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jkwsquirrel

W.a.r. By Jeff Wilson (Jkwsquirrel)

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So this whole forum thing is still new to me, but I do love some reader interaction so I guess I'll jump into the water and see what happens!

 

So this is a discussion thread about the story W.A.R., which is currently in production.  The story will be six "books" total when it is complete.  It's not a war story, the title is the initials of the main character William Aaron Roberts, an idea which I stole from the movie L.I.E. way back when I first started writing back in the Dark Ages.  Some readers told me they avoided the story because they didn't want to read a story about war when we were in the midst of the whole Afghanistan and Iraq mess back in the early 2000's.  But the only war going on is in the hearts and minds of the characters.

 

So feel free to comment, vent, ask questions, or anything else that comes to mind. 

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Well, I finished up the first part of WAR, Black Summer.  It was a lot of fun, and I'm glad there was some response to it.

 

When I first wrote it, I didn't know quite what I was doing.  I'd read a lot of stories on nifty and frankly most of them were trash.  I was drawn to the stories that were real stories and not just spank material.  I remember looking forward to reading the latest chapter of "New Kid in School" by Comicality and wanting to write something that was meaningful.  I wanted to make the "Best of Nifty" list.  I wanted to write the next "Working It Out."  But along the way I discovered that some of the most rewarding experiences were receiving emails from teens who would tell me, "I really relate to your story because I feel like Billy..."  or "This story helped me realize it's okay to be gay."  I always said that I wanted to write a story about a boy who happens to be gay, not a sex story.  I also discovered that "my story" becomes "our story."  WAR isn't just mine anymore.  Billy isn't just some kid in my head.  Other people care very deeply about a boy who exists because of imagination, a keyboard, and the internet; and that's really cool.

 

And so, if you happen to read this little note, buried in an obscure barely-read thread, I want to encourage you.  If you're thinking, "I want to write the next..." or "I wish there was a story that..."    Well, why not?  You never know whose life your story might impact.  Take the chance.  And enjoy the experience of bringing something that's in your head to life.  You'll never know what you can do until you try. 

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You've discovered one of the great pleasures in writing :) Yes, it's nice to receive the messages saying how much someone likes the story, but the real gems are those readers who tell you that the story has touched them, has helped them. Well done! :2thumbs:

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Please see my comment of The Long Way Home. The entire story to date is inspirational and so are each of the characters. Each chapter is just a delight to read. Thank you for such outstanding writing and character portrayal.      Arran

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So I just finished up Part Two of the story.  So far so good.  I do hope people enjoy what I write.  One of the best things about writing is creating characters and watching them play against each other, and then to see how people take sides.  Cold Winter set up the rivalry between Brett and Dustin which will have a major impact in the rest of the story.  They're both after the same thing, only one can win.  It's interesting to see people who support one or the other of my blue-eyed boys.  The story's not named WAR only because it's clever!  Will we have Team Brett and Team Dustin?

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OK,  I will jump in and say that I feel for Dustin but I am allied with team Brett.  When I was that age I had friends like Dustin but would have sold my soul to have a friend like Brett.  Jeff, please don't hurt my boys.  :)

 

R

 

Well not perminantly anyway.....

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Hi Jeff,

 

I read chapter two of Broken Boy last night and enjoyed the way Billy stood up to the situation at the end of the chapter (no spoiler here).  I eagerly await the next chapter.  I really want Dustins dad to get an education about being a father.....

Great work Jeff :) :)

 

R

 

Again, please don't hurt the boys  (to much) .

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I'm not going to hurt them, I'm just going to break them!  :D

 

Seriously though, it was a lot of fun writing this chapter.  Dustin's family is so screwed up.  Dustin's dad has only begun to make you angry.

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Great,  More sleepless nights while I worry and wait for the next chapter :whistle: .   Thanks for the heads up about Dustins dad.  It will give me more time to hone the knife to a fine edge for the quick removal of offending parts.....

 

R

 

P.S.

If you break them you have to fix them :).

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This story has me completely hooked! Poor Dustin just breaks my heart.  Highly recommend this series for any new readers!!

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All right Jeff, you just keep breaking them into smaller pieces ;).  Dustin is so desperate for any attention that he is making some VERY poor choices.  Billy is letting his fear and emotions cloud some of his reasoning.  Right now, only Brett is in the clear, thanks to being out of state :).  God help us when everyone is back in the same arena.

 

Anyway, GREAT STORY !!!!!  I can not praise you and your ability to twist emotions into and out of a story to much.  If I were closer to you I would track you down and hug you for the story then slap you for the pain you convey through your characters.  Then I would have to hug you again and ask you to keep doing it so well.  Wonderful creativity and style.

