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What Makes a Family


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What Makes a Family by Julien http://www.nifty.org//nifty/gay/relationships/what-makes-a-family/ has been posted sporadically since 2008 though updates seem to be more regular of late.

The story involves two men breaking up after a long relationship and the raising of a child for most of the years of that relationship. The protagonists have flaws -- nicely developed -- that make for a complicated, complex relationship.

Offsetting the quality of the basic story is the need for an AD or GA quality editor to fix primarily grammar and punctuation flaws -- a typical problem with Nifty stories.

It is refreshing to see an adult-oriented story.

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  • 1 month later...

What Makes a Family by Julien http://www.nifty.org...makes-a-family/ has been posted sporadically since 2008 though updates seem to be more regular of late.

* The story involves two men breaking up after a long relationship and the raising of a child for most of the years of that relationship. *

* It is refreshing to see an adult-oriented story. *

Yep, they stayed perfectly sane while the kid was about, then fell apart. See? We're good for something!

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I started to read this story about a year ago. I found the Neil character to be irritating, maddening, and unwilling to recognize he was the source of James' and David's problems. Like Pacman, I found the switching of the POV to be distracting. As a result I gave up on this story. Others may enjoy it, I sure didn't.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Pec, you've got to get off that kick. Since you used to beat that horse, I've now read several stories by well-known and well-reviewed published authors who use that method to sell their story.

Name one! I still say it's showy and it sucks. You can absolutely tell the story in third person and still communicate the exact same ideas, story, and dialogue.

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Name one! I still say it's showy and it sucks. You can absolutely tell the story in third person and still communicate the exact same ideas, story, and dialogue.

I read about two books a week and it's hard to keep track of titles and authors. There have actually been a few with changing POVs lately. One I remember for sure was Testimony by Anita Shreve, a best-selling author. It was a damned good book.

I didn't say you couldn't tell the same story in a different way. You can say that of most stories. And I didn't say this was the best way to tell a story. I will say it can be effective if done well, and distracting if done poorly. As usual, it comes down to the skill of the author.

In Testimony, a teenager died and the event was described by the various participants and affected bystanders. It was very effective as you got to know the thoughts of each person and so their chracters and motivations and fears. Excellent book. Excellent writer. And probably better told in this way rather than standard 3rd person omnicient voice.

C

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I think it's a combination of the skill of the writer and luck whether a story with switching points of view works. An example I like is Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby. The shifting point of view makes sense because it follows a timeline where the different characters have leading roles in the story, with an eventual objective where two of the characters end up meeting. The story continues from that point in a way that makes sense.

Something else that helps Spare Change is that it's in a complete published novel, not a serial novel where it's easy to lose track of what's going on because of long delays between posting of chapters.

Colin :icon_geek:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I read about two books a week and it's hard to keep track of titles and authors. There have actually been a few with changing POVs lately.

I just found one myself! I'm re-reading Steven King's brilliant 1986 horror novel It -- about 7 children who discover an ancient demon living in their 1950's town, and unite together to defeat it, only to have to return 27 years later to do it again as adults. Incredibly, in the first third of the book, King does occasionally change a chapter and switch from 3rd-person omniscient to 1st-person, using the voice and internal thoughts of the one character who stayed in town and realizes he has to bring the rest of the group together to defeat their common enemy. But he does it very sparingly.

King also has the talent to pull this off, and keeps it to a bare minimum; 90% of the story is written entirely in 3rd. The one character who speaks in 1st person is the only narrator who sees what's still happening in the town today, plus he has no partner, wife, or family with which to share the gruesome details, unlike all the other characters; we learn the others' stories through flashbacks and conversations. So it can be done; it's just very, very rare.

I generally don't have the stomach to wade through a chapter and have the author change character POVs every six paragraphs. It's tinkertoys to just write the thing in 3rd person and be done with it. To me, switching back and forth is just lazy and oft-putting. I'd have the same problem with a movie or a TV show: show the events unfolding to an unseen observer -- don't make everything happen through just one person's eyes.

