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  1. #1
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    Mix-tape: Prologue and first chapter *sexual content (mild)*

    Prologue

    Ever thought your life needs a soundtrack? A mix-tape of well-chosen songs to accompany everyday non-events. Something classical while reading the newspaper in the morning? Or minimal techno while ironing the slim-fit white shirt just before hitting the bars?

    Well, this is the soundtrack of my life. I'm twenty-nine, male, gay and no, my soundtrack will not be ABBA or Beyonce!


    Don't worry, I don't have high hopes of it going platinum!


    Chapter 1
    Song: The Gabe Dixon Band - All will be well


    So, in many gay-fiction/non-fiction novels there is a chapter about the struggle of coming out, to start living the life you have ignored, even though it has been screaming at you. To stop fooling yourself that deleting the gay porn sites from the internet browser history will somehow make you normal and straight. That once you find that one special girl the desires will go away. That the Calvin Klein underwear ads don't get you hard! Those abs....!

    But I digress.

    I wanted to start with this. Sort of get it out of the way! Because this is not a happy-go-lucky I'm-gay-and-I´m-loving-it kinda book. At least I don't think so, but I've just started writing it afterall and I don't really know where it will lead me. For all I know this book might be in the closet still, not ready to come out yet. (Yes, I saw the tackiness of the analogue as well after I had written it down and re-read it. But I'm keeping it!)

    Let's just see where it takes us.

    I first came out to one of my best friends during university. "I think I might be bi!" was drunkenly confessed on some stairs outside of a student bar, but nothing changed after that. I lived another six years before I came out again and finally did something about it. Even though I had girlfriends whom I oved and cared for, there was always something missing. I tried to convince myself that I could do this, I could be normal and be together with a girl.

    But I think there are certain signs that should have convinced me relatively early that it was not meant to be. For example, I always used to get the "wow, you give great head" from the girls I went home with. Well, when you can´t really seem to get it up, then you learn to get by and hide it by focusing elsewhere. They say that gay men gives the best blow jobs. I don´t think I would be far off if I would say that closeted men give girls the best head.

    When I eventually decided that enough was enough, I started coming out to all my friends. In the beginning it was easier to do when I was drunk. I would wake up with a hangover and a mental tick-in-the-box the next day, and eventually it would be easier and easier and I would´t need alcohol to do it. I did not have a single bad experience telling my friends which I am forever grateful for. I´m not the stereotypical gay with a kink in the hand or being immaculately well dressed, so for some it came as a surprise., but many also had guessed.

    At least I don´t think there were any money changing hands when I came out. "Told you!"….

    So all in all it was pretty painless for me coming out. Late, I know, but it can take a while to accept who you are. A part of me wish that I would have done it sooner, thinking "what kind of person would I have been today if I would have come out earlier?". But I am also very happy where I am in my life right now. I love my friends and family, and I would hate it if I would not have been where I am today, not having the friends I have, because I would been out my whole life. Would I have been happier? Maybe. But being closeted never really brought me down. I think it has made me a bit insecure as a person because I have had to hide something that was a part of whom I was. But unhappy? Not really. Being as happy as I could have been? Definitely not.

    I think the only advice I could give to others in the same situation would be - All will be well!

    It might hurt, it might take time and it will most likely change your life. But in the end, all will be well!



  2. #2
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    A few quick thoughts off the top of my head:

    Overall, an easy read, in the sense that it seems to flow well. Nothing jumped out at me as being jarring, other than the subject matter itself, which is not something I would normally read.

    A couple of typos, which just look like fat-finger errors: "afterall" should be two words, and "oved" should be "loved".

    Are you expecting your audience to be familiar with your song references in order to provide a context? I've never heard of The Gabe Dixon Band, let alone listened to their music, although the song title seems to be sufficient for this segment. I happen to like ABBA (well, some of their songs, anyway).

    You mentioned in your intro that you write "blog style" and this certainly fits that description. Where are you going with this story? What sort of genre is it (assuming it falls into one of the usual categories)? So far, I get the sense that it's an autobiographical "this is my life" sort of thing, but unless you've lived a very interesting life, I'm not sure how much interest there would be in this, although I suppose the LGBT community might resonate with this.