 

Hugs,

Rob

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Another very thought provoking chapter has been released.  Billy needs to smell the roses before he looses everything.  Please Jeff let him see the light :).

 

Rob

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We're at the halfway point of Part 3 - The Broken Boy.  I must say I've been thrilled with the response.  You readers are amazing!  Thanks for all the encouragement and love for the story.  I'm going to try to make Monday the day to drop new chapters.  I want to reward everyone's support!

 

So at the midway point we have some interesting developments.  Dustin seems to have pretty strong feelings for Billy, but Billy slammed the door in his face at one of the worst possible moments.  Dustin is desperate to find the love he doesn't receive at home.  Where will he seek it now that Billy's shut him down?  Billy's been having some trouble keeping his emotions in check, especially his anger.  He's much more sarcastic and grumpy in this part of the story.  Will he manage his temper or will it break him?  Will he be able to find a way to listen to his parents before it's too late?  And Brett's been out of town for most of the Broken Boy but he'll be back in a major way next chapter.  But even in his absence his presence has been felt throughout the story.  What is he planning for Billy upon his return?  Will he be able to be mature enough to deal with Billy's emotional baggage, or will he let his own issues get in the way of love?  And what in the world are people thinking about Brett engaging in some sort of illicit activity regarding Amanda and her boyfriend?  I simply don't know what you're all talking about.  Hey, what's that over there?  (Jeff throws a ninja gas bomb onto the floor and runs away in the confusion.)

 

One thing's for sure, it's going to get worse before it gets better, but I promise it will get better.  But as the title says, one of these boys will be broken by the end.

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Sorry Jeff, I can't like the above post :(.  I am an eternal romantic and seeing any of the boys broken hurts.  I will stick with you to the end with the hopes that broken can and will be fixed in the future.  Life is seldom easy.  Everyone had their demons and angels. With any luck, our group of players will be able to share the angels to fend off and exile the demons so all can be friends and family for each other.  Life is a lonely place for anyone hiding from themselves...

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I can feel something building with each new chapter.  I almost get nervous when a. Ew chapter is available wondering if this is the chapter where one of our boys is going to be hurt.  I hate the thought of it, but also realize it's part of growing up.  Hopefully they will just be bent, and not truly broken haha.

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Ok Jeff,

 

You are truly dirty, mean and rotten---and I love you for it :glomp: .  You made me very happy to find Billy and Brett finally moving forward. OK racing forward!!  I agree with Okiegrad above, things are building and beginning to look ominus for some of the members of your story.  I hope that Billy and Brett can continue to build their relationship AND find a way to help Dustin find courage and hapiness despite his A-hole father, bitch sister and whacked mother.  I have known some very disfunctional familys in real life, but you have painted a picture of disfunctional that deserves a place in The Museum of Modern Art.  I hope this is the beginning of the repair process, but knowing you I am still going to keep that knife mentioned above honed to a fine edge. (Rob begins shaving to test the edge  :pissed: .......)

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Ugh, I've been sick with a stomach bug since Saturday and only now am I starting to feel normal again.  The human body is not supposed to sound like a coffee machine!  But I wanted to say thanks guys for the thoughts and comments on the latest chapter.  I've been thrilled with the response to the story.  Of course we had the big moment in the last chapter of Billy and Brett making it official at long last.  Of course, that's not to say that it'll make things any easier for them.  Mwah ha ha ha ha!!!!!  But it was a milestone, and an important one at that.

 

One of the challenges of writing in the first person perspective of a 15 year old is that there are things that I have to show you that Billy is unaware of, either because he doesn't get it, or he choses not to believe it.  Everything you know about Billy and his world is because he's told it to you.  You know there's a big truck heading his way because he's given you enough details to know that something big is coming.  As a reader, you can see all the bigger picture that he can't see because he's living in the moment.  You can connect the dots, while Billy doesn't know there are dots at all, just a bunch of stuff that happens to him.  There is much that I would love to tell you that I can't because Billy is the story teller and he is not omniscient.  It's also hard because he's still got a lot of growing to do, and the events to come will shape him into the man he will be.  Billy is a work in progress.  He does really dumb things because he's not very mature at the moment.  He's learning, but it is a process.  For example, in this last chapter Billy is very phallocentric, isn't he? (In other words, obsessed with his dick.)  Brett's doing this intimate act of love and Billy's mind is all about what it means for himself and his penis, and then "oh yeah, guess I should do you too."  Is Billy self-centered, a bit egotistical, a little full of himself?  You're damn right he is!  He'll learn.  Life will knock him off his pedestal eventually.

 

It's stuff like this that makes writing fun for me.  I get to take you on a journey.  I get to be a grumpy, angsty, sarcastic teenage kid with a good heart and a quick temper for a while.  I treasure the trust you place in me to be your guide along the way.

