn a lot about Angel and Michael from their argument and deflected makeout. Arrgh. I may be cautious and all, but if that was me, I'd be one frustrated closet-boy. Oh, and when Angel adjusts his makeup after the shower...I think TragicRabbit's havin' some fun tweaking my nose on that. I know Angel's just being himself. I took it for that as well as the purpose of poking at people's preconceptions just a little. If it helps, I'm a lot more comfortable with the idea than earlier. Still a bit uncertain, but Angel's character and TragicRabbit's replies have really made me think. I think I've had a hangup for no reason. Irritating, that.

Meanwhile, the argument between Camille and Doug moves them forward. Very sad, poignant, and true to char. What will happen, I wonder?

The char. of Joey, not sure if we've seen him before. Could that have been a cameo in a role unlike a certain wascally wabbit? Hmm. Now where are those carrots?

The final scene of the chapter: Ouch. That is not going to make me stop reading. Actually, Bobby's and Ryan's dark chapter was harder to take for me. Still, the closing event is difficult. But I live in a large city, and things like Trey's scene can and do happen all too often. As I said earlier and elsewhere, it's how the story deals with it and a matter of degree. -- I haven't seen Q.A.F. at all, so I can't draw comparisons there.

Overall, I found the chapter good but found the surprise suspense / cliffhanger at the end tough to take. I'm not going to say that it's too much, or that ch. 8 was too much. I really don't know what to say about that. I think it's a judgment call and partly determined by how the rest of the story (before and after) deals with it. To be fair, there are two other stories on the site that come as close or closer to the line, just IMHO.

Blue is sticking with it. I'd complain more loudly or say if something was too much for me, after getting this involved and commenting so much, so don't worry that I'd not give feedback suddenly, either.

I think I have some general idea where things might be going on the story, although I probably have some of it guessed wrong. So I'm still gonna keep reading.

----------

Wow, why do I go for such long-winded replies? I don't always do this on other boards I visit. Huh. But my posts do ramble at times elsewhere on topics I like.

Link to post

Wrote my reply while TragicRabbit was writing his and posted it before mine. Rabbit, don't think because of criticism that you have to revise anything or everything, please. You'll drive yourself (and us) nuts doin' that! Then you'd be eating strained carrots, and that's just...eww!

I have a different opinion on Angel in Ch. 10; see my reply above.

The sex scenes? They seemed more integral to the story this time. (Integral in the math. sense of integrated, part of the whole, as well as the primary sense of a necessary part of the story.)

And, ahem, If that had been me with Michael, pick one of these:

1. OR: Oops, heheh, guess I need to go change briefs.... :oops:

2. OR: 'Scuse me, gotta go take care of something... :lol:

3. OR: Arrgh! Build me up like that and then befuddle me outta the mood? Michael, dude, if you wanted to make the point, couldn't you have made it without making out? That's not fair, Michael. :x

*However,* I'm not saying it's a fault! I think you did a bang-up job (pun?) with that scene. Sure gave Angel something to think about. (Gave me something to think about too, if I were in that situation, I might react in any of those ways, and I'm not sure which I'd choose.)

Your handling of the sex scenes has gotten better overall. Not sure if I'd want more or less.

Link to post

I can see your points (both of you) about Angel, and they make some sense. I guess i'm coming at this from my own past, hauling all my baggage along (several dozen LARGE samsonite pieces, thank you very much). Here's my thinking: as a teen, if someone like Michael had come up to me and told me he loved me, and wanted to be my boyfriend, i'd have pissed my pants (that would have been very attractive, don't you think?) in my hurry to say yes, particularly if i thought he was as attractive as Angel thinks Michael is. But, i also have to say that i went to a very small high school, and the lines between the different social groups were very hazy and unclear, because there were so few of us--the jocks were also the brains, were also the computer nerds, were also the choir geeks, etc. So i couldn't afford to be disaffected by labels the same way these kids are. I had known all my classmates since kindergarten, so i didn't view them the same way. So my experience was very different from that of Angel, and that colors my view.

