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Oh, Radio, Tell Me Everything...

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Good call, VWL -- I agree, an interesting story with some good moments.

Just once, though, I wish somebody could write a fight scene and not end the chapter with it, but actually tell what happens. It's way too easy to basically fade out as the fight starts, then begin a new chapter with the lead character in the hospital. Much tougher to go blow-by-blow. (I'm basically saying "show, don't tell.")

And I'm as guilty of it as the next guy. I have a bad habit of killing characters off-camera, then talking about people's reaction to their deaths. I'm done with that stupid trick.

Love the story so far. And I bet The Dude has his own stories about running into on-air admirers after doing radio shows...

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Hey, thanks Nathan. I've been drumming my fingers waiting for each chapter of Oh, Radio, Tell Me Everything You Know. Now I'll have something else to read while I wait. I hope it is just as satisfyingly breezy and amusingly self-aware. Oh, Radio has been the best spin on teen angst I've come across in a long time.


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  • 5 weeks later...
Guest Dabeagle

*Storyline Commentary, may want to skip*

I started this story and was struck by a few things. I like teenage angst stories but geez...the first three or four chapters lay it on really thick and the over analyzation is sometimes overdone. This is built up until it seems as though there really is nothing, simply nothing good in this characters life.

And yet I can't put it down.

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Yep, I'm in agreement with Dabeagle. The thing I always quibble about with stories like this is, no matter how well they're done (and this one is above average), my problem is that they're not about anything beyond the relationship -- who's in, who's out, and so on. I think the story has to go beyond that, beyond the angst. I think a change of scenery helps. When it sticks to the school and the kids' homes, it starts getting pretty repetitive; sometimes, better plots come out of new locations.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Best if you read chapter one before you read the following.

Nope, I'm not buying the 'over-analysing' bit.

At 68 I'm young enough to remember that this is exactly what I did at Andy's age, mostly with no useful results.

And I have watched other teenagers do exactly the same thing.

So far I've only read chapter one.

I am so impressed with the author's ability to not only get into the fog of a fifteen year olds head, but to convey what is in there, with literary excellence. No mean feat, and I think that explains why it is so engaging, engrossing, and captivating. Andy's mind is running a million impressions a minute, one thought after another, all of them demanding to be one that he needs to consider as an answer to he knows not what. You can almost feel his brain rewiring itself.

The author dares to allow his character's thoughts to go round and round, but because the writing is never lazy Andy picks up new thoughts all the time, and we arrive at just the place where author, character and reader are in the same place.

It's like the radio is playing in my mind.

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The story keeps on being entertaining.

Totally agree! The relationship is pretty much the story...But it is unique enough with a teen-age DJ and bullied kid head over heels. DJ's mom and kid's parents also add variety and drama. A thoroughly fun read. Just wish the chapters would come a little faster. But hey, I'm patient. I have a link to this story on my desktop but looks like vwl beat me there this week.

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Guest Dabeagle

I liked that 13 didn't go where I thought it was going. unlike Des I find the repetitiveness tiring and hope to see him grow out of it a little sooner rather than later.

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I don't think of it as repetitive so much as I find it descriptive, an elaboration of detail that reminds me of what I went through at school. Maybe that's why I am enjoying the writing, it's cathartic for me; I can relate to Andy's experiences. I'm actually able to confront my own moments of high school horror through Andy's self-analysing thinking process. I found myself mentally, going back in time to scream at my tormentors. Usually I can't face those long past demons, but the power in this writing has afforded me that ability.

For me, this makes the writing unique and involving with an excellence of form and content.

I'm sorry that it is less for others, but I don't think the writing is at fault at all, except for the odd misspelling.

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It occurs to me that the story can be read as a simple high schooler falling for a voice on the radio.

But there is another way to see this story as a psychological drama about a teenager's internal thoughts and reactions to what is happening in his life. The romance is simple a vehicle for the author to display the psychological evolution of the teen as he encounters authority in a world that has little tolerance for the individual who he is discovering who he is.

