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Krista is currently publishing a story call The Best Year, if you're interested in reading it, you can read it here.

 

I thought I might as well start a real time discussion forum if you feel inclined to comment on the story.

 

Being that I look over the chapters ahead of time, I will be limited to what I can say as I don't want to be the spoiler person. But I do like when people try to guess what is going to happen from what has happened. I can guarantee that I'm doing it right now.

 

Right now I am actually no further ahead than any of you in reading, and there is something that is frustrating the hell out of me. Krista in her coyness is not being forthright and leaving it up to all of us to figure it out on our own.

 

 

Here is the question; Is this a gay story? It has the makings of a gay story, but has she really indicated that Luke or Jackson are gay? So far there hasn't been anything 'gay' in the story that I've seen, but have you seen something in it that I missed? I'm sure it is a gay story in the fact that Krista is publishing it here, but lets say it is, who do you think is gay? Luke? Jackson? Both, neither, different category/label?

 

Curious what everyone else thinks :P

 

I also feel this is some of Krista's best writing. I too am looking for more ;)

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When I sit down and think about a story, I think about what I want out of a character first. If the character continues to stick with me, I add to them. What they like, dislike, what drives them to do what they do. If they survive that, then I may start writing about them a bit. :P So I never really set out with the idea, but the character and I let the story around that character shape itself based on him or her. We've talked about what sort of story this may become, I have swayed from that, went back to it, etc. :)

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Mmmm. Interesting topic.

 

I was just rereading this story, which for some reason is gripping me, and wondering the same subject! What the hell is gay about this story!

 

Well, I've decided that Luke is probably gay, but I do think Jackson is straight, based on current evidence.... Though who knows what could come out in the future, and bite my ass! Though if it's Jackson, I won't complain!

 

I don't think I've read anything by Krista before, but based in this story I'm not sure I would read anything else of hers.

 

I do come to GA to read quality gay stories... And based on current well written evidence her stories are not that gay!

 

It IS well written, with very believable characters, and I AM enjoying it, but somehow it does not fit on this site. My 2c!

Edited by Cris L
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Sometimes stories don't reveal who's gay early on, or possibly even ever. I personally have one short story where one of the characters is gay, but somehow that fact never got into the story itself -- the situation that the character found themselves in didn't lead itself to revealing their sexuality.

 

Now, I personally like romances, so if a story is a romance, I want it to be a gay romance...which is really difficult if no one comes out :P But I'm also happy with stories where characters don't come out immediately, and even that the readers don't know who is gay from the start. Coming out stories can be just as powerful when they're a surprise.

 

I haven't started reading The Best Year yet because I prefer to read completed stories, but it's on my list to read when I get a chance.

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Mmmm. Interesting topic.

 

I was just rereading this story, which for some reason is gripping me, and wondering the same subject! What the hell is gay about this story!

 

Well, I've decided that Luke is probably gay, but I do think Jackson is straight, based on current evidence.... Though who knows what could come out in the future, and bite my ass! Though if it's Jackson, I won't complain!

 

I don't think I've read anything by Krista before, but based in this story I'm not sure I would read anything else of hers.

 

I do come to GA to read quality gay stories... And based on current well written evidence her stories are not that gay!

 

It IS well written, with very believable characters, and I AM enjoying it, but somehow it does not fit on this site. My 2c!

 

This story is one that I've attempted to write in the past.. err Character story. I got really ahead of myself with it back in my earlier writings, so I ended up deleting it. I am taking it a lot slower and really diving into Jackson as a character. I went in wanting people to wonder about him, what makes him tick, etc. So, for now there isn't a lot of sexuality with any character here. Jackson has never really let anyone see him deeper than face value, so that has to change first before we see what else he is underneath what we already know. 

 

As far as my other stories, they are definitely more m/m romance driven. This story will get there eventually too, so hopefully you stick with it! :D

 

Sometimes stories don't reveal who's gay early on, or possibly even ever. I personally have one short story where one of the characters is gay, but somehow that fact never got into the story itself -- the situation that the character found themselves in didn't lead itself to revealing their sexuality.

