This contains the concept and notes for the story concept I'm looking to write.
"A Change of Mind" GC: A story about a guy who grows and learns to see his life and socialization differently.
Warning This item will almost certainly contain spoilers. The notes included here are primarily for me the author (and anyone who wants to make suggestions or otherwise join me in the creative process. If you'd rather avoid spoilers, I suggest you not read this item.
Curtis (the POV character) is a twenty something gay man living in a small city (name and location to be determined). He's quiet, introverted, awkward, and is deeply dissatisfied with his life (particularly his love life). The story follows through his attempts to find love and otherwise "fix" the life he finds so dissatisfying, only to discover that much of his efforts are really about changing himself and how he sees the world around him. This is not so much a love story as a story of personal growth and developing maturity.
A number of things contributed to my decision to write this story. I was primarily inspired by two things. The first came as a result of following along with Yamikuronue's ongoing review of the book "Easily Amused." Reading part of it, I suggested it would be interesting if the POV character (who tends to be both rather self-loathing and horribly critical of everyone around her) was expected to be viewed as an unreliable narrator who eventually began to change the way she viewed the world.
More recently, I watched the movie Longhorns , in which the main character's thoughts are often provided as voice-overs and demonstrates that his thoughts go through just such an evolution. While I liked the way the movie played with the concept, I still feel it could be better done in a written medium, so I've decided to give it a try.
Other sources of inspirations may include any movie or story that deals well with personal growth of its characters. Some examples from gay films include Shelter, Rock Haven, Latter Days, and Broken Hearts Club.
Cliches and Tropes I Want to Avoid
There are a number of tropes and cliches I'd rather avoid while writing this book. I will collect them and provide my thoughts on them here.
True love fixes everything
Everything leads to Mr. Right
I'm grouping these two tropes together because I think they're the two sides of the same coin. I especially want to avoid this because while the story will talk a lot about relationships and the search for love, it is not primarily a story about finding love. It's a story about growth, change, and seeing the world in new and healthier ways. I am seriously considering leaving Curtis single at the end of the story. He will almost certainly have some relationships (and encounters that don't quite reach relationship status before concluding). However, by remaining single at the end of the story, I'd like to think I can help to draw the point that Curtis is in a much better place simply because he's allowed himself to grow and challenged himself.
Promiscuous/Shallow Gay Roommate/best friends
Not much to say about this one, other than it's a stereotype that I despise and I'd rather not feed into it by creating a cliched caricature that perfectly emulates the stereotype. This isn't to say that all my characters are going to be virgins or hopeless romantics waiting for "the right one." There will be mentions of hookups and casual relationships. However, I hope to create more rounded and complex characters. This isn't going to be about shallow and easy gay men who make idealist Curtis look better with his virtue.
Fag-Hag Best Friend
Curtis will have female friends that he enjoys talking to, who enjoy hanging out with him, and love talking about men with him (and each other). But again, I'm going to try to create such characters who are multi-faceted and interesting in their own right. They (note, I plan to give Curtis more than one female friend) will not be "total bitches." And they will get along with each other relatively well rather than being naturally distrustful or hateful towards each other.
Currently, I have set the story to a content rating of GC. I'm hoping to downgrade it to 18+ eventually. At this time, I don't contain on including graphic descriptions of sex. When Curtis has sex, it will be "off screen," so to speak.