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I used to love King, until he wrote the last book in The Dark Tower. I don't read him anymore.

You know, Stephen King's massive best-seller from last year, 11/22/63, about a time-traveler who tries to stop the Kennedy assassination, was actually quite good. I think it was overlong by about 20%, but still very well-done.

I enjoyed the entire Dark Tower series, but it's definitely an acquired taste. The next-to-last book (Song of Susannah) was awful to me; Wolves of the Calla was the best of the entire series, particularly the scenes showing how Jake, the 12-year-old member of the gunman's gang, becomes a cynical, hardened killer over time.

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I liked a few King books, and short stories. The ones you can stand on when you need to paint the upper eaves have never been my thing.

C

You're a *%^%£+, Cole! On reading the last sentence I spewed a mouthful of coffee over my computer, terrified the cat, and I'm still laughing. :smile:

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Guest Dabeagle

Pecman my favorite of the series was probably Wastelands, but Jake ended up being my favorite character and after the way all that ended up - and the ending overall - I was sorry I read seven book sot get to such an unsatisfying ending. It's a personal, irrational thing with me perhaps but with that, King lost me for good.

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Pecman my favorite of the series was probably Wastelands, but Jake ended up being my favorite character and after the way all that ended up - and the ending overall - I was sorry I read seven book sot get to such an unsatisfying ending. It's a personal, irrational thing with me perhaps but with that, King lost me for good.

I agree that Dark Tower is a very weird, quirky epic tale. I think it's not surprising that two studios (Universal and Warner's) have bailed on shooting the movie version, which is being developed by Ron Howard. The story is a western, only with large doses of science fiction, fantasy, a little horror, and a lot of action-adventure, mixed in with kind of a "Knights of King Arthur" legend, plus some Wizard of Oz stuff. I don't doubt that the alternate time-lines, dimensional gaps, and duplicate characters are enough to befuddle a lot of readers. Very much an acquired taste.

The ending didn't kill me, but I'm not sure where else he could have gone with it. BTW, King did release another chapter, Wind Through the Keyhole, which has a couple of excellent fables in it -- one about a brave young teenager who wades through a dangerous swamp in order to obtain a magic cure for his stricken mother. I think it's worth reading and has some terrific moments.

If you hated the ending of Dark Tower, all I can say is... don't watch Lost!

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Guest Dabeagle

I agree that Dark Tower is a very weird, quirky epic tale. I think it's not surprising that two studios (Universal and Warner's) have bailed on shooting the movie version, which is being developed by Ron Howard. The story is a western, only with large doses of science fiction, fantasy, a little horror, and a lot of action-adventure, mixed in with kind of a "Knights of King Arthur" legend, plus some Wizard of Oz stuff. I don't doubt that the alternate time-lines, dimensional gaps, and duplicate characters are enough to befuddle a lot of readers. Very much an acquired taste.

The ending didn't kill me, but I'm not sure where else he could have gone with it. BTW, King did release another chapter, Wind Through the Keyhole, which has a couple of excellent fables in it -- one about a brave young teenager who wades through a dangerous swamp in order to obtain a magic cure for his stricken mother. I think it's worth reading and has some terrific moments.

If you hated the ending of Dark Tower, all I can say is... don't watch Lost!

I never did. But you know, I have a habit of taking some names and 'saving' them. What can I say, I'm twisted...

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  • 4 months later...

When I saw Stephen King's name, I had to post. I've been a King reader for over 35 years. This obsession of mine began with Firestarter, which I read when I was 13. But, out of all the books he has written, my absolute favorite is The Talisman which he cowrote with Peter Straub. I've had to replace my copy twice because I've read it so many times. Now I have it on Kindle so I don't have to keep buying it. :biggrin:

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Wolves of the Calla was the best of the entire series, particularly the scenes showing how Jake, the 12-year-old member of the gunman's gang, becomes a cynical, hardened killer over time.

Hardened, yes. Cynical? I didn't think so.

We should definitely start a Stephen King thread.

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