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For The Love


C James

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Welcome to the "For the Love" Discussion thread.



 

Chris grew up a loner in small-town Arizona, but things began to change for him when he started college. Sometimes for the better, but sometimes for the worse, and often with humor, the changes and challenges affect his life, as he sets for on the road of life, and towards finding the love of his life, with a lot of adventure along the way.

 

best-story.gifbest-protagonist.gif

 

best-antagonist.gif

 

 

The Story is

complete and online!

 

Please take a look and let me know what you think.

 

I also want to invite all forms of criticism: Don't be shy. If you feel more comfortable doing so you can PM me, but feel free to criticize in the thread.

 

Thanks!

CJ

Edited by C James
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CJ!

 

Just read your latest offering! I really enjoy your tongue in cheek approach to writing. I would very much equate this as your style. Its present in everything you have offered up so far. From the fun of No Shirt No Problem! to the nose thumbing of The Muse, and now you continue along with For the Love with the delightful description, in the driveway. You had me doing a double take there.

 

I did notice however, in the first few lines you were telling action rather than showing it.

 

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*** Possible spoilers ahead ***

 

 

 

 

 

Nice start!

 

I've got two complaints.

 

1. Tears aren't cold. That cold tear at the start of the story jumped out at me as out of place.

 

2. The ending was too abrupt. It took me a couple of times to realise that he'd found out that Steve was homophobic WITHOUT telling him. You probably should expand on that to say how he found out about Steve's attitude

 

Blackmail stories are hard to write well, in my opinion. Too often they are unrealistic, or the blackmailee is stupid. I'm confident you'll pull it off, though. The start of the prologue implies that the blackmailer has taken Chris for all his money. I'm interested in finding out how long it was from the end of the prologue to that start. How long did the blackmailer screw Chris into the ground? All interesting questions that I'm sure you'll be answering soon ;)

Graeme :D

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Hi Cj,

 

The prologue was enjoyable. There were some things that I found, but they were already pointed out.. lol.

 

There's a lot to this story that is great. The description of the car was an attractive quality... lol. A guy that knows and enjoys a nice vehicle has always been amusing.

 

Anyway, good start. I like where you're going with it. A lot of conflict can come from this prologue... :read:

 

So keep it coming.

 

Krista

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CJ!

 

Just read your latest offering! I really enjoy your tongue in cheek approach to writing. I would very much equate this as your style. Its present in everything you have offered up so far. From the fun of No Shirt No Problem! to the nose thumbing of The Muse, and now you continue along with For the Love with the delightful description, in the driveway. You had me doing a double take there.

 

I did notice however, in the first few lines you were telling action rather than showing it.

The bank tellers words, shaking me from my trance, ushered me forward to cash my paycheck...

 

The second part....

 

My world was about to come crashing down around me.

 

Wouldn't Chris already feel that his world was crashing down around him? Knowing that he couldn't cover the blackmail and the rent. Or would he wait to think it was crashing down after confronting those who need to be confronted?

 

Other then the showing action rather then telling it thing I still love the story, and can't wait to see others reactions to it.

 

Steve

 

PS, you ornery goat! I had to hunt down the link on my own!! Well sorta :P

 

Hi Steve!!

Absolutely right on the problems there!

Chris was in denial until he ran out of money, but I should have explained that.

I do need to work on the showing rather than telling part. Thanks!!

 

The bit about the car was to lure the readers into thinking it was a stereotypical "describe the love interest police-blotter style" scene. That was fun for me to write. :-)

 

Sorry about forgetting the link! Work has been hell today so I've been trying to do six things at once, and doing none well. LoL!

BTW everyone, Steve has been of enormous help in this story, including beta reading, and I owe him a huge amount of thanks.

Thank you!!!!!

 

*** Possible spoilers ahead ***

Nice start!

I've got two complaints.

