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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > Literary Merit > Writing, uncomfortable topics
Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71033] Mon, 08 February 2016 15:01 Go to next message
larkin is currently offline  larkin   United States

Toe is in the water
Location: Massachusetts
Registered: June 2015
Messages: 58



Writing, uncomfortable topics
 
Unless I am mistaken, this is a writing group for people who want to write creatively.  It is also gay oriented and my guess is that the membership is primarily male allowing those issues to be addressed without fear or explanation.  

Writers like to construct worlds. They write about worlds of fantasy, idealized relationships and adventure. Often, they write about way they wish things could be.  This is writing for pleasure and escape. This is paralleled in video game content. 

I happen to love video games but writing can be more than that.  It can be much deeper and it can sometimes be life changing.

What writing can do is to describe the human condition through the eyes of a fictional character.  In doing this, writing can sometimes reveal truths that are hidden in plain sight better than any straight forward chronology..  

Paradoxically, it is what can make some fiction more truthful than fact.

When you write about a realistic love affair between two boys and there is real life adversity and conflict, you are writing fiction, but is it really fiction?  You are telling the world what is like to be in this situation.  You also have the potential to offer the reader way to solve the dilemma.

Many people do not want to hear it. others will hate the idea but there are a few that will understand and relate to your characters even if they are fiction.  If your reader is struggling, if they are unpopular or subject to abuse. Perhaps your story will help them.

[Updated on: Mon, 08 February 2016 15:04]

Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71034 is a reply to message #71033] Mon, 08 February 2016 15:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
larkin is currently offline  larkin   United States

Toe is in the water
Location: Massachusetts
Registered: June 2015
Messages: 58



I know that I am not alone in the shameless self-promotion department, but I have a story that Timmy has rejected.  I am not finding fault with Timmy because it is his right to determine what goes on his site.  After numerous re-writes perhaps he will give it another read, if not, that is ok.
 
My story is about an issue many gay males prefer to sweep under the carpet.  It is about the revelation of feminine characteristics emerging on or about the outset of puberty.  This coincides with middle school years when students are at their cruelest and pressures to conform are more brutally enforced that at any other time in life.  The solution for most of us has been to "straighten-up"  Fortunately, today there are some positive gay role models but it hasn't always been that way.
 
Because of these pressures we repress and hide feminine aspects of our natural personality less we become subject to ridicule and physical abuse.  This can result in anything from fear of any personal expression to a contrived personae of hyper-masculinity as compensation.  It is also ironic that we sometimes abuse others for exhibiting behaviors that we, ourselves, have repressed. 
 
My main character is about a boy that lives with his single, unemployed mother.  The mother is blond and at 30 still attractive.  Her son is her constant companion and is almost identical to her in appearance.  They are dead ringers to each other.  
 
The boy is decidedly feminine not as a contrivance or affection but almost as if he had been born that way..  
 
I would add, this story is not about dresses, make-up or bitchy behavior.
 
The story is about the way people react to an entirely feminine boy in their midst.  His mother doesn't notice anything unusual.  There are gay characters in the story that view him sexually and others with unguarded hostility.   The story is really about these people.
 
This might have happened to you if you hadn't quickly adapted to the social and cultural pressures to conform.
 
If anyone is interested I will link you to the story.

[Updated on: Mon, 08 February 2016 15:16]

Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71035 is a reply to message #71034] Mon, 08 February 2016 16:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13458



"Quote:"
larkin wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 15:14I know that I am not alone in the shameless self-promotion department, but I have a story that Timmy has rejected.  I am not finding fault with Timmy because it is his right to determine what goes on his site.  After numerous re-writes perhaps he will give it another read, if not, that is ok.

--
I am afraid I can't recall the tale, though I do know I have not taken 100% of your output. Nor can I recall the reasons for not accepting it. I'm always happy to have another look, especially at the fully edited version. 

[Updated on: Mon, 08 February 2016 16:58]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71036 is a reply to message #71033] Mon, 08 February 2016 16:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13458



"Quote:"
larkin wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 15:01Writing, uncomfortable topics
 
Unless I am mistaken, this is a writing group for people who want to write creatively.  It is also gay oriented and my guess is that the membership is primarily male allowing those issues to be addressed without fear or explanation.  