I think to say that Angel has just been having sex for fun all this time is, at least to some degree, inaccurate. He's already aware of some changes in the way he views that activity from his experience with Jaye, who he's starting to view as more than just a friend with benefits, and maybe it was this preparation that allows him to react to MIchael at all. Lots to think about, in any case.

Please don't think that one reader's comments are sufficent to make you do a re-write, TR. It's flattering to think that my comments are that powerful, but i'm not THAT self-deluded. Most of what you're seeing in my commentary is just how i'm reacting to the characters, and you need to remain true to YOUR vision, not mine. The tale is up and flying, and i think it can stand quite nicely on it's own merits.

cheers,

aj

Link to post

Hey TR--

just finished reading chapter 11, and i've decided i'm in love with Gene. This chapter is so gentle and quiet and peaceful...yummy.

But i must admit that i'm a little confused, and maybe i'm supposed to be...but i have to ask: how can Jaye be drunk and bashed in the head with a baseball bat and still be on Yahoo talking to Michael and Gene? I'm thinking you're gonna be all sneaky here and spring something on me in the next chapter so i can go "DOH!" and i'll be delighted if you do.

cheers.

aj

Link to post

@ aj: Trey was hurt, not Jaye. For some reason, the others haven't gotten the news yet. Possibly next chapter?

@ ALL:

I think to say that Angel has just been having sex for fun all this time is, at least to some degree, inaccurate. He's already aware of some changes in the way he views that activity from his experience with Jaye, who he's starting to view as more than just a friend with benefits, and maybe it was this preparation that allows him to react to MIchael at all. Lots to think about, in any case.

Yes, that's true. I overstated my point. (Sorry about that, guys.) You're right that he's already begun to feel that way in his friendship with Jaye. He's smart enough and sensitive enough that those "benefits" have probably always been affection and friendship as well as just fun. It's just that up until now, he hasn't felt true love. Jaye has been his best friend, but not his romantic lover.

-----

Baggage? Heh, I'd have been floored if anyone had asked me out or said they loved me. If a guy asked me, unless he was a good friend, I would've thought he was baiting me and looked for the nearest exit, after saying I wasn't gay.

If a nicely toned athletic guy who could clearly have any girl he wanted had asked me, I don't think I would've believed him. How could a guy like that be gay? (Hey, I was young, what did I know? I couldn't even figure out myself.)

Come to think of it, one classmate did pester me with annoying questions one morning in P.E. I thought he was just being a jerk. Now I realize he may have been curious or interested. He wasn't really being ugly about it. -- Aw, come on, wasn't I gay, did I pluck my eyebrows, did I wear nail polish, and a few others, all of which aggravated me, because the only one that was true was that I wasn't sure if I was gay or not. Not that I'd tell him that. -- So I guess I either avoided getting humiliated or I missed out on someone who liked me. Hmm. Although if he was genuinely interested, looks like he would've asked somewhere else than sitting in line for roll call in P.E.

-- OK, I'm confused. And I just wandered way off topic into personal stuff again. Crud. What *is* it with me? Um, little help here, is this normal in coming out? I've never been so self-absorbed in my life, and it seems like every time I post, I keep trying to do a "this is my (gay) life" thing. -- I think I'm going to have to write it down offline just so it doesn't keep bugging me. Sheesh.

::very frustrated with self ~Blue::

Link to post

Part 11, ~Blue comments:

The tunes and quotes are great.

I kept expecting Gene would discover Trey when he picked up Michael, or there'd be a call or IM about it. I wonder when and how we'll find out about Trey.

TR develops the GSA line a little. Gene and Michael are together, which makes its own comment on their relationship, and gets us in Gene's head the whole time. Poor Gene doesn't realize yet that detached bit doesn't work, long-term or short-term. Working 24/7 doesn't either. Hopefully, he'll figure that out, he's a bright guy.

Funny, Spock's cool Vulcan logic outsider self helped me get through most of junior high, except I didn't try to be Spock. (Raises eyebrow and does salute with either hand.) "Any Trek but ENT."

I get the feeling TR has gotten things set up so everyone will be affected by whatever's happened to Trey. Tony and Jaye are going to have a rough time with this.

The upcoming GSA is likely to be eventful. -- It was only a few months back that a local school district's court case made it law that GSA's have to be accepted.