    I don't know that your prologue adds anything to the tale, other than to set up the song references, which themselves just seem to be a replacement for chapter titles.

    Your English seems better than most, so I wouldn't worry too much about that ;-) Carry on....

  3. #3
    Junior Member justbishop's Avatar
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    Most of what Gilfindel said, but I wanted to add a couple of additional thoughts.

    Why so many exclamation points? I'm not really in the "exclamation points are evil and they should all be killed with fire" camp, but in this short a piece there's way too many. Looking at each instance on a case-by-case basis, I don't see a single sentence that would have less impact with a period instead.

    And I'm thinking that as this piece progresses, you're going to need to come up with several different ways of saying "coming out", so as not to sound repetitive (though I suspect I may be more sensitive than most to this sort of thing).

  4. #4
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    First, I agree with Gil. This piece would attract a very limited audience. Not many people want to read about your sex life. Typically, this kind of writing repulses me - not because of the homosexuality, but because of the one-dimensional focus and the public airing of what should be private. It is common among the gay community to make their sexuality their identity. That mentality is always opaque to me. I’m probably as heterosexual as they come, nuclear heterosexual, lol, yet I feel I could lose my sexuality and still be me. I’d still live and love and think. I don’t feel the need to discuss my sex life with anyone (aside from my wife, lol) let alone write it down. Heterosexuality is not who I am, it’s just an aspect of my physical existence.

    Not so with homosexuals, at least many of the ones I know. Their sexuality is literally their life. It pervades their thinking, their talk, their activity. It’s a really important revelation that closeted men give the best head. It disgusts me, but no more than a heterosexual who does the same thing. In reading this, my attitude is pretty much just go away and leave me alone. Go be gay. Go sleep with as many women as you want. I don’t want to hear or read about your sexual interests gay or straight any more than I want to tell you about mine. To me, sexuality is meant to be mostly private and personal, not public, and I believe those are hardly uncommon sentiments.

    That said, I think you’re not really ready to write this story. Twice you describe heterosexuality as “normal”. What do you think that implies about how you view your homosexuality? You think it’s abnormal. Your piece is one big block of ambivalence from beginning to end. I don’t know about anyone else, but ambivalence plays only so long for me before it becomes wearisome. Have you accepted your homosexuality or not? If you’re wavering, I don’t think you can write very effectively about it, because ambivalence makes you lie constantly. You can’t write honestly and truthfully about what you really don’t believe. There’s no way you “ignored” this life and no way coming out was “pretty painless”.

    If you feel you really have accepted your homosexuality, then there’s three things I think you can do to make your writing more palatable to a larger audience. First, jettison the overt sex stuff. For any but the sex-oriented, it comes off as adolescent, inappropriate, and one-dimensional. Second, as much as possible, remove yourself as the focus of your writing, and replace yourself with more of an objective, philosophical examination of your sexuality. Search your piece for “I”. I bet you use it forty or fifty times in this short piece. You sound like a narcissistic little twerp, and I’m certain that’s not your intention, and almost certainly (since I don’t know you) not the kind of person you are. You have BIG emotions, BIG feelings, BIG thoughts. Write about those, not yourself. Replace yourself with contemplation. Third, use better verbs. Empty verbs cripple your meaning.

    Look at this paragraph (where, incidentally, you use “I” 17 times and “me” 4 times):

    So all in all it was pretty painless for me coming out. Late, I know, but it can take a while to accept who you are. A part of me wish that I would have done it sooner, thinking "what kind of person would I have been today if I would have come out earlier?". But I am also very happy where I am in my life right now. I love my friends and family, and I would hate it if I would not have been where I am today, not having the friends I have, because I would been out my whole life. Would I have been happier? Maybe. But being closeted never really brought me down. I think it has made me a bit insecure as a person because I have had to hide something that was a part of whom I was. But unhappy? Not really. Being as happy as I could have been? Definitely not.