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   So WAR has been going on for quite awhile now, and before that the first edition was a decade ago and I only recently discovered the "Blonde, Brunette, Redhead" trope.  I didn't realize there was such a thing!  Of course, the boys don't exactly stick to the stereotypes associated with their hair color.  Billy is the more fiery redhead, Brett the dumb blonde, and Dustin the level-headed brunette, but in the story Billy's the blonde, Dustin's the redhead, and Brett's the brunette.  Even though Billy does dumb things sometimes, I don't think he approaches "dumb blonde" territory.  I guess tropes are made to be broken.  I wonder what other tropes have weaseled their way into my story?

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So WAR has been going on for quite awhile now, and before that the first edition was a decade ago and I only recently discovered the "Blonde, Brunette, Redhead" trope.  I didn't realize there was such a thing!  Of course, the boys don't exactly stick to the stereotypes associated with their hair color.  Billy is the more fiery redhead, Brett the dumb blonde, and Dustin the level-headed brunette, but in the story Billy's the blonde, Dustin's the redhead, and Brett's the brunette.  Even though Billy does dumb things sometimes, I don't think he approaches "dumb blonde" territory.  I guess tropes are made to be broken.  I wonder what other tropes have weaseled their way into my story?

Well I do get vibes of a teen romance love triangle sometimes. But there's so much dysfunction with these boys it's hard to actually call it that.

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Oh Boy,  You have stired it up now!  No spoilers here, read the story and you will know of what I speak :).  Where will all this lead us?  I hope towards a peaceful and happy outcome.  So many issues, this place looks like a magazine rack :).  Anyway, Jeff keep up the great writing and help the boys to a more peaceful place....

Rob

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Alright, so everyone in the reviews was saying that as hard as their teen years were, they weren't as bad as Billy seems to be (however those who had to deal with us might remember things differently). Figured I should chip in for the other side on the reviews and here so people could respond.

 

Yes, Billy is incredibly aggravating right now but I remember the feeling of wanting to hurt those who hurt you, and like Billy, I primarily used my words and often times my mouth got me into serious trouble. Similarly, I'd think about it later, regret it and wonder why I acted the way I did. Rage was a scary thing - wondering if the next outburst would break something that couldn't be fixed.

 

I was scared stiff that someone would discover I was gay and covered my insecurities with a heavy coating of snark (I thought I was being witty at the time). Not to mention being insanely jealous of all the "normal kids" as I saw them. I was a royal pain to live with both at home and probably school (though to be fair, my classmates were also teenagers and therefore just as bad haha).

 

I know my parents were at the end of their rope - in fact, this latest argument between Billy and his father very much reminds me of some of my more dramatic confrontations with my mother, with my dad playing the role of Paula. I rarely shouted like that but I was just as bad in my own passive aggressive way.

 

My point is, cut Billy some slack. At that age, it feels like you're just trying to get by as best you can and everyone is out to make your life difficult (regardless of their true motivations) - paranoia and egoism are par for the course.

 

Billy isn't mentally unstable (at least not from what I've seen so far), he's merely suffering from being a teenager, a condition exacerbated by having to deal with more drama than he should and holding what he believes to be a life destroying secret in a small town. Symptoms may include inflated opinion of own intelligence, lack of foresight and an inability to see beyond one's own nose.

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I sent this as a reply to an email and thought it might offer some insight into Dustin's story.  Enjoy!

 

Certainly Dustin’s biggest problems stem from his upbringing.  You place Dustin in another family and he probably thrives.  Instead, he’s withering.  His parents stamp out every potential for good in his life.  He doesn’t know what a man is supposed to be, because his biggest example is a broken man with serious mental problems.  His mother dominates him and his sister follows her example.

 

When I think of Frank, I think of some guy who in eighth grade saw a penis in the locker room and kinda liked it, and so he’s spent the rest of his life since then trying to prove he’s a real man who hates any sign of male weakness.  He married Carol, a woman far smarter than he is but with serious self-esteem issues, probably thinking he could control her.  Dustin never had a real chance.  From the beginning, Frank didn’t do much to engage him, never changed a diaper, never held him, never ever told Dustin he loved him.  If Dustin was crying it was, “Carol can you shut that stupid brat up?”  If Dustin fell and scraped his knee it was, “Get up!  You’re fine!  Quit yer cryin’!”  If Dustin got a C it was, “Boy you really are stupid.”  If he got an A it was, “Those teachers must be making things too easy if you could manage an A.”  So Dustin figured out how to make straight B’s.  Frank never told his son he was good enough, never gave him a compliment.  He pushed Dustin down a flight of stairs and broke his arm, busted the lock on his room, stole his privacy.  He’s insanely jealous of Dustin. He never allowed Dustin to show any weakness, not because he wanted Dustin to be strong, but because Dustin being weak would reflect poorly on himself.  And yet, for all of that, he is the epitome of a weak man.  He relies on alcohol to drown his own weakness.  “Tough guys drink booze.”  He can’t let anyone help him or his family because that would show weakness.  He’s controlled by what other people think of him.  He doesn’t want his son to love him or respect him, but to fear him.

