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JamesSavik

Dog by WBS

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Damn Dog, that was awesome!

After reading that, I feel like I've been slapped around.

Mystery, twists, turns and a real haymaker of a punchline.

If you don't read this story NOW, you'll hate yourself LATER.

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I had three people proofread this one. One of my proofers liked it better than Alone which shocked me -- and, in fact, said it was the best thing I've ever written. Wow.

Seems you all at least think it's okay and doesn't suck.

Dude changed my original colours though so you're reading it in black and white. I actually had 'theme' colours :) Maybe he thought it made my story darker.

This story ended up being by birthday present to the Dudester and his loyal legions.....

-- wbms

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Seems you all at least think it's okay and doesn't suck.

There's an understatement.

I always know a story's good when I find myself looking at how far down the scroll bar is and thinking "Aw man, not yet!" This was one of those stories.

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Aw wibby.. you know we mostly post with a black background... except for Tragic Rabbit... and his visually artistic :roll: poems. But here you go.. I've reposted in the original colors you sent.

And just so everybody knows... it was Write By Myself who talked me out of starting the site on April 1st, 2004. Something about it being an inauspicious date or something.

8)

And also -for the record- Dog is great... even Roger my cat agrees!

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Aw wibby.. you know we mostly post with a black background.But here you go.. I've reposted in the original colors you sent.  

You're SO good to me :) ::blows a kiss::

And just so everybody knows... it was Write By Myself who talked me out of starting the site on April 1st, 2004.  Something about it being an inauspicious date or something.

I just thought everybody would take it as a joke. Never do anything important on April First.

And also -for the record- Dog is great... even Roger my cat agrees!

Thanks. ::blush::

Hey, Dude, I didn't know you were a cat person. No WONDER I like you :D

Lastly, our very own Graeme has sent me a list of typos in the story which I've fixed. In a few days, I shall send it in to Dude so you can read it typo free. I can't believe my proofers didn't catch them. ::sigh::

-- wbms of the error-laden story (3 errors, AAIIIEE)

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wb,

what can i say other that "wow." you wrote almost the perfect short story, the structure, the length, it's all perfect (and the writing is pretty darn awesome too :shock: )

my favorite short stories always leave me wondering what happens next, and i'm glad for the chance to imagine that for this "storyverse"

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wb,

what can i say other that "wow."  you wrote almost the perfect short story, the structure, the length, it's all perfect (and the writing is pretty darn awesome too  :wink: )

my favorite short stories always leave me wondering what happens next, and i'm glad for the chance to imagine that for this "storyverse"

I already got my first "what the hell happens next" e-mail. The best part about a short story is that you can decide what happens next. Let your imagination run wild.

Thanks for your kind words; as always they are an appreciated bone to this humble* author.

-- wbms

* or maybe not :D

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sadly, even proofsters have their limitations.

cheers!

aj

Yeah, I noticed typos but I assume Graeme caught them all. Three proofers? Maybe I'm not so badly off without proofers after all. (though Gabe sometimes proofs for me, if he's around)

I liked the story very much, good pacing and suspenseful. Nice ending but, well, depressing. But I like depressing. I guess that's what Blue didn't like. I don't know that you needed all that preface, were you feeling insecure? Just whip it out next time, hon, we don't mind.

Kisses...

TR

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Blue attempts a more articulate response.

I'm feeling a little better about things and I've had a chance to think about the story a little more. So, why did I react that way, and not post any explanation? Well, at the time, I couldn't sort it out or express it in any way that I thought would be other than bothersome or depressing for other members, and that didn't seem too useful. So I posted, attempting to show my opinion and maybe bring a tiny bit of humor to my response too.

I think my response came largely from events in my personal life right now, plus past discouragement. Also, I've noticed something odd about recent fic by several authors: Why is it we, as gay writers, editors, and readers, often have negative themes in gay fic? Why can't the gay guy be happy and well adjusted and be the hero, and help out someone else, some other gay guy or some friendly straight guy...whoever? I think it is symptomatic of our own feelings about being gay, and descriptive of what we see gay folks go through, how we are too often treated in real life; plus there's some wish fulfillment: Gee, I'd really love to find the perfect guy, fall in love, have great sex, have a wonderful life, etc. -- Now, I'm not ignoring the simple fact that a good story usually requires dramatic conflict of some kind, and putting the characters through the mill is a way to do that. Yes, it's also true that by reading, we see what others might do to succeed or what we should avoid.