Writers like to construct worlds. They write about worlds of fantasy, idealized relationships and adventure. Often, they write about way they wish things could be.  This is writing for pleasure and escape. This is paralleled in video game content. 

I happen to love video games but writing can be more than that.  It can be much deeper and it can sometimes be life changing.

What writing can do is to describe the human condition through the eyes of a fictional character.  In doing this, writing can sometimes reveal truths that are hidden in plain sight better than any straight forward chronology..  

Paradoxically, it is what can make some fiction more truthful than fact.

When you write about a realistic love affair between two boys and there is real life adversity and conflict, you are writing fiction, but is it really fiction?  You are telling the world what is like to be in this situation.  You also have the potential to offer the reader way to solve the dilemma.

Many people do not want to hear it. others will hate the idea but there are a few that will understand and relate to your characters even if they are fiction.  If your reader is struggling, if they are unpopular or subject to abuse. Perhaps your story will help them.

--
Do bear in mind that, with several exceptions, the site presents a chocolate box view of gay male teenage romance intentionally. The general plots of the stories here follow the tried and tested Mills and Boon / Harlequin model of:
  • Boy meets boy
  • One or both fall for the other
  • Boy loses boy
  • Boy passes through adversity / adventures / trials
  • Boy finds boy again
  • Boy and boy live together happy ever after

The reason for this is and has always been to show the gay teenager and the adult he becomes that he deserves true romance, and that his lot is not squalid sex in public toilets. The stories are, generally, aspirational rather that wholly true to life. They are what is expected in Boy meets Girl romances.

[Updated on: Mon, 08 February 2016 16:59]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71037 is a reply to message #71035] Mon, 08 February 2016 16:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
larkin is currently offline  larkin   United States

Toe is in the water
Location: Massachusetts
Registered: June 2015
Messages: 58



Not a problem Timmy, I will re-submit it a little later.
I am often accused of producing dark pieces where people most prefer light hearted and positive fantasy pieces.
I admit that I swim against the flow and maybe that needs some explanation.
Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71038 is a reply to message #71036] Mon, 08 February 2016 17:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
larkin is currently offline  larkin   United States

Toe is in the water
Location: Massachusetts
Registered: June 2015
Messages: 58



Quote:
timmy wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 16:14
"Quote:"
larkin wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 15:01Writing, uncomfortable topics
 
Unless I am mistaken, this is a writing group for people who want to write creatively.  It is also gay oriented and my guess is that the membership is primarily male allowing those issues to be addressed without fear or explanation.  

Writers like to construct worlds. They write about worlds of fantasy, idealized relationships and adventure. Often, they write about way they wish things could be.  This is writing for pleasure and escape. This is paralleled in video game content. 

I happen to love video games but writing can be more than that.  It can be much deeper and it can sometimes be life changing.

What writing can do is to describe the human condition through the eyes of a fictional character.  In doing this, writing can sometimes reveal truths that are hidden in plain sight better than any straight forward chronology..  

Paradoxically, it is what can make some fiction more truthful than fact.

When you write about a realistic love affair between two boys and there is real life adversity and conflict, you are writing fiction, but is it really fiction?  You are telling the world what is like to be in this situation.  You also have the potential to offer the reader way to solve the dilemma.

Many people do not want to hear it. others will hate the idea but there are a few that will understand and relate to your characters even if they are fiction.  If your reader is struggling, if they are unpopular or subject to abuse. Perhaps your story will help them.

--
Do bear in mind that, with several exceptions, the site presents a chocolate box view of gay male teenage romance intentionally. The general plots of the stories here follow the tried and tested Mills and Boon / Harlequin model of:
  • Boy meets boy
  • One or both fall for the other
  • Boy loses boy
  • Boy passes through adversity / adventures / trials
  • Boy finds boy again
  • Boy and boy live together happy ever after

The reason for this is and has always been to show the gay teenager and the adult he becomes that he deserves true romance, and that his lot is not squalid sex in public toilets. The stories are, generally, aspirational rather that wholly true to life. They are what is expected in Boy meets Girl romances.