No criticisms or comments here, otherwise. This chapter was building things up and kind of quiet.

A few song titles that might be appropriate coming up:

"Gimme Shelter" -- Rolling Stones;

"Shout" -- Songs From the Big Chair -- Tears for Fears;

"Land of Confusion" -- Genesis;

"Hold On" -- Good Charlotte;

"Everybody Hurts" -- R.E.M.;

I'd say Bobby needs to sing "Perfect" by Simple Plan to his parents, but Ryan already used the song in One Life.

I personally disagree with the first two lines of "New Test Leper" by R.E.M., off New Adventures In Hi-Fi, but everything else, and the Letterman Show it's based on, you tell 'em, Michael Stipes.

Link to post

it was the dyslexia, officer, I swear! that sign that said "Stop"? I thought it said "Tops" so i hurried...

anyway, so this is where i say "DOH!" and smack myself on the forehead. consider it done. Now i know why Dude was so adamant about the name confusion in that story "Everything is Eventual" over on Nifty.

Incidentally Blue: yes, this kind of immediate concern over your status when you're coming out is very normal. You'll probably find yourself at a couple Pride parades over the next couple years too, but don't worry about it. You'll settle into this and pretty soon it will just blend into another facet of who you are, and it'll all be good. After being out for 18 years, i don't even really think of myself as a gay man, just a guy that happens to fall in love with other men.

cheers,

aj

Link to post
Edited: cut and paste added returns, that frelling text editor has a wonky setting somewhere. Grr.

Ch. 10 comments:

I agree with aj, you seem to be more comfortable with your dialogue and narration now. I feel like you've changed your scene changes from abrupt curtains to more flowing transitions. Hmm. Not sure which type of scene change fits better for the story. Both have their place.

I'm interested in hearing more about the scene changes because I'd considered redoing the earlier, more abrupt, ones in a rewrite. Does it hold up as is or should one or the other style be maintained throughout?

Wow, that sure tells us a heckuva lot about Camille and Doug. (BTW, I may be Blue, but I'm def. not pregnant!) Both Camille and Doug are directly against the expected stock chars.; good. They've surprised me and moved from background chars. to their own subplot, also good. This section's well written. I'll read on and wonder where they're going. No, I don't expect it to work out any particular way. Mustn't impose my opinion on the story.

I didn't intentionally make Camille and Doug against hetero couple stereotypes, but maybe unconsciously it was my intention. Maybe the same thing for Angel wearing, and touching up, his makeup. Or Gene being gay or Michael playing football. I know I'm accused of enjoying poking at stereotypes in Real Life, maybe that's fallen over into the writing even when I'm not consciously thinking, 'Hey, let's tweak stereotypes'. Which is yet another reason that its so great to read comments from others, esp other writers.

You asked earlier about sympathetic or (dis-)likeable chars. You have me invested in Camille, Doug, and Gene, and puzzled by Friedman.

More so than Angel himself?

The section at the play and backstage, good stuff. We're getting more depth on Angel as his character continues the arc of change.

I really do want Angel to be on that arc, he's supposed to be seen as changing through this story, his views and need of Love, his willingness to help others (GSA, Bobby) and his ability to sympathize with others. Mostly the first two, I guess. Its hard to tell how it comes off and what he seems like after each chapter.

:arrow: The after-play wrap party: I disagree with aj here (sorry, bud). I see Angel changing from a boy only interested in sex for fun's sake, a boy with a past history that's partly driven him to be adamant about his sexuality, to a boy or young man who's suddenly begun to realize he wants more than some fun sex, he might want a relationship, love. That gets reinforced as he interacts with Tony and then Michael. I don't see Angel as jaded or cold. Look back at what we know of his past with his father.

The references back to Angel's father strike me as interesting. I hadn't had them openly in mind but, yeah, they're important. Maybe to all of us.

