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methodwriter85

[Jwolf] The English Year

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Great start there. You really do a great job at capturing the ennui of college, and the way people talk to each other.

 

I was kinda surprised you went to ODU- I was a UD guy, and we play you guys in football. I'm not sure I'd say we were rivals, though- UD was more rivals with Villanova.

 

And because old habits die hard:

 

In terms of time frame, the list (and the english year) took place in the mid 2000s. The funny thing is... Is supposed to have taken place in the abstract future. Hope that helps.

The List took place during the 2010-2011 school year. The Funny Thing Is was set around 2032- twenty years after Chase left Cooper to take part in the 2012 London Olympics. I'm assuming that The English Year takes place during the 2008-2009 school year.

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Hey! Thanks for starting the thread. I didn't go to ODU, just a school way too much like it. The one I'm painting here is completely fictitious though, although I might go ahead and steal that DU rivalry. We'll see. Anyway, thanks for the time check. I knew someone would come in with something more precise, which works, because I was writing this with an 07-08 mindset.

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VCU or UVA? And it's not DU- it's UD.

 

As for the '07-'08 time period...I wonder if they're all going to dance around to this at some point:

 

 

2007 to 2009 was probably the height of my college partying era. After '09, most of my college party friends graduated, and my only friend still around who was over 21 didn't really want to do much except hit a bar or drink in his dorm, so I didn't rage as much.

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And you're totally right, year wise. The English Year would run from 2008 to 2009. I'm thinking Paper Planes is a little late... but Single Ladies... now that was the JAM!!

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Paper Planes had a very long shelf-life, at least in Delaware. I was hearing it in clubs regularly up until 2009-2010. Anyway, I was thinking in terms of it being the 2007-2008 school year, but if we're rolling with 2008-2009...

 

This is my jam from that time:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=mja2A4FI2J8

 

The lead guy was so, so hot.

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So, wait...is there any realism to this story, or is it complete fiction like the others? Because so far, the "Creative Non-Fic" and "autobiography" tags are the only things suggesting that there's any "this really happened" to this story. :P Everything else seems so wrapped up in fiction that it seems like it's just two steps away from being just another fictitious story.

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That's a good question, and I'm glad you asked it. This story, like The List, is based on events that actually happened. With The List, I took a bunch of creative turns, but the majority of the hook-ups and portions of the relationships were pulled from my four years in school... I'll also add that everything that happened in The List didn't necessarily happen to me or in that order, as I did pull a couple of scenarios from things my friends experienced.

 

With The English Year, I'm following a very specific linear portion of time. The events that you're- hopefully- going to follow actually happened to me, in that order. Now, conversations, specifics, dialogue... that's all dramatized because I'm not a savant with photographic memory. My only goal is to caputre the spirit of my feelings over that period of time. In my opinion, that's enough to go with the creative non-fiction tag.

 

It's super random that you posted this question just now, because I was literally having this conversation with my Beta reader like twenty seconds before I read the question. We pretty much came to the conclusion that certain changes for dramatic effect won't alter the overall story. So there's that...

Edited by Jwolf

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My advice for reading stories like this is to do so for entertainment purposes rather than as an autobiography of some kind. There will be some fiction but there will also be a generous amount of fact and like the author said, the goal was just to capture the essence of that period of time in his life and tell a good story by it. If you're keen on separating fact vs fiction, it may be difficult to do so. But if realism is a concern or maybe even a turn on, just rest in the know that most of it will be based on true events. (hopefully) (I wouldn't really know, I'm not Corbin :))

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That's a good question, and I'm glad you asked it. This story, like The List, is based on events that actually happened. With The List, I took a bunch of creative turns, but the majority of the hook-ups and portions of the relationships were pulled from my four years in school... I'll also add that everything that happened in The List didn't necessarily happen to me or in that order, as I did pull a couple of scenarios from things my friends experienced.

:o How did I miss the "Creative Non-Fic" tag on The List? Of course, now I'm going to be wondering about some of those hook-ups... 0:):whistle:

 

With The English Year, I'm following a very specific linear portion of time. The events that you're- hopefully- going to follow actually happened to me, in that order. Now, conversations, specifics, dialogue... that's all dramatized because I'm not a savant with photographic memory. My only goal is to caputre the spirit of my feelings over that period of time. In my opinion, that's enough to go with the creative non-fiction tag.

Yeah...I wouldn't have expected that you'd remember every little detail like that. :P But, I have a much better sense of the "autobiographical" aspect of it now. :) I was sort of unsure about that after reading the chapter, but given what you've said here, I can see this now as autobiographical in spirit if not to-the-letter (which isn't possible for you to do).