OK, enough with the psycho-babble and the soapbox. :: Kicks soapbox away, quits navel-gazing. Notes the navel is right above something else to gaze at. Hmm, what's up with that? LOL. ::

-----

Attempted review of the story:

* spoilers below; if you haven't read the story, you may not want to read the review yet; *

"Dog" is all about how people treat other people, what pushes those limits on civilized behavior, and it's also all about perception.

Just what is the reality in the story?

What type of person *is* Trent, really? If he can care after the accident, then why was he such a jerk before? Clearly, he was, before. Was he "keeping up appearances?" If so, what a lousy excuse for tormenting someone. (Though, I'm amused by the "Tent" nickname, and at first I thought it was a typo until the text clarified it.)

What type of person is Nathan? Why has he become so very angry that he'd attempt, more than once, something even worse than tormenting a person? Why can't he deal with it more acceptably? And then, when he realizes this, why does he again do something so extreme and so purposeless, that doesn't help anyone, it only makes things worse.

(I hope it's obvious I intend these as rhetorical questions to provoke thought; I'm not -that- dense.)

I think my reaction was because the whole story was so nihilistic, something I have real trouble with. Trent has finally reached a point of understanding that his past self was awful to some people, and his present self is sensitive enough to want to remedy that. Nathan is bent on destruction, of his nemesis and himself, because he was pushed too far too often, and couldn't find the love he wanted and needed with another person, any person.

However, Nathan makes mistakes. He could have realized that he can choose to put things behind him and go forward, and find someone elsewhere. He could simply choose not to accept Trent's apology, and ignore him and go on. He could realize that what he, Nathan, did was reprehensible too, but he could instead learn from his own mistakes and withdraw from the current mistakes, without bringing further harm to Trent or himself.

Yes, I grant that human beings usually aren't that big about it. We have flaws and we get angry and do petty things. We can also do great things, if we give ourselves the chance.

Pollyanna? Perhaps. If it's so Pollyanna, then you have to explain why there is -good- in the world, doing good things to raise people out of that petty mud and change lives for the better. Heh, OK, that makes me feel a little better.

So, am I saying I dismiss the story? Well, on reflection, the whole point of a story like it is to show how destructive, needless, and senseless what Trent had done and what Nathan did was. It also points out that Trent had changed, and wanted to apologize, even without knowing how to do so or what precisely he was apologizing for.

So my disagreement with the story is in how it chooses to make its point and whether that has the intended effect. Yes, it still isn't my cup of tea, but perhaps you can see that I did understand what it was trying to get across, and did think about it.

I'm sorry, WBMS, that such a review is doubtless troubling for you, because it criticizes the how and why, the intent and execution of your story. I hope you know I admire your talent for story writing, and I'll look forward to what else you write in the future.

This is only my personal opinion, my rather idiosyncratic reaction. Blue notes the similarity of "idio-" to "idiot," even while aware that's not what "idio-" means.

-----

Oh, and about TR's comment about just whipping it out? LOL, maybe I should do that once in a while, instead of thinking my emotions six ways from Sunday. I'm a sensitive guy, I just second guess (and 3rd, 4th...) myself after, like nobody's business. ...OK, so whipping it out might be a little extreme in certain situations. :laughing: See, second guessing already. :hugs: TR, excellent suggestion, anyway, and the humor value of your comment was also appreciated.

:hugs: to all.

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I think my response came largely from events in my personal life right now' date=' plus past discouragement.  

[/quote']

Listen, if I wrote on my personal life, you'd all get so depressed reading it, we'd have a mass suicide. Believe it or not, as a write I can write a happy story when I'm sad or vice versa. However, regardless of my mood, I write pain much better. Alone had pain, misery, and angst. Hell, many of my stories do....

authors: Why is it we' date=' as gay writers, editors, and readers, often have negative themes in gay fic? [/quote']

We write what we know, sir. The life of a gay person is generally not equal to the life of a straight person in similar circumstances. That's how it works in the world. I am neither defending it nor praising it: just observing.

* spoilers below; if you haven't read the story, you may not want to read the review yet. *

What type of person *is* Trent' date=' really? If he can care after the accident, then why was he such a jerk before? Clearly, he was, before. Was he "keeping up appearances?" If so, what a lousy excuse for tormenting someone. [/quote']

To clarify this point. An accident involving head trauma often induces dramatic and life-altering personality changes. The author wants to point out that if you were to assume this, you'd be well on-track. Also, remember this was written as a screenplay originally and as such some visual things simply aren't described because you'd see them.