1. Tears aren't cold. That cold tear at the start of the story jumped out at me as out of place.

 

2. The ending was too abrupt. It took me a couple of times to realise that he'd found out that Steve was homophobic WITHOUT telling him. You probably should expand on that to say how he found out about Steve's attitude

 

Blackmail stories are hard to write well, in my opinion. Too often they are unrealistic, or the blackmailee is stupid. I'm confident you'll pull it off, though. The start of the prologue implies that the blackmailer has taken Chris for all his money. I'm interested in finding out how long it was from the end of the prologue to that start. How long did the blackmailer screw Chris into the ground? All interesting questions that I'm sure you'll be answering soon ;)

Graeme :D

 

Good catch on the tears! Oops!! Thank you!!!!

 

The ending, though, well, there are reasons for that. (yep, I hate it when Authors do this! LoL!)

 

BTW this isn;t a blackmail story, really. The Blackmail is not central to the story, it is more of a lead-in. things lighten up a good bit further on.

This is more a slice-of life story than one centered on any one thing like blackmail. It isn't a dark story.

 

Hi Cj,

 

The prologue was enjoyable. There were some things that I found, but they were already pointed out.. lol.

 

There's a lot to this story that is great. The description of the car was an attractive quality... lol. A guy that knows and enjoys a nice vehicle has always been amusing.

 

Anyway, good start. I like where you're going with it. A lot of conflict can come from this prologue... :read:

 

So keep it coming.

 

Krista

 

Thank you Krista!!! And Thank you, too, for pushing me to get to work, or this wouldn't be here!

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The prologue is up at https://www.gayauthors.org/eficiton/viewstory.php?sid=214

 

I'll be posting Chapter one within 72 hours, and then a chapter per week thereafter (I have half a dozen chapters written, which should buffer me against delays).

 

Please take a look and let me know what you think.

 

I also want to invite all forms of criticism: Don't be shy. If you feel more comfortable doing so you can PM me, but feel free to criticize in the thread.

 

Thanks!

CJ

 

You've got mail.

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I was wondering about Steve's homophobia, as well, but then I thought, this is a Prologue ... so I presume it's meant to set the stage, to do a little foreshadowing and get your readers in the right place for when your story begins ... 61 hours and counting now. :D

You've done that, but I think it could be written a bit more tightly. If you're trying to whet our appetites for more, I'm not quite discerning the aromas clearly enough. There's a lot you're not telling us here, and that's for a reason. But what you are telling us, make that very clear and precisely written. You don't want extraneous material in any of your writing, but especially not here.

Kitty

 

Thank you Kitty!!

 

Maybe I would have been better off calling this Chapter one (and making it a bit longer) than a Prologue?

 

There is a great deal I am not telling for a reason, but you are right, I was unclear in some places where I could have done better, and this is definitly something I'll pay more attention too.

Thank you!!! :wub:

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A nice start with a believable, realistic premise (except maybe for the blackmail) that has some of us wondering rhetorically how much of this may be autobiobraphical. :2thumbs:

 

If, as you say below, blackmail is not central to the main story, then can you find a way to de-emphasize it here? Consider that the blackmail announcement is the final line, set off by vertical space, indented, and split into sentence plus fragment for, I suppose, added punch. The reader has every reason to conclude that blackmail will be central.

 

I like the informal, conversational style. :thumbup: In fact, if this were my story, I would read it aloud, revising sentences that stuck in my throat, caused me to trip, or sounded odd. :pickaxe:

 

I put a couple of minor suggestions in the efiction review. You've gotten better here. :worship: A minor example of imprecision: "The onset of School had started, which, together with my new job at a local bookstore, cut down on my time with Steve."

 

I agree with your assessment (prodded by the discussion?) that your "prolog" is really neither prolog nor first chapter, but an uncomfortable mixture. Your suggestion above is to flesh it out into Chapter 1. If so, and if you retain the opening scene, you'll have readers on edge waiting, perhaps too long, to hear what's gone so wrong.

 

Perhaps it would better to tighten up the prolog to less than half it's current size, delaying sections that don't set the essential scene for the next part, Chapter 1. Some pieces that could be delayed include (in no particular order)

  • car-love at first sight -- not excised, merely postponed!
  • weak air conditioning and where to sit when
  • gaydar (but you could mention a lapse of judgement)
  • school, work, and less time with Steve
  • Betty (Others have complained that she is given short shrift. Because the narrator hasn't acted on her advice, maybe you could delay her intro.)