Just IMHO, he's partly motivated by that past of hurt to make a point to show his sexuality and to be detached emotionally from sex and love. He sees it as just fun, unaware he might have other things going on inside from earlier, and he's not yet aware he wants love, just friendship or sex or both. Just IMHO, I could be wrong. ..Angel and Michael from their argument and deflected makeout. Arrgh. I may be cautious and all, but if that was me, I'd be one frustrated closet-boy. Oh, and when Angel adjusts his makeup after the shower...I think TragicRabbit's havin' some fun tweaking my nose on that. I know Angel's just being himself. I took it for that as well as the purpose of poking at people's preconceptions just a little. If it helps, I'm a lot more comfortable with the idea than earlier. Still a bit uncertain, but Angel's character and TragicRabbit's replies have really made me think. I think I've had a hangup for no reason. Irritating, that.

I wasn't intentionally tweaking anyone's nose, I just...well, you do have to fix your face after a shower and, yeah, I guess I know what a guy doing that in a mirror looks like to most people. Still, I like Angel and I like how he presents himself. I like that he doesn't care what people think. I think I personally used to be braver, I must have forgotten how but Angel is reminding me. Its really cool that he's also reminding you, Blue, and possibly other readers that its okay to be yourself, no matter what. Michael has a similiar journey coming up with showing affection for Angel openly at school. Bobby has a lot of internalized homophobia, maybe his journey and Gene's, all of which are different routes to self acceptance, can help someone understand their own. Including me. I just write the stuff, I don't claim to understand it or know what's there before the words hit the page. Not entirely, anyway.

The char. of Joey, not sure if we've seen him before. Could that have been a cameo in a role unlike a certain wascally wabbit? Hmm. Now where are those carrots?
Joey has been in Drama Club from the beginning, he plays Bottom in MSND and yes, he is a self-deprecating self portrait. I like to think there is a lot more of me in Angel or Gene, though.
Overall, I found the chapter good but found the surprise suspense / cliffhanger at the end tough to take. I'm not going to say that it's too much, or that ch. 8 was too much. I really don't know what to say about that. I think it's a judgment call and partly determined by how the rest of the story (before and after) deals with it.

I've posted Chapter 12 (and an unrelated short story called Something About Tom that I hope gets its own thread, too!) so let me know. 13 should be done later this week.

I think I have some general idea where things might be going on the story, although I probably have some of it guessed wrong. So I'm still gonna keep reading.

Read Chapter 12 and let me know if there were any surprises there...

Kisses....

Tragic Rabbit

Link to post
I can see your points (both of you) about Angel, and they make some sense. I guess i'm coming at this from my own past, hauling all my baggage along (several dozen LARGE samsonite pieces, thank you very much). Here's my thinking: as a teen, if someone like Michael had come up to me and told me he loved me, and wanted to be my boyfriend, i'd have pissed my pants (that would have been very attractive, don't you think?) in my hurry to say yes, particularly if i thought he was as attractive as Angel thinks Michael is. But, i also have to say that i went to a very small high school, and the lines between the different social groups were very hazy and unclear, because there were so few of us--the jocks were also the brains, were also the computer nerds, were also the choir geeks, etc. So i couldn't afford to be disaffected by labels the same way these kids are. I had known all my classmates since kindergarten, so i didn't view them the same way. So my experience was very different from that of Angel, and that colors my view.

Okay, since Blue has inaugurated This Is Your Gay Life in this Forum, I'm going to add a few things that are my OWN baggage while I write and read. A lot of what Michael does to win over Gene and Angel are things my own high school boyfriend, poor fellow, did to get me to go out with him. He was a Hippie and I was Performing Arts but that wasn't the whole reason I didn't want to date him, I didn't want ANY boyfriend or girlfriend that was serious, it just wasn't my thing, then. In fact, it may be because of that Hippie cutie that I did learn to like Love, who knows? While I'm unpacking bags, Bobby's Mother is my own mum, 'The Dragon', and she sent me somewhere, too, just not the Exodus as it didn't exist. I've also learned that thing Friedman told Gene to do, to distance oneself from the Object of one's Affection. I think that's enough unpacking for right now. It surprises me how much of me comes out in these characters, it was never, never my intention to tell my own stories at all when I began Drama Club. No way.

I think to say that Angel has just been having sex for fun all this time is, at least to some degree, inaccurate. He's already aware of some changes in the way he views that activity from his experience with Jaye, who he's starting to view as more than just a friend with benefits, and maybe it was this preparation that allows him to react to MIchael at all. Lots to think about, in any case.