 

Now, I personally like romances, so if a story is a romance, I want it to be a gay romance...which is really difficult if no one comes out :P But I'm also happy with stories where characters don't come out immediately, and even that the readers don't know who is gay from the start. Coming out stories can be just as powerful when they're a surprise.

 

I haven't started reading The Best Year yet because I prefer to read completed stories, but it's on my list to read when I get a chance.

 

I like wondering about characters in stories that I read. If I think I know them from the beginning and it turns out that I do throughout, then I lose interest. So characters that lead me on their growth are the ones I stick with. :)

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Sometimes stories don't reveal who's gay early on, or possibly even ever. I personally have one short story where one of the characters is gay, but somehow that fact never got into the story itself -- the situation that the character found themselves in didn't lead itself to revealing their sexuality.

 

Now, I personally like romances, so if a story is a romance, I want it to be a gay romance...which is really difficult if no one comes out :P But I'm also happy with stories where characters don't come out immediately, and even that the readers don't know who is gay from the start. Coming out stories can be just as powerful when they're a surprise.

 

I haven't started reading The Best Year yet because I prefer to read completed stories, but it's on my list to read when I get a chance.

 

 

I am enjoying the story. Luke and Jackson are interesting regardless. :)

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Mmmm!

After that feedback, I'm definitely going to be finishing this story, though there is always the possibility it will never be finished...

Especially if I go completely mad and KILL Krista for keeping me waiting between chapters! Jwolf has pushed me to the edge...

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Mmmm!

After that feedback, I'm definitely going to be finishing this story, though there is always the possibility it will never be finished...

Especially if I go completely mad and KILL Krista for keeping me waiting between chapters! Jwolf has pushed me to the edge...

 

:P I'll try to behave and get them out in a timely manner. No promises though. :D

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LOL, you should have seen us while Krista was posting Standing in the Shadows. Now that's a story I can heartily recommend - and it's Complete too. and gay - eventually. So go read that while you wait. ;)

 

PS I'm tearin' my hair out over Jwolf's absence too.

Edited by Timothy M.
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Ah Standing In Shadows, Krista was working me to the bone back then, the slave driver she is :P

 

Started in in 2010 and finished in 2014. 46 months and 38 chapters. It was hard to keep up 0:)  Actual overall, that isn't bad, nearly one chapter per month. Not to mention she had her first child and then later on twins. You'd think she'd have lots of spare time for writing. Oh, and I think she bought a business in there too :P

 

Dont worry I'm on her like flies on poop :D on TBY 

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I have to agree with Tim and Cris about JWolf. So frustrating. But this thread is about Krista's story, so...I do agree that the gay aspect is certainly lacking. However, IMHO the story is well written, and I am enjoying it. I'm kinda p---d off at Jack's parents. His last year in school, his grades are excellent, he has a swimming scholarship, and they stifle him. I don't think anything he did was malicious or destructive, I think his parents are too caught up with churchy stuff, and should lighten up!!!

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Ah Standing In Shadows, Krista was working me to the bone back then, the slave driver she is :P

 

Started in in 2010 and finished in 2014. 46 months and 38 chapters. It was hard to keep up 0:)  Actual overall, that isn't bad, nearly one chapter per month. Not to mention she had her first child and then later on twins. You'd think she'd have lots of spare time for writing. Oh, and I think she bought a business in there too :P

 

Dont worry I'm on her like flies on poop :D on TBY 

 

You will get a beating for that poop comment, Steven. :P

 

As far as where TBY is going, I believe I'm finally getting into the more "meaty" chapters or I feel that I've finally built up enough story to get into them if I wanted to. Right now I'm trying to feel all the characters out and make them stand out on their own. I still have some of them to work with. Cindy, Jackson's friends, Jackson's father... have all been sparingly used and a couple of those become more central within the story for sure, so I need to progress the story and work them in as well. :D