In this regard the story is more like the classic novels by Herman Hesse, Somerset Maugham, or even Hemingway. The actual story is a superficial interest to hold the reader's attention, whilst the author discusses the human condition, or a philosophy of life, or both. Am I reading too much into Andy's situation? Perhaps I am, but it's the way I am reading it.

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In this regard the story is more like the classic novels by Herman Hesse, Somerset Maugham, or even Hemingway. The actual story is a superficial interest to hold the reader's attention, whilst the author discusses the human condition, or a philosophy of life, or both. Am I reading too much into Andy's situation? Perhaps I am, but it's the way I am reading it.

I almost did a spit-take!

No, the story isn't nearly that good. It has its moments, but my problem with the last few chapters is that I feel like it's gotten in a bit of a rut, and it's not really advancing the plot very much. A lot of these stories get bogged down with the romance, and ultimately they're not really about anything -- it's just one situation going to the next, rather than the characters actually progressing from point A to point B. I say this not necessarily as a criticism, just an observation. I'd rather see more happening -- more conflict, more action.

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Pec, how much more conflict can you want than a kid who is being tormented to the point that his personal development is endangered? Good stories are not always about fast cars and exploding zombies, and I'm certain you know that.

But okay, I was referring to the psychological torment in Andy's mind as having its roots in the dramatic ponderings that do occur in many of the classic novels. Here is an effort in that vein, whether deliberate or not is all I was saying, along with my personal view of the story. That is all. It's not Herman Hesse's The Glass Bead Game‚Äč even if the attempt to show Andy's inner turmoil is illuminating.

I don't see why gay romantic fiction has to ignore the bigger questions of human existence. Indeed I think it offers almost unexplored paths to enlightenment.

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Guest Dabeagle

I'm willing to admit that a story doesn't have to conform to my way of thinking for it to be good or popular or reach someone in a way it doesn't reach me. However the storyline is advancing very slowly, and that is a legitimate comment regardless of how one feels about what the author is expressing - the part that wears on me is that the internal angst is constant. And when I say constant I mean there are paragraphs of back and forth over essentially the same emotion each time. I think the reader needs to know that's happening but more could be done with less of that particular method.

To me the single greatest part of this story is the originality of their meeting - a master stroke. There are parts of the story that shine and do work for me (and before Mike wags his finger at me, yes I sent a constructive email to the author a few chapters ago) and got a reply. The author admits he has trouble with criticism - although I thought he handled mine well in print, what may have gone through his head as he read it is another story. In fairness, lest ye think me an ogre, I did let him know that my comments with regards to criticism were meant were meant purely in a constructive vein and that I hoped they were accepted in the spirit intended. It is all too easy to say the wrong thing in print when someone can't see you smiling or laughing to soften the blow or to realize something is said with a gentle, helpful smile.

That said I hope the character, as he matures (let that start to happen soon) will have less of the same type of internal tug of war - at least it be a different emotion instead of near constant and debilitating doubt. Does he have reason? Yes, but to use it so often detracts from the story in my opinion.

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Pec, let's please try to keep to constructive criticism. Frankly, I disagree with what you say about many stories... but this is the first time I've spoken up. One of the prime reasons for starting this forum is that we are trying to bring up the level of writing by encouraging good story telling by fledgling writers. Discouraging writers with caustic remarks helps nobody.

Well, I'm being pretty specific. I'm saying two things: 1) none of the stories on this site compare to Hemingway or other professional literary authors of that level; 2) the story would be better if it didn't repeat situations so much and if it instead simply advanced the plot and gave us more conflict.

That's all I'm saying. I mean no disrespect to anyone, and I've enjoyed a lot of the story. But I think all the fiction here has to be more than the standard plots of "can someone come to terms with their sexuality," "will the object of their affection reciprocate," and "can they withstand bullying?" To me, there's a much richer tapestry of human experience out there: life, death, sickness, health, creativity, learning, travel, even magic and technology. That, coupled with subtle shadings of character, where we realize that heroes have flaws, and even villains have good sides, is what makes good stories -- to me. [i also agree 100% with all of Dabeagle's points above.]