--No need to defend your wonderful site.. However, your membership must be over 18 and I suspect that many members are considerably older and they should be treated as such.  Prejudice, adversity and even criminal abuse is what characterizes the difficulties in finding one's way. This is reality.  Isn't this why you offer pastoral care on your site?

I realize the important of concluding with a pleasing resolution or at least a poignant thought for reflection.
Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71039 is a reply to message #71038] Mon, 08 February 2016 17:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13458



Quote:
larkin wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 17:11--No need to defend your wonderful site.. However, your membership must be over 18 and I suspect that many members are considerably older and they should be treated as such.  Prejudice, adversity and even criminal abuse is what characterizes the difficulties in finding one's way. This is reality.  Isn't this why you offer pastoral care on your site?

I realize the important of concluding with a pleasing resolution or at least a poignant thought for reflection.

--
Not defending it. It's just important, sometimes, to remind folk of the underlying ethos. We are here to show gay teenagers what is possible, what they might aspire to if they wish. Gritty tales are good, as are the less gritty, but those that capture the imagination of folk are those that adhere to the tried and tested formula.

I'm not sure why you think everyone is over 18. I hope they are not, indeed I know they are not, and I hope those under 18 are wise when contacting other folk here. We have many young teens in our readership, judging by the emails I get behind the scenes.

Sometimes the only sex education they get is from gay teenage love stories. That or porn. But porn is not love, it's just a quick rocks off session, mechanical sex.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71040 is a reply to message #71039] Mon, 08 February 2016 22:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
WestcliffWriter is currently offline  WestcliffWriter   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: United Kingdom
Registered: May 2015
Messages: 74




Quote:
timmy wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 17:35
Sometimes the only sex education they get is from gay teenage love stories. That or porn. But porn is not love, it's just a quick rocks off session, mechanical sex.

--

My sex education came from a cardboard box full of tapes that were supposed to be well hidden according to my father. Not well hidden enough!

Ahhh, the days of grainy VHS porn with music to make your ears weep!
Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71041 is a reply to message #71034] Mon, 08 February 2016 22:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
WestcliffWriter is currently offline  WestcliffWriter   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: United Kingdom
Registered: May 2015
Messages: 74




Quote:
larkin wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 15:14I know that I am not alone in the shameless self-promotion department, but I have a story that Timmy has rejected.  I am not finding fault with Timmy because it is his right to determine what goes on his site.  After numerous re-writes perhaps he will give it another read, if not, that is ok.
 
My story is about an issue many gay males prefer to sweep under the carpet.  It is about the revelation of feminine characteristics emerging on or about the outset of puberty.  This coincides with middle school years when students are at their cruelest and pressures to conform are more brutally enforced that at any other time in life.  The solution for most of us has been to "straighten-up"  Fortunately, today there are some positive gay role models but it hasn't always been that way.
 
Because of these pressures we repress and hide feminine aspects of our natural personality less we become subject to ridicule and physical abuse.  This can result in anything from fear of any personal expression to a contrived personae of hyper-masculinity as compensation.  It is also ironic that we sometimes abuse others for exhibiting behaviors that we, ourselves, have repressed. 
 
My main character is about a boy that lives with his single, unemployed mother.  The mother is blond and at 30 still attractive.  Her son is her constant companion and is almost identical to her in appearance.  They are dead ringers to each other.  
 
The boy is decidedly feminine not as a contrivance or affection but almost as if he had been born that way..  
 
I would add, this story is not about dresses, make-up or bitchy behavior.
 
The story is about the way people react to an entirely feminine boy in their midst.  His mother doesn't notice anything unusual.  There are gay characters in the story that view him sexually and others with unguarded hostility.   The story is really about these people.
 
This might have happened to you if you hadn't quickly adapted to the social and cultural pressures to conform.
 
If anyone is interested I will link you to the story.

--

People read different stories for different reasons. Some may read as a guide to coming out. Some read for a way to connect with something similar they went through as a teen. And some... well they just read to get off!