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I'm probably going to regret it (because now I have to wait for the upcoming chapters with the rest of you), but I've just read up to the current chapter (chapter 11). Is anyone else worried that Jackson is going to lose his scholarship? His coach make a pretty clear statement that the college could take it away, and if his current times are 2 seconds off his best and the college wasn't really that happy in the first place, then... :unsure2:

 

I don't really understand the timings with the American system, so if he loses his swimming scholarship partway through his senior year, is he able to apply for academic scholarships, or will it be too late? I can just see the effect that will have on his parents -- the punishment they imposed meaning the loss of his college scholarship and possibly his ability to go to college at all (at least that year).

 

Of course, the focus of the story is (hopefully) going to be on Luke and Jackson, but I see some potential foreshadowing there that could be a bump along their journey.

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I'm probably going to regret it (because now I have to wait for the upcoming chapters with the rest of you), but I've just read up to the current chapter (chapter 11). Is anyone else worried that Jackson is going to lose his scholarship? His coach make a pretty clear statement that the college could take it away, and if his current times are 2 seconds off his best and the college wasn't really that happy in the first place, then... :unsure2:

 

I don't really understand the timings with the American system, so if he loses his swimming scholarship partway through his senior year, is he able to apply for academic scholarships, or will it be too late? I can just see the effect that will have on his parents -- the punishment they imposed meaning the loss of his college scholarship and possibly his ability to go to college at all (at least that year).

 

Of course, the focus of the story is (hopefully) going to be on Luke and Jackson, but I see some potential foreshadowing there that could be a bump along their journey.

 

 

Hi Graeme! :D Thanks for reading. I will try to be good and get some chapters posted a bit more regularly. I'm on vacation for the next two weeks (newbie in the office, so I get the worst two weeks off out of everyone). Since it has been cold and rainy - looks like that rainy trend continues as well. I'll likely be stuck in the house and I can only do so much before I go crazy, writing may become a welcome distraction.

 

Anyway, thinking back two seconds is a massive drop in time. I probably should have knocked that down a bit, he would most definitely lose scholarships for losing that amount of time on his best times. As far as that goes though, you'll have to wait and see. ;) It is safe to say that Jackson's plate has just become a lot more full... lol. The way I see this story (since I've seen nothing but storm clouds lately) is that we've all been waiting patiently for the impending rain to start and with chapter 11.. the clouds finally broke. :P 

 

It would depend on when they pull his scholarship on whether or not he can arrange for financial aid and such. He definitely still has time to get academic scholarships and based on what I've said about his grades/school work he was at least a good boy and did all his homework. lol. Here Seniors usually take the ACT/SAT's during their Senior year. They usually offer the tests a couple of times that year and during the summer, but if you want the best chance at scholarships the earlier you take it, the better. Now it is really common for 10 - 12th graders to take them, they offer a lot of practice tests to help get the best possible score.

 

So... depending on if/when he hits a road block with his swimming is whether or not that particular problem would arise.

 

I don't want this story to be.. too angst driven, but that can always change as I progress the story. :)

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She just posted a very lengthy, but very good chapter :D

 

Chapter 12

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It's interesting how different I see chapter 12 to most of the other readers. Forget about Jackson's mom, that's not the important part. I noticed spikey felt Jackson was falling into his familiar pattern and wasn'l going anywhere. I had the exact opposite feeling. Oh, I agree about the pattern, but I thought it was a natural thing for him to do. You have to recognize a negative tendency and want to change it to break out of the mold.

To me Jackson's awareness and development showed in the thoughts he was having. He noticed wanting to be with Luke, yet fearing their ability to hide the momentous event of last night. The immature behavior of his best friends irritated him, and he reacted by withdrawing from their banter, enough to make them notice. He thought about Luke and recognized how different he felt about him compared to his girlfriend. He even wondered about never having thought about being attracted to a guy, and what would happen if people found out.

