Some issues with GLM

whateversexual_llama's picture

I'm starting to notice that a lot of the GLM stories that're being posted are, well, pretty much the same thing. I'm not sure if it's just me, or a personal preferance thing, but I thought that the idea was to tell stories of the every day life of GLBT teens. The whole "I found out I was different when I was ___ years old, and I came out to ____ person first," thing, when people just summarize the gay parts of their lives... it seems, well, a little less than creative.

I'm not trying to be mean (though I don't think I'm succeeding), but every day life... it seems like it calls for stories of what happens in a given moment, or scene, in the life of a GLTB teen.

I know that it can be hard to get the inpsiration for a unique passage... when I started writing mine, it was a summary of my life. I read it over and it was, well, dumb. There was one paragraph, near the end, that I liked best. It was a summarization of the scene that ended up being described in Fame.

I mean, our lives are so different, but on the surface, we're all just GLBT teens. A bunch of quick summaries that pretty much state, "I am a GLBT teen, this is how I got here," isn't going to cut it.

I mean, that's my take on it. You can slap me if you think I'm crazy.

dykehalo's picture

ponder ponder

WOW! I haven't read all of them but i've read some and your right. Most are fitting into the same format "I found out I was different when I was ___ years old, and I came out to ____ person first" I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that everyone's stories are knda like that but maybe there's sumthing ot be said about that. We are all different and have different stories to tell bu we are all at the same time exactly the same. It kinda makes me feel normal... I hate feeling normal. Jeez just when i got used to standing out... But mine definitaly fits that little format. I might change it im just not sure how. If you have an ideas. contact me

hebrew freak's picture

ok. try this

if you want to write something, but you find yourself simply writing a summary of your life, then do just that. then, try to imagine that story like a time line. once you can picture that, take a small chunk of that line, and write...not so much a story, but a memoir of that time, and anecdote

then, try expanding that anecdote you have by filling in details. light, color, weather, facial expressions, and thoughts are all good ways to fill out a small story.

then, go into it's meaning. show how that small chunk of time has affected you since it happened. tell what you've learned from it, relate to what the reader can learn from your experience.

this is just a simple outline. if you've already written a life story, try taking a part of it and fleshing it out like this, adding your own spark. then, you can write more pieces. it's like shampoo. lather, rinse, repeat...always, repeat.

*she's the mistake i would always gladly continue making*

underdarkness's picture

My story...

My story is a lot more detailed than what you have described, but it has the same basic idea. I describe my denial, my cover-up girlfriends, my coming out to friends, my thoughts of suicide, social stigmatization, my first kiss, telling my parents, thinking they'd never love me again, psychologist mumbo jumbo, dates and to the place where I wrote most of the story - in school. After that point, I talk about specific experiences in my every-day life. People who are mean to me, etc... the way my school reacts to me, the denial of our GSA...

- One Nation, Under Darkness

the mouse that roared's picture

I completely agree.

We need to think this out a bit. Who is this collection for? Is it fine gay literature for fine gay youth? Are we trying to explain what gay life is like to straights? Are we trying to coax people out of the closet? Is it a combination of these things?

Although everyone's life experience and thoughts are valuable, I'm not sure if they're really showing through right now. The first rule of writing is "show, don't tell." Instead of saying, "I got my first kiss" or "I was afraid to come out," narrow your focus to one topic and show what it is about. Figure out how to symbolically express fear of coming out or the joy/grossness of one's first kiss. Although a timeline of events might end up being fantastic, a small story about one aspect of your life might be better.

As we all don't want to be judged for being gay, we don't only want to write our stories about the label and the steps we've gone through. We want to write about our humanity despite our gayness, the common ground, and help people to understand that way.

No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless; there is too much work to do.--Dorothy Day

patnelsonchilds's picture

Yes, I agree with everything

Yes, I agree with everything that's been said here. It's good that we're discussing this now, while it's still early. One of the things that I and the editors will try to do is to tease some of these gems out, but there's only so much we can do. We need something to work with. I urge everyone to re-read the above comments carefully and then rethink your own work with the goal of finding an anecdote that really captures who you are and what your life is like. Don't worry if it's rough. We'll help you polish it up.

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay
characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"