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Beer and Camping by RusticMonk

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Welcome Gabe to the New Writers Series.

Gabe has submitted his Beer and Camping short story here for your coments and suggestions.

You can see some interesting traces of humor and irony here with this young boy scout who, while protesting that he is heterosexual, seems to lust after other young men to an inordinate degree.

All the time he is trying to avoid the lecherous advances of his scout master. Not so, however, the man's son who shares his tent. I see a lot of potential for this story. How about you?

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Guest rusticmonk86

Hi, I am the writer Dude spoke of. (If I can speak of such things without a large degree of humility . . . .)

Read more about B&C:

Beer and Camping (written by Gabriel Duncan) is a humurous tale that revolves around a young scout and his perverted leader. He may be young, but not naive. At scout camp, the scout master seems to have his sights set on the main charecter. Too bad, his prey is playing a game of his own. And his young target parries any advances this middle-aged scoutmaster may make, with witty remarks and hilarious commentary.

Yep.

Please give me feedback. After editing this story for a second time (hopefully Dude will find it in his heart and repost the story with corrections) I've found I enjoy even less than before. It just seems . . . dry. And . . . eh.

Tell me that you think. Is there anything I can change? Is there anything you didn't like about it? Was there something you thought was absolutely fabulous? Do you think I should just shove an ice pick through my forehead?

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Hi, Gabe,

I haven't written a response before now, because I don't think I know enough to offer constructive criticism. I read the posts and then went to read the story.

I agree - there is something missing from the story, but for the life of me, all I can come up with is its "flat" -- whatever that means :roll:

I thought the actual writing was great -- the scoutmaster, in particular, was a character that quickly gained some depth.

Was it too predictable?

Were there insufficient emotions being presented from the protaganist?

As I said at the start, I'm just not experienced enough to be able to say what it was that I thought it was lacking -- sorry.

Graeme

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Guest rusticmonk86

Graeme,

You don't have to be the ultimate writer to give feedback on a story. Just focus on what you thought of it and present your ideas in a manner that you would. I do agree with your points. Thanks for your feedback.

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Okay, I had to read the story twice, because I had a hard time following it for some reason. I like that it has a strong point of view and a strong sense of style. I like the way the italics sections keep coming back, and that they have their own rhythm and structure within the larger structure of the story.

What didn't I like? Two things come to mind. I had no feeling for the narrator as a human being. It might have helped to have an intimate scene between the narrator and Jacob, the scoutmaster's son. This would have developed both their characters a little more. The other thing that bothered me, or left me cold, was that there was no emotional payoff at the end. Again, it seemed to have something to do with my ambivalance about the narrator.

While it may be perfectly fine for a poem to do nothing more than evoke a certain mood, I think a story needs to have some sort of point to it. Was the narrator's rejection of the scoutmaster a heroic act? Did it have something to do with the narrator's feelings for the scoutmaster's son? I don't know. Maybe it did, but that wasn't clear to me.

Hope these comments are helpful.

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~Blue scratches his head...no, not that head, doofus :o

I've tried to figure out what to say, but I'm not sure what to make of the story, Gabe. It has some irony and satire. After all, just who's playin' whom? (I really tried to leave off the -m, I did, honest.) It has some clever humor. (I think I actually liked the line about the bedsprings and lifeguard more than the previous joke.) I even wonder if the scoutmaster's son is playing the narrator, although that's not suggested. But yeah, it's missing something, isn't it? I'm not sure what.

Your story concentrates on the sly scout and his cynical outlook on everything, especially the scoutmaster. You also concentrate on the lushy scoutmaster, whom you play up for the jerk he is.

Maybe the answer is to include the son somehow. What does he think of all this, of both of them? Is he a naive innocent, blithely unaware? Is he just looking to have some fun? Maybe he'd a lot rather be with his girlfriend at home, or his best friend in the next tent? Maybe he thinks they're all nuts and just leave him alone?

Do the other scouts know what's going on? Maybe they're too busy bouncing their own bedsprings to care? (Hey, if you're gonna go for farce, you might as well go all the way. Oh, uh, I just noticed what a really bad pun that was.)

Maybe the trouble is the ambiguity and cynicism? But that's sort of the point you were wanting to get across, I think, how unworkable the duality of the narrator and Jason both are.

Hmm. See if adding the son might work, I guess.

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Guest rusticmonk86

I HATE YOU ALL AND SPIT ON YOU!!

Actually, not really. Beer and Camping is taking drastic changes. I've added more and now I've split it into three fours (soon to be much more.) This is getting kind of exciting. I don't know how I'll ever be able to tie up all of these loose ends.

--Gabe

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All that naughty nautical knot-tying has to be good for something.... Oh, sorry, had to riff on the tying up in knots thing.

Also, the little rhyme in your sig, Gabe, did you write that? Dark humor, but I really liked it. Couldn't use it with some people, but others might get the point. -- And you made a good point with it.

-----

Hmm. I think I agree with UTH's (Hoodster's) comments, too. The narrator's *so* cynical it's hard to know how to take him or what he really thinks or feels.

Oh, and I'm sure there are other possibilities for Jacob's disposition. I didn't suggest that he (the son) was also playing the narrator, because that just seemed like too many playahs, unless, again, you wanted to go for farce, and I don't think that's what your intent with this piece is.

Oh, and did I miss something when I read it? I don't remember if the narrator had a name. Dummy me. -- So maybe I'm horribly inobservant or have a lousy memory (or probably both).

:p I hate you more! :blush: :roll: j/k

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Guest rusticmonk86

My signature is a poem called "Resum?" which was written by Dorothy Parker. She was a very influential poet and short-story writer in the fifties.

As for the narrators, no, Jacob isn't one of them.

The narrator is, however very cynical and anonymous. Thanks for noticing. He also doesn't show much emotion at all (which is something that I'm working on developing with the new additions I'm writing.)

--Gabe

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Guest rusticmonk86

Hey All:

It's Gabe again. I've been working on Beer and Camping. It was missing something, I know. So I added an informative prologue. I hope you all like it. A sequel seems to be on the way.

Satorically Yours,

Gabriel Duncan

P.S.

Read some Dorothy Parker, you'll have such a new outlook on life. *ear wiggles*

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Guest rusticmonk86

Okay, the prologue didn't really help things . . . .

I dunno. I'm working on this a bit more right now and the story is going to change a little . . . . I'll let you know when it's finished.

It is getting quite a bit longer. And I'm filling out more details.

Oh yeah, and the narrator is a little more connected to the story now.

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Okay, the prologue didn't really help things . . . .  

I dunno.  I'm working on this a bit more right now and the story is going to change a little . . . .   I'll let you know when it's finished.

It is getting quite a bit longer.  And I'm filling out more details.

Oh yeah, and the narrator is a little more connected to the story now.

Two years to admit someone else has a bigger hiatus.

(I feel your writer's block, really.)

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hiatus?  did someone say hiatus?

you're confusing me wbms, two years?

You made this post:

PostPosted: Tue 05 Oct 2004 07:38 Post subject: A NEW Beer and Camping

Then not another post for two more years:

Posted: Sun 13 Aug 2006 17:20 Post subject:

That is a two year hiatus if I ever saw one. Now that I have enlightened your confusion, do you feel better. Or do I need to give you a hot oil massage too?

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