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41 A Little More Kick Ass

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  1. Stories whose first grammar error is in the title.
  2. PaulP

    Chapter 1

    That's because it's dealing with plausible, complex characters in plausible situations that drive character development rather than just providing excuses for between-the-sheets action and gratuitous drama.
  3. PaulP

    Chapter 5

    I love Parker's relationship with his folks.
  4. PaulP

    Chapter 11

    This is the comment I made on Dabeagle's forum when the story completed there: You handled the underlying concept perfectly, I think, by concentrating on the how the protagonist handled the two big challenges: how to change the perceptions of people who knew the old Drake, and more importantly, how to re-live his own early life better and more rewardingly than he had the first time around. You didn't get bogged down in the mechanics of alternate reality or in going into how the protagonist's old family might have fit into it, or if they even existed. Frankly the former would have bored me and the latter would have been an unnecessary distraction from the real story. I'm glad you didn't ignore the novelty of such apparent maturity in such a young person but instead had characters directly address it by marveling at it as just that, a remarkable novelty. A whole sub-plot of suspicions of cosmic weirdness would have been another unnecessary distraction. Characterizations were spot-on and interesting and I didn't feel as if any character was anything like a cardboard stereotype. Henry Burgess, the house director, could have become one, but even he eventually, grudgingly, accorded Drake a degree of respect. The closest to being a gay teenage fiction stereotype was Jeremy, but fleshing him out would have been another distraction. The rest of the supporting cast - especially Giles - were a delight. The character I found most affecting in terms of raw empathy was James Murphy. His portrayal as a basically decent person whose lack of self-worth, bordering on self-loathing, subverts his every attempt to build relationships is heart-breaking. That in the end Drake isn't willing to give up on him I think is a real testament to “new” Drake's character.
  5. PaulP

    Chapter 5

    Posted in error.
  6. PaulP

    Stormy Weather

    Jeff reads like a hard-boiled private eye in a Raymond Chandler mystery.
  7. PaulP

    Chapter 3

    You've hit the nail squarely on the head! Both those scenes were extremely well done.
  8. I read everything of his - I think after "The Lo(n)g Way" it was as the chapters of each one appeared here - and as I read ItFB while it was in progress I felt it was the best thing he'd ever written, and I still think so, a major advance in his craft. I think it's getting around time for a re-read; that'll make it the fourth time, I think. So many unforgettable moments it's hard to come up with a favorite, but is right up there.
  9. His were among the very first online gay stories I came upon - an experience many have had. After reading his existing work, I started following his ongoing writing regularly, eagerly, in fact. Soon after In the Fishbowl started, it became clear to me that he'd made a major advance, both in characterization and narrative; I think it's the best thing he wrote (though I haven't seen any of his unfinished Premium work). That he'd been experimenting, and putting a great deal of effort into doing so, was, I think, shown by The Other Side of Me. I think this goes along with what Jim has said - writing the way he wanted to took a lot of time and effort, and that was competing with the growing demands of his real-life livelihood. I can also understand his disappointment with some of the reader feedback for In the Fishbowl; I read it at the time, and I felt that it completely missed what was really going on in his writing. But what effect - if any - that had on his decision to stop writing there's no way of telling. The real life/free time conflict seems most likely to me. As for my emotional response to his disappearance, it's one of regret that I won't be able to enjoy any new work of his, but that's it. That being said, I'd be thrilled if he took up writing again.
  10. I'm a long-time fan of Mike Arram's writing. The Count Oskar chapters are showing up first on CRV Boy, BTW.
  11. PaulP

    Busted chapter 42

    These have been a particularly olfactory couple of chapters!
  12. PaulP


    Ha ha, typical Type 5 reaction Seriously, generalized "tests" or "analyses" like this, whether they're ostensibly "scientific" or veer off into realms of mumbo-jumbo, like palm reading and astrology, usually have one thing in common: the results are sufficiently broad that it's easy to see at least something of ourselves no matter what they come up with. Still, I think the 4w5 I got was pretty accurate once I read and compared it to the other 8 types. But then, I think I'd probably have come up with that just from the descriptions, without taking the test itself. Maybe the greatest value of the test comes just from confronting the questions and forcing yourself to look at yourself as honestly as possible. I don't think we should try to force ourselves into fitting into any of these 9 (or any other) categories, or to allow them force us to fit into them.
  13. At this point it looks to me as if Dom, having experimented with the suspense/thriller genre in "The Other Side of Me," is now trying his hand at comedy. Not that there hasn't been humor in his other stuff, and not that there isn't drama in ITFB, but the sheer quantity of comedic writing and incidents here is enough to set it apart, at least for me. I'm not talking slapstick, sitcom comedy here, or laughs for their own sake, because it not only respects the nature of the characters, but logically advances the plot. Plus, the moments of tenderness and feeling are still there and just as affecting. Compare how incidents between characters play out here in contrast to TLW. Who, in their wildest dreams after reading TLW, could have foreseen Owen and Dennis contentedly building chairs together? Sure, in a sequel, we could expect an exploration of how their relationship would change, given all they had gone through. But building chairs??? Or, after the catastrophic conflagration with his family in TLW, to have Dennis's next confrontation with his father to be at a taco take-out window? It's hilarious, but it's not a gratuitous, laughs-for-the-sake-of-laughs humor, it's just a different way of looking at the characters and situations. It's not the kind of wholesale departure TOSOM was, and there's plenty here to hint at the possibility of more intense drama to come (Travis's backstory in the Prologue, for sure), but it still seems to me that Dom is exploring, if not new territory, a different way of telling a story. For me, it's just as compelling, if not more so.
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