 

Oh, and he thinks George Roberts is a wimp for allowing his wife to get him to stop drinking and settling him down.  George used to be cool, but he let a woman control his life.

 

Carol has major self-esteem issues.  She could do so much better than Frank, but she doesn’t believe she could.  That wasn’t something Frank instilled in her, but something that he took advantage of and made worse.  Her kids have similar issues, exacerbated by living with an asshole for a father.  She truly does love her kids, and wants what’s best for them.  Unfortunately what’s best for them is to get out of their parents’ house as quickly as possible.  She can be mama bear when you mess with her kids.  She knows that Amanda is slipping away and that Dustin is sinking further and further into depression, but she doesn’t know how to help them.  She can’t seek help from outside, as Frank wouldn’t allow it.  Her husband controls her with insults and fear, even though she could easily kick his ass.  She is very defensive.  She looks formidable from the outside.  She’s large, loud, and seemingly angry.  But behind the front is a woman who thinks she’s never going to be good enough.

 

Amanda…  somewhere along the way she, like Dustin, sought out the love she wasn’t getting at home.  Like her mother, she has major self-esteem issues, so she’s turned to sex very early in life (and soon her little brother has done the same).  Like her father she has tremendous pride in her family.  Showing any kind of weakness is a threat to the family.  She loves her brother.  She always calls him “my brother” to outsiders.  That’s about as affectionate as she gets.  She is very protective of Dustin, but she shows it in the worst ways.  She doesn’t think of herself as tormenting Dustin, but toughening him up.  Being smart and sensitive is going to get his ass kicked, and that’d reflect poorly on the family.  Plus, it’s just fun to pick on one’s little brother!  In a normal family, she’d be tough but harmless.  But her family isn’t normal and what she does to Dustin is severely injuring him.

 

And all of that is what has made Dustin into who he is.  He wanted so desperately for Billy to be his hero.  But Billy was never going to be able to live up to Dustin’s hopes, even without Brett showing up.  Having lost all hope, suddenly a new opportunity arises in an older guy showing up at just the right time.  Unfortunately, Mike just makes things worse.  Suddenly Dustin is thrust into a relationship where he has all the power, and he uses it to get what he wants from Mike.  For Dustin, sex is power, and he knows how to use it.

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Just read the last chapter. That was a little intense to say the least. Looking forward to seeing more of Billy and Brett's relationship. Gotta wait to till the 23rd doe......Keep it up Mr.Squirrel!

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Ok Jeff, you are killing us.  Making us desperate readers wait nearly four weeks for the pieces to be swept up and the reassembly to begin is just not fair.....  I know, who said life is fair.  Just ask the boys :).  Anyway, GREAT WORK !!!!!!  I like your style, story and the emotions that it draws to the surface.  Please keep it headed our way.  Beast wishes to you and yours during the holiday times and HAPPY NEW YEAR  :).

Rob

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So, just 10 days until WAR returns with Part 4 - Rehabilitation.

 

Are you excited?  I am!  How excited?  Excited enough to give you a very tiny sneak preview:

 

 

     "You told Brett’s mom I want to kill myself?”

 

     “Hey, I just told the truth.  You said it, not me!” Dustin protested.

 

     “Why did you tell her that?  I don’t want to kill myself!  Thanks, Dustin!  Now she probably thinks I’m crazy!” I groaned.

 

     “She’s not the only one,” Dustin said quietly.

 

     “What?  You think I’m crazy?” I asked.

 

     “Well… you did punch a mirror.  And when you saw all that blood everywhere you just laughed about it.  It was really scary.  I think you lost your mind for a while.”

 

 

Not enough?  Need some more?  Well......  Okay!  Just a little snippet from chapter 5:

 

 

     “Go on!  Hit me you piece of shit!  You know you want to!  But you can’t do it, because deep down inside you know I’m right!  Your parents are assholes and asshole parents make shit babies.  You’re a pathetic piece of shit and your family doesn’t give a shit about you except to smack you around!”

 

     “Stop ripping on my family, Reilly!”  Dustin warned.

 

     “Make me.”  Brett smirked.

 

The WAR has just begun!  Ten days away!

 

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