On the other hand, how this wonderful Steve is suddenly revealed as a homophobe probably deserves a little more attention; either that, or don't dwell on how wonderful he is until Chapter 1. By the way, a short "prolog" does not have to be a separate chapter. You can set it off from what follows with as little as "* * *".

 

Like Kitty said, 61 40 39 hours and counting. :D

Edited by knotme
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Since you did ask for criticism 0:) ...

 

Indeed I did, and I am very thankful for it! :great:

-you seem to confuse 'so' with 'and'. There are instances in which both might seem a possibility, but this and my previous concern take attention from the actual narrative, detracting from the entertaining plot. (ex.
We both had a few days remaining before our schools began their fall semesters, so Steve offered to
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-make sure that, in a series of closely placed noun-adverb/adverb-verb (or more intricate) sequences, all of your parts agree

 

ex.

I found myself becoming whatI'd never dared hope

 

I did know I was bending the rules a tad with that sentence, so I admit, I write it that way because I felt it important to the emotional aspects rather than paying strict attention to the rule book. I couldn't figure out a way to write it that didn't appear to be just standard verbiage.

 

-Part of speech agreement *ahem* seems a little unclear

also was not shy about changing clothes in front of me and had no problems with me seeing him naked.
notice the 'seeing him naked'. Did you mean 'me' or did you forget to place an 'I' at the beginning of the clause?

I also felt that his kind of confidence had an allure all its own.
'of' its own? By saying 'his kind' you are already saying that it is unique. I'd get rid of 'his kind' just because, although 'all of its own' seems a little cliche, it provides a much clearer contrast.

 

I'm not quite sure what you mean regarding the "me". The "me" represents the narrator (the protagonist in this case). Where would the "I" go?

 

-Commentary that seems out of context, or is an eccentric part of the narration, could be marked by either punctuation, separation, or a device such as italics.

Yeah, right; I couldn
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It is with deep regret that I must inform everyone that, due to several issues raised in this thread, I see no choice but to reschedule the posting of chapter one until five minutes ago. 0:)

That's sad. I was enjoying waiting. I suppose I have no choice but to go read it now... *sigh*

Edited by Graeme
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Okay, I've read chapter one now. Here's a few comments:

 

1. There is no need to repeat the end of the prologue at the start of the chapter. If readers want to know how the previous chapter ended, they can go back and read it themselves.

 

2. I found the following paragraph cumbersome:

I'd been so deep in denial about the fact that this day would come, all during my dealings with the blackmailer, that I'd never been able to figure a way out once this day came.
I can see what you were trying to do, but the "day would come" and "this day came" just grated on me. I'll admit that I tend to go a bit overboard at times trying to avoid repetition, but I've always found that the start of a chapter is when most things like this get noticed. After the first page or so, I'm usually too involved in reading it as a story to spot things like this.

 

3. My wife's family had a cat called "Killer Kate". Beelzebub reminds me a lot of her :)

 

4. No offense, but:

I broke his gaze and turned, so I could brush away the silent tear that was about to fall.

I hate single tears. I've never seen one in my life. It doesn't change the meaning to use "tears" instead of "tear".

 

I've finished the story now... and I'm shaking. The identity of the blackmailer was a surprise, but you've resolved the questions I raised about the prologue. I'd like to know more about the blackmailer, but I'm sure that's going to come out soon. A number of possibilities present themselves, including Chris getting his money back. I also noticed the possibility that the information Chris was told, about Steve being homophobic, could be wrong. It hasn't been confirmed by anyone else or but other events, as far as I can see.

 

I won't say any more at this point, just in case someone reading this hasn't read chapter one yet. You've left it as a bit of a cliffhanger, but not as much as the prologue.

 

Nice chapter, and I suppose I'll read chapter two when it comes out... :P

 

Graeme :D

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2. I found the following paragraph cumbersome:

I can see what you were trying to do, but the "day would come" and "this day came" just grated on me. I'll admit that I tend to go a bit overboard at times trying to avoid repetition, but I've always found that the start of a chapter is when most things like this get noticed. After the first page or so, I'm usually too involved in reading it as a story to spot things like this.