But the most significant thought showing Jackson is beginning to mature was this one  At least until I was calm enough to figure out my next move. I have never been like this, I usually just did whatever popped into my head at the time. That is what got me into this mess in the first place.

 

As for Luke, Jackson can easily explain why he was AWOL from the park work. All he has to say is something like: "I worried about us meeting in front of your mom, because I knew I wanted to kiss you and hug you, and I was scared I couldn't hide how I felt."

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I'm thinking that maybe the mixed reviews for this chapters, was in correlation with the fact that I left Luke and Jackon on a cliff hanger and didn't address it in the next. Instead of sort of pulled the reins back and took a slightly different direction. I thought it was a plausible reaction for Jackson, that is why I went with it. lol. I did TWO re-writes to this chapter. The dialog in the middle where the friends were just coming into his room (err out of his closet), got really choppy and such, so I went back and re-wrote that part. Then I re-wrote the ending as well. It got 'really' long. I meant to have a more in-depth interaction between Jack and Luke in this chapter at the end, but it was 15 pages and 7k and I thought I could really nail the scene down better at the beginning of chapter 13. :)

 

Jackson's growth isn't always straight forward.. growth isn't easy. Especially for someone so young and already pretty stuck and happy with who he is... sometimes it takes a Luke to get under the skin enough to maybe realize there's more to offer than just what is well inside his tunnel vision. :D 

 

I hope that explains a wee bit of where my head went with this chapter. I like the chapter, I hope y'all did as well. I certainly liked the reviews and appreciated them all. :D I like that there were a distinct difference between each review as well. 

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Krista, I think you'll notice that the reviews all concentrate on Jackson's behaviour, and no one appears to think it was unrealistic -- merely not what many readers thought he should be doing. I have no problems with you writing what you did -- the problems are with Jackson himself, not you :D Since I'm one of those that thinks he went with his friends to avoid being outed because he wouldn't be able to help himself with Luke being at that park, I found his behaviour perfectly understandable.

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Krista, I think you'll notice that the reviews all concentrate on Jackson's behaviour, and no one appears to think it was unrealistic -- merely not what many readers thought he should be doing. I have no problems with you writing what you did -- the problems are with Jackson himself, not you :D Since I'm one of those that thinks he went with his friends to avoid being outed because he wouldn't be able to help himself with Luke being at that park, I found his behaviour perfectly understandable.

 

I hope I didn't leave the impression in my earlier post that I was annoyed. I 'liked' these varied reviews. I want there to be some sort of discussion and reaction on what Jackson is doing from chapter to chapter. I thought it was very plausible for him to jump at the chance to run away and avoid the park with his friends on the river. I likely would have done the same thing.. :D He is a character that I have very much enjoyed writing, because he isn't a over all good guy - or an irredeemable butt. (Or at least not yet) lol. 

 

I've written the good guy next door stories before. Jackson is a break from those molds. The problems I had with this chapter.. is I went into it thinking that I 'wanted' readers to like Jackson's friends. So much so that I pushed the dialog and all of that. When I decided that it didn't matter whether readers liked them or not or that they would either like them and think they're genuine.. or completely dislike them and see them as Jackson's crutch and easy path back to... the easy path. The chapter, and really the story became easier for me to think about. Same with Grace his mother. I had a difficult time dealing with her negative feedback, because in my 'own' mind she was doing what she could to keep Jackson out of trouble, but when I decided that I will write her as I want, and whether or not she is liked, shouldn't be my worry.

 

It is funny... that I have never been worried if people will like Jackson and was very much afraid when there wasn't positive responses towards Grace and Jackson's friends. lol. He is the main character after all... he 'is' the story. :P

 

But anyway. I honestly think I have those worries sorted out. They will be who they are within the story and y'all can decided whether you like them or not. :D It will make it all the more fun for me to write them if I keep that state of mind. 