(Though' date=' I'm amused by the "Tent" nickname, and at first I thought it was a typo until the text clarified it.)[/quote']

I've named Tent after an ex-acquaintance of mine. I am very bitter. Don't start me. The nickname always amused me, and indeed, I called him that after a certain lady friend of his provoked that reaction and he didn't notice but everyone else did. :)

What type of person is Nathan? Why has he become so very angry that he'd attempt' date=' more than once, something even worse than tormenting a person? [/quote']

I support Nathan's actions. Does that make me as much as a psychopath as he was? He finally figured out someone can change, and by then it was too late, so he killed himself. However, you must ask yourself what did our boy Trent do to Nathan to warrant such a reaction. I will not answer but rather state, I feel it was justified. Write your own backstory.

NOTE TO YOUNGER READERS: I do not advocate murdering your tormentors.

I think my reaction was because the whole story was so nihilistic' date=' something I have real trouble with.  

[/quote']

I really don't offend easily. But "nihilistic" -- I must disagree strongly. In what way exactly? I'm not offended but a bit put-out. There are a number of adjectives that might describe my story, but I don't believe that is one of them.

Nathan is bent on destruction' date=' of his nemesis and himself, because he was pushed too far too often,

[/quote']

Actually, he was only bent on the destruction of his tormentor/nemesis. He only turns on himself when it turns out his nemesis is not his enemy and his true enemy is himself.

couldn't find the love he wanted and needed with another person' date=' any person. [/quote']

How sad: that's the story of my life all summed up nice and neat. :(

However' date=' Nathan makes mistakes. [/quote']

Everyone makes mistakes. That simply makes him human. Teenagers tend to make more mistakes than adults. Nathan is a teenager: and not necessarily the most mature of the lot either.

He could simply choose not to accept Trent's apology' date=' and ignore him and go on. [/quote']

Trust me. There are some things no apology is sufficient for. However without writing some of the blackest, darkest, mind-bending psychological fuck-piece, you really don't see that. I had a vision and it just never got much past this story, which is a shame for me and a blessing for all of you. Blue, you'd have hated it :)

Pollyanna? Perhaps. If it's so Pollyanna' date=' then you have to explain why there is -good- in the world, doing good things to raise people out of that petty mud and change lives for the better. Heh, OK, that makes me feel a little better.[/quote']

You, sir, are an optimistic. I am a pessimist and a cynic. The point is, when I write my own personal beliefs do come through in my writing -- as do those of many authors. Like many people here I am conflicted about many things.

It also points out that Trent had changed' date=' and wanted to apologize, even without knowing how to do so or what precisely he was apologizing for.[/quote']

Focus on this. I'd rather wager that if the New Trent remembered what the Old Trent did, he'd kill himself and Nathan wouldn't have anything to worry about.

Yes' date=' it still isn't my cup of tea, but perhaps you can see that I did understand what it was trying to get across, and did think about it.[/quote']

I'm glad you read it, even if you didn't like. In fact, it's okay if you HATE it. I don't ask people to like what I read. What I ask people to do is THINK. That's a lost art, thinking.

I'm sorry' date=' WBMS, that such a review is doubtless troubling for you, because it criticizes the how and why, the intent and execution of your story. I hope you know I admire your talent for story writing, and I'll look forward to what else you write in the future.[/quote']

Actually, I'm not the least bit troubled except by that one "N" word you threw at me :)

Oh' date=' and about TR's comment about just whipping it out? [/quote']

As said in Blazzing Saddles, "Stand back while I whip something out...."

OK' date=' so whipping it out might be a little extreme in certain situations. :laughing: [/quote']

Don't worry. It's no big deal. ::RUNNING FAST:: :D

-- wbms

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I liked it, and I'll say it, despite the statement by 'Stout Scarab' that he doesn't care.

I'm not fully sure (or even partially sure) that suppressing memories is the same as losing them in an accident, but that is something I did, for decades. When my barriers crumbled and I suddenly remembered everything, it was almost 'mind blowing'. It didn't come back slowly, but as an overwhelming rush, and strangely, intergrated almost immediately into the new 'me'. Although I have some slight regrets, mostly for time wasted, I don't berate myself, nor condemn myself for anything I did and/or did not do. Based on that personal perspective, I think that Trent would not have killed himself had he recovered his memories. On some primal level I think we can sense that we have no further control over the past and simply MUST move on, forgiving ourselves our past sins.

The story was haunting, intriguing, and a testament to our human condition. Well done. :)

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