I like this and its useful for me. I think you're right that Jaye, while not Angel's romantic lover, has perhaps made Michael possible for Angel, which is interesting. I'll have to think about that and work through it. The next chapter will have a lot of internal stuff with Michael so this may show up there in some way. Or not. <s>

Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting. I've been offline a week and just starting to get caught up so bear with me. I'd really like to know what you think of the new chapter and the other short story. I have the whole Drama Club on a single file with some preliminary edits if anyone is interested in or able to help me in further edits. I'm thinking this will be another hundred pages or so to finish this particular storyline but I'm pretty sure I'm going to continue writing about Angel and his friends after that. But I 'm going to do other things, too, and am trying to learn. This forum is helping me a lot as are my contacts with some of you, most especially the Dude himself, who rocks.

Kisses...

TR

Link to post
Part 11, ~Blue comments:

The tunes and quotes are great.

Thanks, I never know if they are or not, I intersperse lyrics between lines of poetry and plays, too. Would more plays work or not? I've started keeping the quotes shorter too, is that good?

I kept expecting Gene would discover Trey when he picked up Michael, or there'd be a call or IM about it. I wonder when and how we'll find out about Trey.

I was trying to show that Michael left quite a bit before either Trey went to his car or Mary arrived home at three. I guess I didn't and no, they don't know because its Trey. He's not social, like Angel, so no one has called his house yet. He's a very private person and the run of the play is over, of course. They will find out, though, and its all connected, well, most of it. I think. Grrr...keeping the whole plot in my head at once hurts.

TR develops the GSA line a little. Gene and Michael are together, which makes its own comment on their relationship, and gets us in Gene's head the whole time. Poor Gene doesn't realize yet that detached bit doesn't work, long-term or short-term. Working 24/7 doesn't either. Hopefully, he'll figure that out, he's a bright guy.

I've been where Gene is right now and, yeah, he's bright but he's also hurting without really wanting to admit it. The desire to curl up and protect your soft underbelly is a fierce one. In chapter 12, now online, a new element comes into play that may allow Gene an option on reclaiming his emotions in a way that helps others, well, maybe two options if you include the GSA itself.

People have asked if Michael doesn't feel bad about sleeping with Gene while pursuing Angel. Does this make him less attractive as a 'hero' type? Is he even a hero type? Does it matter if he is or isn't a hero type? I don't want him to be a bad guy, just a real guy that sometimes does things that are questionable. One thing for sure about my intentions (those things that pave the road to Hell) is that I wanted, when I started Drama Club, to show people who had flaws doing things that weren't always admirable who yet STILL managed to capture the interest or attachment of readers. I still can't tell if I've come anywhere near that, and if so, with how many people? I like that on Myr's site they have a tally of how many people read the stories, I wish Nifty did that....I just really want to know how many people read beyond those that actually write me. What percentage actually email us, does anyone have a theory?

Funny, Spock's cool Vulcan logic outsider self helped me get through most of junior high, except I didn't try to be Spock. (Raises eyebrow and does salute with either hand.) "Any Trek but ENT."

Okay, the Spock stuff in Drama Club. I also used Spock to help me through teen years. How he helped, though, was not at school but at home where Mother ruled. Taking on a Vulcan persona helped me distance myself from that and maintain a minimum of control to preserve what dignity I could. That's the stuff of teen years that I remember least fondly, in fact, and I am forever grateful to Leonard Nimoy's character as an invaluable tool. I did NOT attempt suicide in high school and I think Spock, and my friends (like the Beatles, I got by witha little help from my friends), were the determining factor there. It was damn close. God, this is getting maudlin or depressing or something, sorry!

I get the feeling TR has gotten things set up so everyone will be affected by whatever's happened to Trey. Tony and Jaye are going to have a rough time with this.

Yes, that event will connect to many of the characters despite Trey's seeming emotional distance from the others. If I do it right, that is.

Kisses....

TragicRabbit

Link to post
Hey TR--

just finished reading chapter 11, and i've decided i'm in love with Gene. This chapter is so gentle and quiet and peaceful...yummy.