    Now read it with “you” toned way down, with more of a detached, contemplative view:

    With my friends and family, coming out later in life was as painless as it could be, but what if it happened earlier? How would it have affected my personal development and relationships? Certainly life holds a great deal of happiness and contentment now…such good friends and family - but would an earlier exit from the closet have prevented some relationships I now enjoyed? Perhaps as younger people, some current friends would be less accepting and end the relationship - a terrible thought. And what of myself? Would life have been happier? Maybe. The closet was never too uncomfortable, though a bit insecure because the door kept cracking open, and who knew who thought they saw me peeping behind it? But was it less happy in the closet than now? Not really. Life is wonderful.

    You see? You can attract a larger audience if you step back from yourself, put on your lab coat, and record observations, because people often observe the same things or identify the observations with similar occurrences in their own lives. People like validation, the thought that “Yeah! I know what he must’ve felt because thus and so happened to me!” But when you attach your thoughts exclusively to yourself…well, you better be a very interesting and unique sort of person, because talking about yourself all the time usually gets old pretty darn fast.

  5. #5
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    I like this style of writing; it is easygoing and light and makes you want to read on.

    But I do agree with John on many of the points. I don't feel repulsed though. In that, I differ.

    I agree totally with John about the fact that homosexuals tend to focus on nothing else in their lives. Their books are always about it, they write plays about it. Not just the love part, the relationship part, but specifically saying "I am gay and it's who I am, get used to it!!" A straight person would never take that approach. The sexuality of a heterosexual is always integral and intrinsic, but never mooted. I mean, yeah of course there are books about prostitutes and gigolos - people who live and breathe sex. But it is never mentioned that the reason they are like this is because they are heterosexual so get used to it!

    Just write about your life. Write about people you have loved - and yeah, mention of course your feelings. But not ad nauseum. Let us hear what you did with your life when you were not focussing on being gay, but on just being.

  6. #6
    Junior Member justbishop's Avatar
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    Not disagreeing with Debbi and John, per se, but I do feel the need to point out that heterosexuals don't really struggle for acceptance in society the way that LGBQT individuals do. I could see how someone who feels like they are fighting against the current almost every second of their lives could start to feel defined by the part of them causing that struggle.

  7. #7
    Rogue Mutt
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    I think I own that song. This doesn't read like the first chapter of a novel. There's really no setting, no character, no dialog, no anything. I'd say at this point it's more of a blog post than a novel. And a 72 prologue would work better as an author's note. You should probably read some more books or take some classes to understand how to write an actual scene. Either that or just make it clear you're stringing together a bunch of blog posts/Facebook status updates. Someone might find that edgy.

  8. #8
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I suppose if that were the case, I might agree with you, but it isn't. Nothing defines them. They define themselves, like the definition, and want everyone else to like the definition too. And if you don't...well, let's just say I don't believe it will be too much longer before dissenters will find themselves in jail or fined just for voicing an opinion.

    We just had a Gay Pride parade here. Now why do you think they parade? They want to proclaim their lifestyle (really a deathstyle) and make the definition of themselves nice and clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by justbishop View Post
    Not disagreeing with Debbi and John, per se, but I do feel the need to point out that heterosexuals don't really struggle for acceptance in society the way that LGBQT individuals do. I could see how someone who feels like they are fighting against the current almost every second of their lives could start to feel defined by the part of them causing that struggle.

  9. #9
    Rogue Mutt
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    Would you mind keeping your obvious homophobia out of the thread? This obviously isn't your kind of story, so just restrict yourself to making comments about the grammar and move along.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    I suppose if that were the case, I might agree with you, but it isn't. Nothing defines them. They define themselves, like the definition, and want everyone else to like the definition too. And if you don't...well, let's just say I don't believe it will be too much longer before dissenters will find themselves in jail or fined just for voicing an opinion.

    We just had a Gay Pride parade here. Now why do you think they parade? They want to proclaim their lifestyle (really a deathstyle) and make the definition of themselves nice and clear.

  10. #10
    Rogue Mutt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mutt View Post
    And a 72 prologue would work better as an author's note. .
    I meant 72-word prologue.

    BTW, there's an ignore list feature you can use to ignore bigoted idiots like Oberon. I'd suggest making use of it.

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