Personally I read (and write) to remind me of a time when I was a young teen. That first kiss, first feeling of lust and eventual love (and always confusing the two). I personally don't have an interest in feminine characters. This is not because I have anything biased towards them, it's just I never experienced growing up with anyone in my life like that. I read to connect to a past life - my life, or at least something I can relate to. 

And I must add, there is a difference between being born with feminine characteristics and someone who chooses to be like that. Nothing irritates me more than forced "campness." A queen, as they may be better known is quite frankly an attribute to why attitudes towards gay people have taken longer to improve than might have been the case.

On the last note of offering a link to the story, if it is on another site, why not just link it anyway so then people can see fof themselves. A story is to be read dear Larkin, even if it cannot be read here Smile  
Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71043 is a reply to message #71039] Mon, 08 February 2016 23:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
larkin is currently offline  larkin   United States

Toe is in the water
Location: Massachusetts
Registered: June 2015
Messages: 58



Quote:
timmy wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 17:35
"Quote:"
larkin wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 17:11--No need to defend your wonderful site.. However, your membership must be over 18 and I suspect that many members are considerably older and they should be treated as such.  Prejudice, adversity and even criminal abuse is what characterizes the difficulties in finding one's way. This is reality.  Isn't this why you offer pastoral care on your site?

I realize the important of concluding with a pleasing resolution or at least a poignant thought for reflection.


--
Not defending it. It's just important, sometimes, to remind folk of the underlying ethos. We are here to show gay teenagers what is possible, what they might aspire to if they wish. Gritty tales are good, as are the less gritty, but those that capture the imagination of folk are those that adhere to the tried and tested formula.

I'm not sure why you think everyone is over 18. I hope they are not, indeed I know they are not, and I hope those under 18 are wise when contacting other folk here. We have many young teens in our readership, judging by the emails I get behind the scenes.

Sometimes the only sex education they get is from gay teenage love stories. That or porn. But porn is not love, it's just a quick rocks off session, mechanical sex.

--I thought over 18 was a requirement for membership?  maybe I was mistaken.
I don't consider what I write porno and my topic had nothing to do with squalid toilets.
but all that aside, consider the topic dropped.
Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71045 is a reply to message #71043] Tue, 09 February 2016 00:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
WestcliffWriter is currently offline  WestcliffWriter   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: United Kingdom
Registered: May 2015
Messages: 74




Quote:
larkin wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 23:44
"Quote:"
timmy wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 17:35
"Quote:"
larkin wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 17:11--No need to defend your wonderful site.. However, your membership must be over 18 and I suspect that many members are considerably older and they should be treated as such.  Prejudice, adversity and even criminal abuse is what characterizes the difficulties in finding one's way. This is reality.  Isn't this why you offer pastoral care on your site?

I realize the important of concluding with a pleasing resolution or at least a poignant thought for reflection.



--
Not defending it. It's just important, sometimes, to remind folk of the underlying ethos. We are here to show gay teenagers what is possible, what they might aspire to if they wish. Gritty tales are good, as are the less gritty, but those that capture the imagination of folk are those that adhere to the tried and tested formula.

I'm not sure why you think everyone is over 18. I hope they are not, indeed I know they are not, and I hope those under 18 are wise when contacting other folk here. We have many young teens in our readership, judging by the emails I get behind the scenes.

Sometimes the only sex education they get is from gay teenage love stories. That or porn. But porn is not love, it's just a quick rocks off session, mechanical sex.

--I thought over 18 was a requirement for membership?  maybe I was mistaken.
I don't consider what I write porno and my topic had nothing to do with squalid toilets.
but all that aside, consider the topic dropped.

--

I read this whole thread Larkin, I think your response last was to Timmy about porn. I didn't interpret his answer as saying you wrote porn, I think he was merely speaking in the context of what is available for teens out there looking to explore sexuality.

