Jump to content
  • Join For Free and Get Notified of New Chapters!

    Are you enjoying a great story and want to get an alert or email when a new chapter is posted? Join now for free and follow your favorite stories and authors!  You can even choose to get daily or weekly digest emails instead of getting flooded with an email for each story you follow. 

     

    Jason MH
  • Author
  • 1,032 Words
  • 1,604 Views
  • 7 Comments

Between the Shadow and the Soul - 36. Afterword

This story was inspired by the Kyle character. Strange, huh? Yeah, I know. Honestly, though, many moons ago I met a neighborhood boy who was fifteen, attractive, unusually mature, and clearly—even if he didn't know it yet—sexually confused. The real Kyle developed a huge crush on me which lasted years before his family moved to another state. No, I never responded to that crush despite his increasing attempts to engage me both emotionally and sexually.

A few years ago I had one of those random thoughts about the past. It happened to be the real Kyle who popped into my head, which made me go looking to see if I could find him. No luck there, but the thought wouldn't go away, so eventually I started writing a story. All I knew at the time was that it would be based loosely on the truth—gay guy moves into new neighborhood, meets fifteen-year-old kid, kid develops crush on gay guy as he figures out his sexuality, blah blah blah.

What I refused to do, however, was write a story that hinged entirely on an adult-minor titillation vibe. Thus the Greg character could never show interest in Kyle, though I had no issue with Greg finding the kid attractive since that's no more inappropriate than liking dark chocolate; it's just natural.

But that left me wondering how meeting a boy of fifteen could have a significant effect on a mature gay man if it didn't result in the gay man developing feelings for the boy.

So—some of you will be pleased with this—I created a character originally called The Dick. I never gave him a name and he was never more than a nebulous shadow from the past, a guy who was Greg's first love and who hurt Greg in major ways. Not physically, no, but emotionally. In that first iteration, Greg was fifteen when he fell in love with The Dick.

Except that didn't really create a problem significant enough to make Kyle important. As you can probably guess, it required that The Dick be an adult when they met and Greg fell for him. Which still didn't solve the boredom issue I was facing. Somehow I needed The Dick to be so significant that Kyle's presence and attractiveness would cause a profound impact on Greg, forcing him to face something terrible and painful from his past.

Well, unexpectedly The Dick needed a name. Richard, right? That was an easy leap to make, so I made it. But he needed more than a name. And it only took about ten seconds of thought to realize what could be in Greg's past that would make meeting Kyle a potent catalyst for change in a thirty-year-old man.

Basically, Richard, who became The Fiend since The Dick had too much levity associated with it, grew organically from the story as it developed, slowly taking on this dark and ominous persona. Because he'd been mature when Greg was young, making him a predator came naturally, especially because I needed Greg's hurt from Richard to be life-altering and of significant consequence.

From there, making him Nate's father was a no-brainer. How could I make Greg's experience with Richard substantial for both guys? It's one thing for a best friend to feel hurt and anger at his best friend's assault; it's a much better challenge to overcome if the assailant was his father.

So Richard was a simple, natural progression for a character who originally remained a nameless presence in the past upon whom all blame could be heaped for Greg's dating issues. Well, it started out being simple dating issues, or at least a severe disinterest in dating, but as Richard took shape, so too did a darker past and deeper problems for Greg. And Nate, as well.

And finally, I originally wrote five separate endings for this story. One is the ending you've read, with Nate and Greg happily together.

Two of the other endings I discarded immediately: Greg and Keigan getting together, which was too trite and predictable; and Greg and Kyle getting together when Kyle was nineteen, which required some romantic interest when Kyle was a minor, a line I was unwilling to cross.

The fourth ending was sad: Greg withdrew from Nate because he loved him too much but couldn't have him, and Nate tried fixing it while his relationship with Rita progressed, ultimately ending with Nate and Rita preparing to marry while Greg was a lonely, anguished mess. In the last chapter, Greg sees them across the store where Nate and Rita are building their wedding gift registry. Nate looks hopeful and waves toward Greg, but all Greg can do is turn away as he begins crying. Yeah, after what I put Greg through, I really didn't want to leave him like that even if it was believable.

The fifth alternate ending had Greg meeting someone at a party hosted by Keigan and Yannis, but he makes clear he can't really get involved with anyone because of his feelings for Nate. Later, at Greg's birthday party, he runs into Nate for the first time in a year or more, and they finally begin reconciling and rebuilding their friendship. Both are single and at the end, Nate asks Greg out on a date. I rejected that one because I wanted to give them a happy ending, not just a hopeful one.

Hopefully some of that is interesting to those of you who like seeing a bit of what's behind the curtain.

Thank you so much for all of your support, interest, kindness and feedback! I've never written for an audience; decades of writing always happened simply because I like to write and I have to do it to get stories to stop bouncing around inside my head. Posting this here on GA has taught me a great deal about sharing with others that which has historically been a personal endeavor resulting in something else to store in digital limbo. Now, perhaps, some of those wrongfully imprisoned stories can be released for the enjoyment of others.

Again, thank you sincerely and wholeheartedly!

Cheers and best regards,

- Jason

Copyright © 2018 Jason MH; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 18
  • Love 10

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments

I appreciate the thought processes as you wrote the story. Very interesting to me.

You definitely picked the correct ending. None of the others would have made me happy.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

A great story from beginning to the end. You definitely picked the right ending. I can't wait for your next literary effort.

  • Love 1
Link to comment

Jason! You picked the best ending! Otherwise, I think some people might have  tracked you down!  

Thank you so much for the story and your thoughts behind it! Bravo!

Mark

Link to comment

Hi. longtime reader here, but only today did I make an account, because i felt compelled to let you know how very much I enjoyed this story. It's so well written and definitely one of my favorites. I thank you for writing and sharing it. I can't wait to read your next one. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment

So Dick was always a dick.  Makes sense.  😉

Thank you for sharing your insight.  Some of your alternate endings really bore merit but the one you chose was the best one, Greg and Nate deserved a HEA together.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

A truly truly amazing journey!

I believe you chose the best and most appropriate ending as well. I'm always a sap for HEA.

Thank you Jason.

Link to comment

This was really nice read, and you sir have a way with words. Though at the beginning I was hoping Greg would end up with Kiegen, I am happy he up with Nate at the end. Their relationship is just beautiful. I also had inklings that Nate was in love with Greg with all the snuggling they were doing, it just came off as more romantic that a straight friend comfortable with his sexuality. The journey they took getting together in the end, though heart breaking at parts, just seemed so worthwhile in the end, as you could see in the begging how good for each other they were. Again, thanks for a wonderful read.

Link to comment
View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    You probably have a crazy and hectic schedule and find it hard to keep up with everything going on.  We get it, because we feel it too.  Signing up here is a great way to keep in touch and find something relaxing to read when you get a few moments to spare.

    Sign Up
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..