 

It's super random that you posted this question just now, because I was literally having this conversation with my Beta reader like twenty seconds before I read the question.

Ha! :lmao:

 

 

 

P.S. If you haven't read Shane Windmeyer's Brotherhood: Gay Life in College Fraternities, I strongly recommend doing so. I'm recommending it to both you and Yang. It's a collection of accounts of experiences of other gay men in fraternities. :)

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My advice for reading stories like this is to do so for entertainment purposes rather than as an autobiography of some kind. There will be some fiction but there will also be a generous amount of fact and like the author said, the goal was just to capture the essence of that period of time in his life and tell a good story by it. If you're keen on separating fact vs fiction, it may be difficult to do so. But if realism is a concern or maybe even a turn on, just rest in the know that most of it will be based on true events. (hopefully) (I wouldn't really know, I'm not Corbin Posted Image)

 

I've come across several stories on Nifty where in the disclaimer, the author says something to the effect of the story having some true events and some not, and the author makes no effort whatsoever to distinguish between the two. So...that sort of thing is probably where I wasn't so sure over the "autobio" aspect here.

 

I will admit to being a stickler about that, only because I really don't want to read something purported to be true that's really a steaming pile of BS. Posted Image I say that as a general thing, rather than referring to any one story.

Edited by MJ85
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P.S. If you haven't read Shane Windmeyer's Brotherhood: Gay Life in College Fraternities, I strongly recommend doing so. I'm recommending it to both you and Yang. It's a collection of accounts of experiences of other gay men in fraternities. Posted Image

 

I'm going to have to pass, at least for now. As if The English Year isn't already driving me up the wall with nostalgia and maybe even a little bit of envy lol and besides that book costs $15.95...that's like 2 packs of wine coolers...beer

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I read it back when I was a freshman in college. It's not a bad read, but it's more along the lines of "I was in a frat and I was persecuted for being gay" instead of "I was in a frat and no one cared." If you want to get an idea of what life was like for guys in frats back in the 1990's and early 00's, go for it, but from what I understand, YB and JWolf won't really relate. It's not a nostalgic look back at all.

Edited by methodwriter85

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Hey folks! Just a head's up... Chapter 2 is posted :) You can find it here. As usual, let me know what you think after you read it!

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Once this is all over...would you be willing to separate what did happen that year versus what got embellished for this story? I know that's probably asking a lot, but...I'm sensing a lot of drama-filled stupidity from Corbin ahead, and, well...I'd like to think you weren't also out there making all those mistakes along the way, too. :P

 

P.S. On the subject of drama-filled stupidity...I thought Funny Thing Is was over and done with. :P This is going to feel like a re-hash if there's a lot of Corbin making stupid mistakes and just letting himself get stepped on ahead. :/ The situations are very different, yes, but I can't help but feel that "here we go again..." vibe.

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Hey MJ! I'd be glad to separate any fact from fiction for you. To be honest, the only embellishments so far are in the details... nothing that would change the plot in any way. IM if you have any specific questions on any areas, and I'd be glad to offer some expansion.

 

As for the character, I'm not sure I can promise what your reaction to him is going to be moving forward. Seeing as to both Cooper and Corbin (no intention on that similarity...) were based on me in college, I'm thinking there may be some similarities. However, I'd like to think I learned a thing or two between freshman and junior years. Who knows? Maybe not. We'll just have to wait and see. Glad you're along for the journey.

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(Null)

Edited by MJ85

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I may just have to take you up on that, because I probably wouldn't be able to notice what events are totally (or mostly) fake without you saying so. Accordingly, I'd probably think there is/was that much more to the plot than there really is.

 

Fact is, though, Funny Thing Is wore me out by the end with Cooper's letting himself get stepped on forming much of the drama there. :/ I don't see that Cooper as being based on you so much, because that story's totally fiction. (Well...that, and he's middle-age in that story. :P) So...I guess with Corbin, I wonder if that's really what happened with you, or if it's that that's where you're going with him here.

 

NOTE: I do kind of think of Cooper in The List, and Cooper in Funny Thing Is, as two separate entities. One, Funny Thing Is is fiction, while The List is truth-based. Two, there's not as much of Cooper letting himself get stepped on in The List, as there is in Funny Thing Is.

