A word of caution …

be careful with those balls:-)

Based on some of the comments I’ve received so far, I wanted to take a moment to caution everyone not to rush to judgment as to where First Love, First Time is headed.

Some readers have commented that these earliest chapters seem to be setting the stage and that’s probably right in a way. But as I mentioned to one person who commented, I see almost all of Part I as setting the stage and I suppose that could end up being frustrating if you’ve set your heart on a particular outcome and want to get there as fast as possible.

So let me remind you again this is an experimental story. It’s a little hard to explain what that means exactly, at least until Part I of the story finishes up next month. But basically what it means is that I don’t see Part I as the end of the story necessarily.

It could be the end if no one is interested in helping me take it further; or if I’m not satisfied with where you would have me take it.

But I wrote Part I as if it was just a beginning. If you like the story, want to see it continue and are willing to help me figure out how it should, there could be more parts down the road. But since there’s no guarantee of that, Part I posed a challenge for me.

Indeed, I kind of feel like that cute juggler above 😀

On the one hand, I had to write the story as if it would continue and that meant putting different characters and plots into play without unnecessarily closing down possibilities for future parts.

At the same time, I also had to write Part I so it would be a complete and self-contained story when it was finished if no one is interested in seeing it continue. And it will be complete when we finish in April, but the resolution of certain things may only come at the end of Part I.

Up until then, everything could be described as setting the stage for what comes next.

It’s a balancing act for me as the writer and whether you’ll ultimately be satisfied with what I’ve done is hard to say.

What I told you is that Part I would focus on one main character, two major secondary characters, and an assortment of other minor characters who might play more important roles in future parts of the story.

We’ve already met Lane Bailey, who is the main character in this part of the story, and Paul, one of the major secondary characters. But we haven’t even introduced the other major secondary character so I feel like I should caution people not to rush to judgment too quickly.

There’s nothing wrong with speculating on how you think Part I might unfold. In fact, that’s a good thing. But it’s important to be open to revising your speculation as each chapter unfolds and introduces new characters and plot situations.

I’m not sure I’m being clear in all of this. Maybe clarity will only come later. I guess the main point I want to make is that Part I is an extended introduction to what could be a much longer story. It’s focused right now on the narrator, Lane, but future parts could focus elsewhere.

But you can’t get to elsewhere without a starting point; and the starting point for Part I is all of the characters, not just the main one.

I don’t know whether this helps at all. It’s mostly just a caution not to get your heart set on anything in particular happening.

While I don’t think you’ll ultimately be disappointed with the outcome of Part I, you may be frustrated because the story seems to be unfolding much slower than you would prefer.

Or, to put it another way, Part I is about Lane primarily. To emphasize that point I’ve gone back and labelled Part I as Lane’s Story in each chapter. Hopefully that will reinforce the notion that future parts, if any, could focus on other characters.

For the moment, however, we’re focused on Lane and there’s a lot going on in his life. To understand Lane as well as we should, we need to know how he got to this point and we won’t really begin to find out until Chapter 5.

But we won’t get to Chapter 5 until the week after next so hold on.

We still have a ways to go 😀

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4 thoughts on “A word of caution …

  1. I am not one to like short stories. I like the way you lay down the ground work and develop your characters, it is why I am still here. I hope to do my part if you feel that the reading public should have input to the story, but it is your story. If I don’t like it I will let you know. Hopefully your readers know that not everything in life always comes up roses.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Captain. The key here is “characters” as there are more to come. If the story is to have a future and readers to help out, the more possibilities the better in my opinion.

  2. I have enjoyed the story so far. I like the development of Lane and see it as realistic for that era. I actually had no expectation that Lane and Paul would do much except be friends. I don’t think that Lane would have put his career in jeopardy for this back in the 70’s.

    1. Thanks, Adam. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the story so far and I think you’ll continue to enjoy it if you keep the faith.

      I probably haven’t done enough to emphasize just how difficult it was to be a homosexual (let alone gay) back in 1973. I was hoping Anderson would serve that role, but perhaps I could have done more to emphasize the point.

      In any event, hold your horses 🙂

      That’s about to change as we move forward.

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