 

ACK!! That paragraph is terrible like that! This is what happens when the writer makes a change to one part of a sentance and not the rest. . OOPS! I'll go fix that tomorrow. I'll change it to "now that the day had finally arrived.".

 

Glad you liked Beelzebub :devil:

 

I hate single tears. I've never seen one in my life. It doesn't change the meaning to use "tears" instead of "tear".

 

Seriously? I've always found that I get them like that if I'm holding them back.

 

I won't say any more at this point, just in case someone reading this hasn't read chapter one yet. You've left it as a bit of a cliffhanger, but not as much as the prologue.

 

Nice chapter, and I suppose I'll read chapter two when it comes out... :P

Graeme :D

 

What? Me? Leave a cliffhanger? Would I do such a thing???? 0:)

 

Thanks Graeme!!!!

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So, Chapter 1 gets quite interesting, but I'm having a little trouble believing it. Chris is maybe 2 sigma off the norm; Eric, maybe 3 sigma in another direction. The combination is a little hard to swallow, but that's only how it looks to me right now, at the end of Chapter 1. There's plenty of time to reel me in. :D (I worded this comment to be the least possible help those who haven't read Chapter 1 yet. :devil: )

Would a teenager say "onset"?
:huh: Uh, probably not. :/ Ya got me there. :D Edited by knotme
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So, Chapter 1 gets quite interesting, but I'm having a little trouble believing it. Chris is maybe 2 sigma off the norm; Eric, maybe 3 sigma in another direction. The combination is a little hard to swallow, but that's only how it looks to me right now, at the end of Chapter 1. There's plenty of time to reel me in. :D (I worded this comment to be the least possible help those who haven't read Chapter 1 yet. :devil: ) :huh: Uh, probably not. :/ Ya got me there. :D

 

Eric is not normal, but I'm very curious why you say Chris is 2 sigma off the norm?? What strikes you as atypical about him (other than him being gay?).

 

Thanks!!!

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I have to agree with C James. Chris doesn't strike me as being exceptional in any particular way. He looks like your typical closeted gay who doesn't want to lose friends by coming out -- or being outed. He went into denial with the blackmail, but that's not exceptional. He probably spent those weeks trying to work out how to keep paying everything, and constantly think the solution was "just around the corner".

 

Would I, at that age, have paid blackmail to prevent being outed? I don't know. I'd like to think I wouldn't, because I would realise that it's a never ending situation, but I don't know. I was a lot less mature then than I am now.

 

The blackmailer made the mistake of being too greedy. In a novel I read many years ago someone commented that the idea is to screw the blackmailee until it hurts, but not to "kill" them. That way they'll keep paying. Eric asked for too much and forced Chris to face up to the fact that he couldn't pay -- and hence forced him into invalidating the blackmail by revealing the secret anyway.

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I have to agree with C James. Chris doesn't strike me as being exceptional in any particular way. He looks like your typical closeted gay who doesn't want to lose friends by coming out -- or being outed. ...
Well, this is interesting. Maybe I'm the 2-sigma guy. I went through school as a nurd and a nobody, never having many friends, but also never succumbing completely to peer pressure. I cannot imagine valuing friendship highly enough to submit to blackmail, especially from a friend's younger sibling! :thumbdown: If I were in Steve's position, Eric would change permanently from younger brother to fellow lodger. Part of my calculation would be Eric's cold calculation and his ability to manipulate me while torturing my friend. Unacceptable! I don't need a brother like that. As long as I live in my parent's home, I'll tolerate him, but I'd never again like him or trust him. Siblings are great, but they're not essential. :angry:

 

Edit: So, if I were Chris, I would hope that Steve would take my side over Eric's. If my feelers confirmed Steve's homophobia, I would promptly move out. (I ran away from problems a lot when younger.) But if my feelers contradicted Eric's claims of homophobia, then I would, I hope, confront Steve promptly. Eric would then probably deny all. What happens then? Depends on how well Steve knows his bad seed brother. <_< If Steve turns on me, then so be it. I get another friend somewhere. Or not. Either outcome sure beats blackmail from some shrimp turd.