I like that. I like Gene, too, a lot. I'm sort of toying with the idea of moving the focus over to him with a sequel...thoughts on that? or the whole sequel idea?

Yanno, its past cool to be able to engage people's emotions with just typing stuff. Love, anger, fear, sorrow...its just amazing as hell. I love it! I wanna be a writer when I grow up!

Tragic Rabbit

Link to post

Hey TR--

You been busy! Always nice to see new stuff.

"Something about Tom" is a fun little piece. I so identified with things the drama teacher was experiencing, all the self-putdowns and awkwardness. A nice read. And a nice approach, using all the old conventions and making them fresh. I can tell someone has been reading the comments about what not to include in a story and taken them as a challenge.

Chapter 12 of DC:

There's a line in this chapter that hit me hard, from the internal dialogue of Bobby: "It's nice to be talked to, like a person." This little line, given its context, is devastating. For me, it summed up his whole experience at exodus. I appreciated the understated handling of Bobby's experience, and the casual way that you mentioned that he'd been put in a straightjacket--so much more appalling than some overblown description. I'd like to talk to the nurse at the facility alone in the "Quiet Room" for about five minutes--I'd take his/her head off. Such a perversion of what we are about as a profession.

The dialogue between Angel and Gene in the car is very honest, and felt very true to life. It certainly made Angel a more likable character for me...and his reaction to the flowers was very telling as well.

In one of the comments you made on the forum, you said that this piece was going to go on about another hundred pages before winding up. That seems to me like a pretty conservative estimate...You've got a lot of things going on in here, and i think that the things you're going to have to go into in order to maintain the pacing and graceful style this has developed may require a good bit more than 100 pages to finish without dropping anything. Perhaps the sequel you're thinking about may not end up being so much a sequel as a "Book II" kind of thing (the difference is subtle, but real).

Finally, I'm going to ask, not as a criticism but out of curiosity, who is your main character? Were you intending when you started this to have 2? because right now, you do. Gene has pushed into the forefront to the point where he's become not just a major character, but co-protagonist with Angel. To support this, the scene with Angel in the car outside exodus is telling. This is an interaction between the protagonist (angel) and a supporting character (Gene) and it's told from Gene's point of view. That's unusual, and it adds stature to gene's character. And he's gotten a LOT of airtime. You know how i feel about Gene, so i have NO objection to this change of direction, but from the point of view of storytelling, it's something to be aware of--unless, of course, that was the intention all along, in which case it's been subtly and nicely done.

I'm waiting with bated breath for chapter 13.

cheers!

aj

Link to post
Hey TR--

You been busy! Always nice to see new stuff.

"Something about Tom" is a fun little piece. I so identified with things the drama teacher was experiencing, all the self-putdowns and awkwardness. A nice read. And a nice approach, using all the old conventions and making them fresh. I can tell someone has been reading the comments about what not to include in a story and taken them as a challenge.

What, running into your True Love, the new 'kid', in the high school hallways? Over and over and over again? Does no one so courted ever think to sue? What if they slipped? Broke a nail?

I had fun writing this and am glad some people liked it. I'm working on another story right now, very different and also unrelated, with a completely different feel. If I can get it done, I'll put it up, too. I'm sort of trying different things, different styles to see what works or fits. 'Tom' had no dialogue and the action was all in the head of the nameless narrator. This other one has dialogue but I'm trying to use a little bit more formal style to see if it works, it might make it dead or boring, I guess you'll all tell me if it does. When I finish. And, thanks!

Chapter 12 of DC:

There's a line in this chapter that hit me hard, from the internal dialogue of Bobby: "It's nice to be talked to, like a person." This little line, given its context, is devastating. For me, it summed up his whole experience at exodus. I appreciated the understated handling of Bobby's experience, and the casual way that you mentioned that he'd been put in a straightjacket--so much more appalling than some overblown description. I'd like to talk to the nurse at the facility alone in the "Quiet Room" for about five minutes--I'd take his/her head off. Such a perversion of what we are about as a profession.

Thanks! This is really nice, Bobby and I thank you. No, he doesn't like Exodus or shrinks/nurses and he doesn't like himself. Its so odd how I set up scenes and these guys just talk, I don't know where most of it comes from. A few things are specifically, exactly things I've experienced but most is conjecture. Or imagination, I guess. Mother always said I had too much of that.