And.... Squalid toilets? lol. That made me chuckle, it came out of nowhere?? hehehe! At least, I cant see THAT written anywhere else)
Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71052 is a reply to message #71045] Tue, 09 February 2016 09:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13458



"Quote:"
WestcliffWriter wrote on Tue, 09 February 2016 00:20
"Quote:"
larkin wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 23:44
"Quote:"
timmy wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 17:35
"Quote:"
larkin wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 17:11--No need to defend your wonderful site.. However, your membership must be over 18 and I suspect that many members are considerably older and they should be treated as such.  Prejudice, adversity and even criminal abuse is what characterizes the difficulties in finding one's way. This is reality.  Isn't this why you offer pastoral care on your site?

I realize the important of concluding with a pleasing resolution or at least a poignant thought for reflection.





--
Not defending it. It's just important, sometimes, to remind folk of the underlying ethos. We are here to show gay teenagers what is possible, what they might aspire to if they wish. Gritty tales are good, as are the less gritty, but those that capture the imagination of folk are those that adhere to the tried and tested formula.

I'm not sure why you think everyone is over 18. I hope they are not, indeed I know they are not, and I hope those under 18 are wise when contacting other folk here. We have many young teens in our readership, judging by the emails I get behind the scenes.

Sometimes the only sex education they get is from gay teenage love stories. That or porn. But porn is not love, it's just a quick rocks off session, mechanical sex.

--I thought over 18 was a requirement for membership?  maybe I was mistaken.
I don't consider what I write porno and my topic had nothing to do with squalid toilets.
but all that aside, consider the topic dropped.

--

I read this whole thread Larkin, I think your response last was to Timmy about porn. I didn't interpret his answer as saying you wrote porn, I think he was merely speaking in the context of what is available for teens out there looking to explore sexuality.

And.... Squalid toilets? lol. That made me chuckle, it came out of nowhere?? hehehe! At least, I cant see THAT written anywhere else)

--
Indeed I did not accuse Larkin of writing porn. I do not. And I am not ure where that thought arrived from.

And the scent of urinal candy and stale poo, while it must be erotic to some, is not to me!

In full irony, I stand by my squalid toilet.

[Updated on: Tue, 09 February 2016 10:00]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71055 is a reply to message #71036] Tue, 09 February 2016 16:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
larkin is currently offline  larkin   United States

Toe is in the water
Location: Massachusetts
Registered: June 2015
Messages: 58



"Quote:"
timmy wrote on Mon, 08 February 2016 16:14
"Quote:"
Quote:

Do bear in mind that, with several exceptions, the site presents a chocolate box view of gay male teenage romance intentionally. The general plots of the stories here follow the tried and tested Mills and Boon / Harlequin model of:
  • Boy meets boy
  • One or both fall for the other
  • Boy loses boy
  • Boy passes through adversity / adventures / trials
  • Boy finds boy again
  • Boy and boy live together happy ever after

The reason for this is and has always been to show the gay teenager and the adult he becomes that he deserves true romance, and that his lot is not squalid sex in public toilets. The stories are, generally, aspirational rather that wholly true to life. They are what is expected in Boy meets Girl romances.

--
So if, as you say, there are many here under 18, I know for a fact that they appreciate honesty.  Not all young, emerging gay men are on a quest for Prince Charming.  For others, emerging homosexuality can be a devastating, internal crisis met in isolation.  Without going into it, this explains some worrying statistics.
 
My discussion in this forum was about the difficulties a boy may feel when confronted with feminine characteristics in himself.  It is more common than you might think.  As I have said in the previous posts, suppressive adaptation is a common but difficult solution. 
 
It is why some adults males silently say to themselves, "That boy is going to grow-up to be a flaming fag." and then offer no support..
 
This particular story tries to address only a few of these issues.  It is more about the reactions of those people around the main character.  This is a life crisis that many boys experience in silence.  It is a very complex issue worthy of discussion and worthy of literary expression. 
 
My object is to write about it.  

[Updated on: Tue, 09 February 2016 16:20]

Re: Writing, uncomfortable topics  [message #71056 is a reply to message #71055] Tue, 09 February 2016 16:51 Go to previous message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13458



What are feminine and what are masculine characteristics? And why?



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
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