Edited by Krista
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It is funny... that I have never been worried if people will like Jackson and was very much afraid when there wasn't positive responses towards Grace and Jackson's friends. lol. He is the main character after all... he 'is' the story. :P

 

But anyway. I honestly think I have those worries sorted out. They will be who they are within the story and y'all can decided whether you like them or not. :D It will make it all the more fun for me to write them if I keep that state of mind. 

 

Well, I'm having lots of fun ranting over Grace, so I'm glad you didn't try to make her likable. :lol:

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It is funny... that I have never been worried if people will like Jackson and was very much afraid when there wasn't positive responses towards Grace and Jackson's friends. lol. He is the main character after all... he 'is' the story. :P

You're not going to get an argument from me. In my first novel, the protagonist was a homophobic straight guy...and I had readers on his side against the gay guy in the story. :rolleyes:

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So far y'all have been treated to, not one, but two, bonus chapters - one posted and one coming very soon... lol. When I say bonus, I mean chapters that I didn't really intend to write. I have been going really long in some of my scenes in this story, so much so that by the time I get to the true meat of the chapter, I'm already nearing my 5k/10 page mark that I like to keep in my chapters.

 

I could definitely have went on and completed the entire plan I had for the chapter... like instead of just having A + B.. have A + B and C. That would mean a very loaded chapter, page-wise and word-wise. The organizer in me likes to have a bit of uniformity in chapter length though, so that's why I have rounded out chapters and withheld big scenes.

 

For example... I wanted to have the "Night talk" included with the "Down the River" chapter, but the "down the river" parts were really long and it changed the entire theme and flow of the story, so much so that I didn't feel like something as heavy as the "Night scene" between Luke and Jackson would have been appropriate and needed to stand on its own a bit more...

 

This happened again in chapter 14, the "First Day at School," scene took too long and changed the theme of the entire chapter. It set up a lot of things, so the chapters do have their place... but like I said, the "Big moment" in both chapters were left off the table and like last time, the "meat" will now become the "meat" of the next chapter.

 

I know I sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not.. lol. I'm just wondering.. if I think Chapter 12 and Chapter 14 weren't really needed.. and maybe in the larger scale of things, if say, I were to send it to a publisher, they would have just told me to cut them down four chapters down into two? Like they weren't err necessarily, necessary? lol. 

 

Anywho, y'all will hate me for this, but I planned a HUGE twist in the ending/closing parts on Chapter 14 and didn't get to them because of the sort of flow and theme change along with the length and word count I already racked up while writing.. lol. So you're getting the "Twist" in a "bonus" chapter of sorts and hopefully I can really make it stand alone and pull it off.. I think if I went on with either of the content in those chapters, I wouldn't really be able to focus on them and make them the scenes that I want, which I do think is more important than chapter and word count in the end.

 

Soo! You guys can hate me and speculate on the twist and give me your insights on... cutting way down some scenes/re-working chapters to fit these big 'planned' scenes in vs. just writing a stand-alone chapter for them.

 

Yeah, I'll end it there. :D Happy reading, I hope y'all are enjoying the story! I'm still having fun writing it. 

Edited by Krista
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The story is still flowing, it's still progressing. I'd have to see the complete novel (hint, hint) before I could make a judgement call, but so far I don't see anything that should be cut.

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The story is still flowing, it's still progressing. I'd have to see the complete novel (hint, hint) before I could make a judgement call, but so far I don't see anything that should be cut.

 

Thanks Graeme! :D I have no plans of publishing this or anything I've written - but that was the best scenario that came to mind when thinking about massive edits and such.

 

I'll probably start the next chapter here in a couple of minutes... there's a certain Canadian Admin trying his best to get choked lifeless about the next chapter... :P So be sure to thank him if I get the writing finished for it soon.. lol. 

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Damn.. I think I just finished The Best Year. I'm going to call it, "The Best Year Part One," for now. 

 

Hopefully after Part 2 gets started, I will totally have faith restored? If I lose your faith in me that is.. lol. 

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