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Yeah, I guess that'll be the difference here. I don't expect any of Corbin's actions to come across as quite a big surprise. He is your typical college guy faced with a fairly typical college situation. I'm sure he'll make mistakes alng the way, but to me, thats what makes protagonists interesting. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "stepped on" , but I'm assuming its like being beaten down, misfortunate maybe... In that case, I don't think you'll be disappointed. There won't be any child loss in this one... :)

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I've decided that Corbin Crowley looks like this:

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

A cute guy with innocent, boy-next-door looks that belies his bed-hopping ways. I don't get the vibe that Corbin is a stud-monkey Abercrombie model type- more like a cute guy with a trim body that uses his charm to get the guys in bed. And I can so see Cayden Boyd as a frat guy. (In case you're not familiar, he was a child actor known for his appearances on Cold Case and Shark Boy and Lava Girl.)

 

Anyway, I liked reading about what the dynamics at OD were like, because they were pretty different at UD. At UD, Greek Life was only about 15 to 18 percent of campus life owing to two factors- girls were like 60 percent of the campus so the odds were in guy's favor to get laid without needing a frat, and UD never hesitated to kick off a frat for misconduct, so it wasn't like their parties were even that good. The third factor was that a lot of people had either huge apartments at University Courtyard or houses with big backyards and basements where they could throw big parties, so my campus was pretty GDI when I was there.

 

Probably my favorite GDI party when I was there...Skidfest:

 

 

The school built a bookstore next to where they threw Skidfest and basically they can't get permits to throw this event anymore, luckily the last one was held for the spring of my senior year. It was so chill. It was a charity music event that the people of this group of row houses held twice every year, from 1990 to 2010. I went in 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

 

I think fall 2008 was the one where I hung out with my friend Dan, found a bowl, and smoked a bag of sage just to see if anything would happen. Or that might have been fall 2009.

 

Another fun bit was the stuff about the dorm counselor. My friend Steve was an R.A., and to say that he didn't have boundaries junior year would be putting it mildly. With the guys he'd get high with them while driving around, and he had a threesome with two of his freshman resident girls. Only he never got caught. The second year he calmed down, but that was more about the fact that his residents that year were pretty lame.

Edited by methodwriter85

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Anyway, I liked reading about what the dynamics at OD were like, because they were pretty different at UD. At UD, Greek Life was only about 15 to 18 percent of campus life owing to two factors

 

You overlooked the fact that UD is a mid-sized school with around 20k undergrads, so it wouldn't make sense for there to be more than 15-18%.

 

I'd like to point out a quick but necessary fact to keep in mind, and it's that Old Dominion in The English Year is largely a fictitious school and is not meant to resemble the actual OD out there...for perspective purposes...in case you are actually familiar with the real one. I think JWolf briefly mentioned this above. The fact that the student population at OD in the story is practically fully Greek implies a very specific size and culture to the school that can be very different from larger universities, namely the actual OD (and also UD, Methodwriter). I think if you can wrap your minds around the idea of a smaller campus with a more intimate and personable atmosphere, it may provide for a better perspective on the story.

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Nice pick for Corbin, Method...I had a similar feeling.

 

Cayden Boyd even looks like a Corbin, doesn't he?

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The fact that the student population at OD in the story is practically fully Greek implies a very specific size and culture to the school that can be very different from larger universities, namely the actual OD (and also UD, Methodwriter). I think if you can wrap your minds around the idea of a smaller campus with a more intimate and personable atmosphere, it may provide for a better perspective on the story.

 

I went to a smaller campus for school...only the student population where I was wasn't even close to fully Greek. Posted Image The rest, yes - I definitely get the idea. Posted Image

Edited by MJ85

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Yb is right. I probably should have googled to see if old dominion was a real place, which it is. I woul totally give the name of te actual school this all went down in, but it was such a small campus, I feel like it would defeat the purpose of hidin everyone's identity. When I get to an actual computer, I'll break down the dynamics of the school I'm creating for the purpose of the story. Sorry if that causes any confusion.

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I've always wondered what it would've been like to go to a smaller school. Being one of 50k at my alma mater really makes everybody a dime a dozen. Even if you're somebody, you're nobody. In a way I do envy the idea of being in a close-knit kinda school.

 

But I wouldn't pick it over what I had. I did rather enjoy myself at UT. Can't imagine Saturdays in the fall without tailgating in a sea of fans and then crowding into the stadium. I think we hit record attendance last year during the game with Rice with 102k people.

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Yb is right. I probably should have googled to see if old dominion was a real place, which it is. I woul totally give the name of te actual school this all went down in, but it was such a small campus, I feel like it would defeat the purpose of hidin everyone's identity. When I get to an actual computer, I'll break down the dynamics of the school I'm creating for the purpose of the story. Sorry if that causes any confusion.

 

For what it's worth...what are the odds that anyone else from your school would actually turn up here? :P:whistle:

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