 

Is it just me?

Edited by knotme
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Well, this is interesting. Maybe I'm the 2-sigma guy. I went through school as a nurd and a nobody, never having many friends, but also never succumbing completely to peer pressure. I cannot imagine valuing friendship highly enough to submit to blackmail, especially from a friend's younger sibling! :thumbdown: If I were in Steve's position, Eric would change permanently from younger brother to fellow lodger. Part of my calculation would be Eric's cold calculation and his ability to manipulate me while torturing my friend. Unacceptable! I don't need a brother like that. As long as I live in my parent's home, I'll tolerate him, but I'd never again like him or trust him. Siblings are great, but they're not essential. :angry:

 

Edit: So, if I were Chris, I would hope that Steve would take my side over Eric's. If my feelers confirmed Steve's homophobia, I would promptly move out. (I ran away from problems a lot when younger.) But if my feelers contradicted Eric's claims of homophobia, then I would, I hope, confront Steve promptly. Eric would then probably deny all. What happens then? Depends on how well Steve knows his bad seed brother. <_< If Steve turns on me, then so be it. I get another friend somewhere. Or not. Either outcome sure beats blackmail from some shrimp turd.

 

Is it just me?

I'll accept that Chris may be in a minority with how he handled it, but I don't think he's exceptional. I have a broad opinion of what's typical. If he's an emotional guy, or (like me) has been emotionally deprived (and there are indicators of that), then having a connection to someone would have a big impact on him. If it was just a friendship, then I'd think he'd walk away, but we know it's stronger than that, and he may really fear losing a strong friendship when he's not had that before (or recently). We also don't know how easy it would be for him to move out. It may, conceivably, require him to either quit college or change to another school, with all the headaches involved. That is not something to be done lightly.

 

I think the total sum of those things, plus an absolute terror of being gay-bashed, makes him succumbing to the blackmail believable. You'll also notice he didn't have a lot of time between being found out to paying out the $4K. He almost certainly didn't have a chance to try to find out for himself if Steve was homophobic or not. I'm not even sure that idea crossed his mind -- he just might've taken Eric's word for it uncritically (doing that is more an experience thing, and he may not have had that experience).

 

Just my opinion, of course ;)

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You'll also notice he didn't have a lot of time between being found out to paying out the $4K.
I just now noticed. I'd missed that big payment, thinking he shelled out $4000 over 20 weeks. That changes everything. Chris, that was stupid, but you may get your money back. Die, Eric, die!
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I really liked chapter one! I have to say though, you definately earned them horns. You're evil! Leaving us swinging in the breeze wondering what's going to happen. I want to kick the younger brother's ass!

 

He should have taken that money and just moved instead of forking it all over to the boy.

 

Better yet, turn that little bastard into the police for extortion! So.... when can I look forward to reading chapter 2?!

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I really liked chapter one! I have to say though, you definately earned them horns. You're evil! Leaving us swinging in the breeze wondering what's going to happen.

 

I thought all authors were evil? Isn't it some sort of prerequisite? :devil:

 

I want to kick the younger brother's ass!

 

WARNING! Spoiler Alert!

 

Eric isn't the nicest of people.

 

0:)

 

He should have taken that money and just moved instead of forking it all over to the boy.

 

Better yet, turn that little bastard into the police for extortion! So.... when can I look forward to reading chapter 2?!

 

Turning him over to the police would be... problematic. Perhaps I'd best explain a bit for the benefit of those here who aren't familiar with small towns. The Father of Eric and Steve is a Police Officer; in a small town, take a wild guess whose side he would likely be on if someone tried accusing his kid of anything? :nuke:

 

Lets put it this way: Marching into the police station in a small Arizona redneck town, accusing the Deputy Sheriff's kid of a felony, and then announcing that you are gay is probably not the wisest choice of action <cough>. :2hands: ;)

 

When will chapter 2 be out? Hmmm. The original schedule was for Thursdays, so a week from today, but I posted Ch 1 a bit early. Tuesday I think. I promised weekly postings, so I'd best go with Tuesday. :sheep:

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