So, in honor of the title, and the general theme of Rob's story, Noah's New Plan, I decided to do something a little different this month for the review of the Signature Feature story. Instead of one reviewer giving us their take on the story, I asked a series of readers the same questions and asked them to pick a few to answer (and some picked all of them, lol). I hope you'll enjoy this new feature format, and don't forget to download your copy of the signature background for this month if you haven't yet! Plus for Wednesday's feature I asked Rob a few questions to answer about the story too!
Noah's New Plan
What was your original impression of Eli: The same as Noah's, based on his description, or were you into his rugged looks from the beginning?
Mann Ramblings: I was into Eli from the start. Rob has some eerie psychic connection to my preferences for top characters. I've yet to find one I didn't want to push the bottom aside and steal for myself.
Clochette: I was not really into Eli's looks and as the story is being told from Noah point of view, even if it's not at the first person, my view of Eli was obviously a bit influence by how Noah was seeing/describing him (a big bald man with a beard and a gun at his hip).
So, yes Eli not looking like the type of person you imagine walking into a library every day, even could pass as kinda scary my thoughts were "What is he doing here? what could he possibly want? is he going to be troubles for Noah (for who I already had a soft spot)?"
Valkyrie: A man in a wet uniform clinging to his bulging muscles, with a beard and tattoos...what's not to like?
Noah and Eli's first "not-a-date" was pretty awkward at first and then smoothed out when they started to talk honestly. Did you relate to that scene in any particular way? Did it make you enjoy the chapter more?
Timothy M: To be honest most of that chapter made me cringe. But I did laugh about Eli’s backwards compliment on Noah looking young. And Eli was quick to understand ‘what a prick’ Noah’s ex is.
Headstall: I loved the 'not a date' scene, especially when Noah actually laughed out loud at the thought of having cake with ice cream. I think that revealed a helluva lot to Eli. When Eli took it upon himself to order chocolate cake a la mode--with two forks--I was all in. It was amusing that Noah thought of this date as practice for a real one. So naive lol. I fooled myself the same way one time as well, so I did relate. Sometimes we don't see it coming... and in Noah's case, Eli sneaked (I want to use 'snuck', but the red lines, you know) up on him without our librarian realizing it.
Noah jumped from a prudish, quiet book-lover to geek chic wildman in bed. How believable was that transition over the course of the story?
Puppilull: I didn't find his transformation strange at all. He went from a relationship where his partner liked an idea of him that wasn't really Noah. When Eli set him free so to speak and actually loved Noah, his true self could come out. No fear of not being loved or respected.
Headstall: I didn't look at Noah as having a transformation as a lover, so much as he was finally with a partner that let him be his true self. He wasn't restricted anymore by what Derek considered acceptable or proper. For me, his sexual development with Eli rang true at every step. I loved that he was able to finally ask for what he wanted. We saw the real Noah rising (no pun intended) when he said to Eli, "That sounds like a challenge. I do love a challenge." Another 'nutshell' moment, I think.
Did you have a favorite chapter or scene? Why did you like it?
Mann Ramblings: My favorite was the scene where Derek interrupts Eli and Noah after sex and Noah holds him at gunpoint before shaming Derek's lack of familiarity with Eli's pleasure noises. I think Derek is the perfect example of every shady, slimy guy I've ever met. Watching him fail to gain the upper hand is balm to my soul.
Timothy M: Apart from all the hilarious scenes with Noah’s coworkers, and the moment where
I think my favorite scene may be in ch. 18:
Derek's face went red and he pointed his finger at Noah's face. "I don't want you seeing him!"
"Well, I didn't want you screwing what's-his-face while we were still together. I guess neither of us gets what we want."
I enjoyed seeing Noah not only stand up to Derek, but to put him in his place with a few sarcastic sentences. Just perfect. I like shy, but intelligent guys with a dry wit.
Headstall: Favorite scene or chapter? Too difficult to pick only one, but I will say one of my favorite chapters was Chapter 6. Possibly the best line in the whole story was in the scene with the cab driver. "Like he was going to take advice from a woman in a mullet." I laughed my ass off because this was so Noah at that point. I went from laughing to feeling sad for Noah when he took her advice and went to 'Rainbow' instead of 'The Buckle'. The harsh reality of the twink bar made me feel so sorry for our hero.
When he got up the nerve to go to 'The Buckle', I mentally cheered, and when Eli told Crane, the pushy muscle/bear guy to "get his hands off his boy", I cheered again.
Another note: In Chapter 7, when they kissed for the first time at the door check at 'Buckle', and Noah waved a guy through, saying "You're good", I thought it captured the moment perfectly. It was hilarious, and nothing mattered but the kiss.
Did you like the posting style of flash chapters between 500 words and 1000, but a guaranteed update almost every week? Why or why not?
Puppilull: I know a lot of people complain about short chapters like these (I might have done that myself on occasion...), but to get updates at such regular intervals and so often make up for that. I find it more annoying to wait months and months for an update of a story I like, even if I truly understand that inspiration and time are sometimes rare commodities for writers.
A particularly greedy reader could exercise restraint and "collect" a few chapters and read every other week. But that would mean putting a leash on your curiosity....
Valkyrie: Yes. This was the first story I read that's a part of the Wednesday Briefers, and I am currently following two more. I like the frequent updates. The short chapters, while frustrating at times, allow the author to convey a lot of information in few words. It's a great exercise in creativity, and difficult to do well.
Where would you like to see Noah and Eli's story go from the ending?
Clochette: The story ended with the two of them living together happily, so maybe seeing what kind of life they build for themselves after that would be nice.
But we already had a happy ending so for me it was a good ending for the story.
Timothy M: Normally I’m all for sequels and ‘More!’ but in this case I think the story ended at the right place.