I felt Mike's refelctions on my blog entry about our characters being real people – in our heads – was intersting. I too was rather annoyed when some people giving feedback said – Almir wouldnt speak like that, it sounds too street (when the research interview I did with the Albanian professor at SEES indicated that a young Albanian man with little english comming to London for the first time would not have difficulty with Enlgish pronounciation – and – especially if he lived in a place like E17 , would quickly pick up the language of the street.
Also if felt many people giving feedback didnt apreciate/have knowledge of how gay men do it – crusing I mean – it IS cold and matter of fact – like a business transation almost - and usually sex comes first then the romance(if that comes at all) – so the comment that -” how can this become a love story when they cut to the chase so quickly didnt ring true for me.
ALSO I was surprised at the number of commentators who’d never heard of the term “batty man” – which is the perjorative term usied by homophobic black (men mostlty)people in reference to gay black men.
Perhaps the answer to all of this is to modify for the “less informed” reader – elaborate by spelling out meaning which might be ambiguous or unknown in the popular mind;also to make it more literary – its fiction after all – so that it makes for an easier and better read – I mean eg the dialogue – like Rose Tremain has done in her book The Road Home where she has her Romanian immigrant protagonist speaking perfect english like all the other characters…
I may – as a result of the last City workshop feedback on the bakery pick up – have Roland avoid taking drugs and be anti quick pick ups/one night stands – he’s had a few and sees the “scene” as superficial – ok when he was in the closet for a quick occaisional anonymous foray – but now he’s comming out – he wants more – the attraction to Almir IS sexual at first but I do agree that Almir needs to be more coy/guarded to the come on – I will have them dance with each other a little longer in the scene I workshoped and also a few more brief encounters before they get to this point. Almirs needs to have more curiousity about Rolands motivation – maybe he asks him if he wants to chuck hoop(basket ball) on a saturady..
I think too that I will make his arousal less sexual over this scene – It will come afterwards – when theyve become passionate lovers. I think too I will make a short scene about the night out at Barcode – minus Roland on e – maybe he does still go back to the Highbury flat – then feels numbed by the experience …or just aknowedges it as anyomymous sex, which doesnt fulfill his needs entirely.
I will show his week at work in the new job – maybe AFTER he’s started the affair with AL – that would make him more distracted for sure – if theyve already had great sex – he wouldnt want to get out of bed to go to work and all he’d think about would be his next fix of the sexy, horny Al!
a little more about Rolands back story I agree with too – though theres some in the previous chapter which City hasnt heard but which I work shopped to excellent feedback in the Novelist’s Club – my other work shoping outlet at the moment. I read through all the City feedback and Novelists club feedback again – late last night before I went to bed -I slept like a log – so I must have made peace with it all. Often thats the best approach I am finding in response to “heavy” or conflicting feedback /comments/critique – read it again after the distance of a few days- then sleep on it.
Leave a Reply