The dialogue between Angel and Gene in the car is very honest, and felt very true to life. It certainly made Angel a more likable character for me...and his reaction to the flowers was very telling as well.

You aren't the first person to suggest that Angel isn't likable or your favorite character. I guess I'd be happier if everyone loved him but I can understand. People don't always like him in his world either.

In one of the comments you made on the forum, you said that this piece was going to go on about another hundred pages before winding up. That seems to me like a pretty conservative estimate...You've got a lot of things going on in here, and i think that the things you're going to have to go into in order to maintain the pacing and graceful style this has developed may require a good bit more than 100 pages to finish without dropping anything. Perhaps the sequel you're thinking about may not end up being so much a sequel as a "Book II" kind of thing (the difference is subtle, but real).

Yeah, I know, I was thinking maybe more but wanted to be conservative. Maybe 150? I told Dude at the beginning that it would be 20 chapters and maybe that's about right. BUT I don't intend to tie up all loose ends in this storyline. If that makes what follows a BookII and not a sequel, okay, I guess I don't know the difference. I want to tie up the Bobby/Ryan/GSA/tolerance/Trey thing in THIS storyline while also resolving the Michael/Angel situation to some extent. And that's it for this storyline, to my way of thinking. Sure, that leaves tons of stuff: Camille's pregnancy, Gene's debate career and love life, Bobby's continued sanity/etc, Michael and Angel followup, more on Jaye, more on Trey, more with Matty(a Deaf character that joins the cast in Part 13 or 14 in the debate room), Friedman and probably more stuff that I'm forgetting just now without my notes. Wow, that's a lot! And, yes! I have notes! Just no plotgraphs or outlines except one chapter ahead.

Finally, I'm going to ask, not as a criticism but out of curiosity, who is your main character? Were you intending when you started this to have 2? because right now, you do. Gene has pushed into the forefront to the point where he's become not just a major character, but co-protagonist with Angel. To support this, the scene with Angel in the car outside exodus is telling. This is an interaction between the protagonist (angel) and a supporting character (Gene) and it's told from Gene's point of view. That's unusual, and it adds stature to gene's character. And he's gotten a LOT of airtime. You know how i feel about Gene, so i have NO objection to this change of direction, but from the point of view of storytelling, it's something to be aware of--unless, of course, that was the intention all along, in which case it's been subtly and nicely done.

Okay, where's the rulebook? Do I have to have a single protagonist and, if yes, why? I'm listening and this is my first attempt at this stuff. I'm thinking, though, why only one? And why only one viewpoint? And why, for instance, isn't Bobby up for the protagonist thing--he's had a ton of screentime, too, right? I think of Angel as central for only one reason, well, okay, two, the main one being that the other people and events hinge on him, he's the axis on which a lot of it all turns. Yes? No? That's just my thought. For instance, yes, Gene helps out and that pre-Exodus scene is from his perspective but Angel made him part of that action, Angel ties all the people and feelings together, yes? no? Inside Exodus, its Bobby's perspective OF Gene, not the other way around. Maybe Bobby is Angel's opposite in some ways: opposite extremes of self acceptance, happiness, self less acts, degree of anger, whatever. He's the dark to Angel's light. He's the sad and self-hating side of being a gay teen despite being a handsome sexy guy and Angel, a little skinny Puerto Rican kid with too much glam makeup, is the joyful, hopeful and strong side of gay teendom. Or something.

That said, yes! I did mean Gene to be central when I introduced him, his exact role metamorphosed as I went but the idea of a cool, logical debator as a foil to theatrical, emotional Angel was always there. I can't claim all the credit you're offering, I don't know that I'm that subtle. Maybe my hindbrain is...if so, I guess I like it.

I'm waiting with bated breath for chapter 13.

cheers!

aj

Please un-bate, I'm writing State of Grace (about a teacher! aha! and a boy named Fancy--it has no humor and no romance, maybe no one will like it! its an experiment!) right now so Angel&Co will have to wait a day or so. I still love them, of course.