Note again that I'm only expressing opinion, not stating fact. I agree that new writers should be encouraged, but at the same time, I would draw the line at comparing them to literary giants like Hemingway. None of us here are qualified to sharpen Hemingway's pencils. (IMHO.)

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I am sorely tempted to claim otherwise. Even the literary greats started somewhere and many of them were ridiculed when they were first published. To this day Hemingway's constant use of 'and' is criticised in some circles.

I certainly don't mean that we should treat works as if they are more than what they are, but many of them do have attributes that exceed the run of the mill, and constantly saying that they never attain relationships to excellence is to deny many authors the opportunity to explore their potential. I would be delighted to think I had encouraged someone to explore literary excellence instead of being satisfied with imitating pulp fiction.

There is also the matter of personal opinion, books (stories) are either well written, or badly written, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, and to which he added, books do not have views, readers have views. In today's undereducated world we might consider that books are either well read or badly understood, which often precipitates boredom.

In the case of this story, our views differ in that we are reading with different opinions, from different perspectives. The nature of reading is likely to circumvent any authors intentions, but it is also necessary to note that the intuitive artistic process is often hidden from the artist in that he may not be aware of the cathartic elements of his own work.

It is unlikely that the ancient Greek playwrights were deliberately trying to reveal the psyche of human existence, but that is exactly what they did for their audiences. Yet in today's world those plays are inaccessible to many people because we can no longer relate to the form or the contents of the meaning behind the words. Nearer to our own time, many of the written works since Shakespeare are regarded as boring, unapproachable and without merit for today's audiences. Many novels such as those written in the last 50 or 60 years, can be regarded as pulp trash, written merely for the profits made because of the publicity such works gain. They have little literary merit and even less substance, yet they are popular and the movie rights are worth...shall we say, heaps.

We really shouldn't be arguing about whether or not our stories are equivalent to the work of established and respected authors, but instead we should be rejoicing in the moments where they approach excellence. Unfortunately, if we are looking for a Nifty thrill, or even a reminiscent one, then the exposure to deeper thoughts will be neither wanted or comprehended. If we are not even looking or allowing for those moments of depth and excellence then we will miss them entirely, and probably mistake them for boredom.

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  • 3 months later...

Oh, wow.

How can I possibly like this story? It is so ridiculous and unreal. At least I sincerely hope it is. I could never imagine a character like this. But I absolutely relish every chapter of it. It is like Bizarro World for high school gay angst masters. I've spent half the summer and fall emailing the author hectoring him to continue with it. Now it's back, and I've had my fix and now I have to wait for the next chapter. Dang.

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How can I possibly like this story? It is so ridiculous and unreal. At least I sincerely hope it is. I could never imagine a character like this. But I absolutely relish every chapter of it. It is like Bizarro World for high school gay angst masters.

My only beef is that nothing really happens in this chapter. To me, the story has to be something beyond gay teenage angst, and the plot has to constantly move forward. Relying on an almost all-dialogue approach is very dangerous and tends to pad out the story and let it meander, rather than advance it from a plot and structure point of view.

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I've just read this - not, I hasten to add, that I didn't have anything else to do, but the thread intrigued.

In my view I think there are some exceptional passages, but they're overly padded - close to death - by reams of Andy's angsty introspection. Chapter nine: the author says the novel is past 100,000 words...! It's good, but it needs heavy pruning. Which is to say it's a good first draft.

Still, like y'all, I'm much looking forward to chapter 16! :icon_thumleft:

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Not 'all'. Like you before today, I haven't read it, and to be honest, if one chapter is 100,000 words long, I'm not about to. Probably small-minded of me, but we must have some standards, and that's one of mine, developed on the spot. Don't read chapters that exceed 100,000 words.

I think I can live the the utter deprivation that may cause.


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