Thanks for all the great and helpful commentary now and previously, AJ. I love Gene, too, you know. He even lives with me, but he's much tidier than I am.

Kisses...

TR

Link to post

hey TR--

In terms of the comments about multiple protagonists, please note that i rather carefully said that my comments were NOT a criticism. Nothing in the rule book says it can't be done, i'm guessing. I wouldn't know for sure because i don't read the rule book much, as you'll probably figure out rather quickly if you read my short stories :wink:

i've noticed the same thing when i'm writing, i.e., the story seeming to write itself. Like you, i set the scene in my mind and it seems things just start flowing out onto the page.

Anyway, cheers to you for the chapter, good show and all that. Look forward to the next.

cheers!

aj

Link to post

I still owe comments here, but someone's been chatting me up. :) Not objecting, just hard to read other stuff or write my usual officious comments while otherwise occupied.

I just read Drama Club 2, the spoof. Eegad! Gadzooks! Forsooth! And other pseudo-Shakespearean archaic exclamations. You mean *gasp* Angel and Gene and all of them, they're, they're actors...no, wait, they're worse than that, they're, they're just...pretend, imaginary, figments, fig leaves?

Oh, woe is me! Oh cold, cruel world! Oh, oh, (line! wtf's my next line!) Sorry, the blue dailies haven't come back from that TR guy. I hear he runs around in an ascot and a beret smoking with a cigarette holder and wearing a monocle. Which, you know, clashes with the hot-pink thong....

Line! Line! Where the hell's my marker? Someone fix that light, it isn't making me look blue enough. Blue huffs and storms offstage, mumbling about his measly kickback for writing all those gushy comments....

:twisted: :grin: Oh, and I need a whole new pack of drippy red pens and rainbow highlighters for all that poofing, uh, proofing!

And somebody get me that reference cookbook on rabbit stew, rabbit flamb?, langs de lapin, and like that there. And carrot cake! I demand carrot cake! Carrot salad! Glazed carrots in an orange-spice glaze! Phillistines! Thespians!

...Mercifully, Hoodster happens along and hits Blue over the head, leaving him defenseless for Perry and Jesse's revenge for all those mean comments about ellipsis and dash fetishes and...and all that other stuff. I mean, how could Blue be so horrid, so cruel, all that ugly proofing stuff. Anal-retentive jerk! But P&J were on a filming break, and they'd get the Drama Club cast to help. It would all start with something really awful: Uptight Blue was gonna wake up naked in a very questionable position. That'd get him for all those comments!

Link to post

Oh my, Blue!

What's gotten in to you girl? Nothing? Oh, too bad.

You've just got to get a hold of yourself!

I was at the mall the other day and some poor queen was crying by the Fotomat booth because her pictures hadn't come back yet. That wasn't you, was it? Singing "someday my prints will come" ??

As always

Ben Dover

Link to post

Thank you, Ben Dover. :chuckles: I really needed that. I just replied to a thread of mine on DeweyWriter (I'm actually supposed to be running errands and have to go) and in my reply, I had a minor meltdown, ranting about needing to be me. (It's in the Member's Forum, "gayest common denominator.")

And TragicRabbit's trying to fix me up on a double date. The first time I've been out and uh, out, with other gays...like me. Did I say that? "Like me?" Arrgh. I'm trying not to get cold feet. Oh, frell, there I go again.

TragicRabbit, Ben Dover, everybody, please try to put up with me. This coming out stuff has me quietly on an emotional roller coaster. It's gonna get better, blast it. I want to be out. Grr.

Hmm. A few lines before I go off on those errands. Haircut, for one. (No, it's not *that* bad, just needs cut.)

"I'll come to your...emotional rescue." -- The Rolling Stones (of course)

"Ball of confusion! That's what the world is today." -- heck, I forget who

"This is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in

And these are the hands we?re given

Use them and let?s start trying

To make it a place worth living in.

Ooh superman where are you now"

-- Genesis, "Land of Confusion"

{ Dang. I did it again. Perfectly good, fun thread and I go and add a downer. Jeez. Please put up with me, guys. I'm actually improving, it's just really hard to tell. }

Link to post


×
×
  • Create New...