280,000 words later, Being More Social has now been fully edited, by myself. I hope to God I fixed all of the spelling and grammar mistakes (there were, embarrassingly, a lot of them) and I can call the edit ‘definitive’ and wash my hands of it. For those who care about the lore of my works, this version is the “canon” version, which presented a few interesting challenges (for instance, I wanted to change a line of Phil’s at one point but realized I’d have to equally change and publish the exact same line in Only If You Want, so instead I swallowed my pride and left that particular line be). If you’re a $5 patron of mine on Patreon, you can download and read it now if you wish.
As I said before, I was hesitant to change too much about the story – after all, people that liked this story wanted to read a fixed version of the same story, not a version with different dialogue that 2021 me thought was better. If I changed anything, I did it for the sake of dialogue flow or something. The events, including the ones that make me cringe at how trope-y I was when I started out, were left in. The only major change is that one particular character didn’t really get to have an ending, so I introduced two conversations to tie up their loose ends. If you’ve already read the story and have come back to this blog, you likely know which character I’m talking about. In 2014 I was a lot more immature and at this point feel a responsibility to bring humanity back to a certain character. It wasn’t fair, so that was the one “ego change” I allowed myself to make, so to speak.
Recently a Twitter commenter expressed enthusiasm at the idea of me doing Q&A sessions, and now that Being More Social’s “definitive” edition is finished, I feel an urge to indulge in such things. I’ll likely do the same thing for every popular multi-chapter story when I finish their edited editions, and while I already did one for Being More Social, it was at a time when this website was just getting started.
So, in the comments below, hit me with your questions! If you’re shy, you can also email me, or send me a message on Twitter, or get your questions to me however you want. No question is too dumb, or too personal (obviously, I’ll withhold anything too personal, but I’ll still express that within the answer). Hit me with every Being More Social-related question you can think of, and I’ll do my best to answer them in my next blog post. The only questions I can’t answer would be questions like “What happens to <character> in the future?” as I would still someday like to make a sequel. I’d rather let the sequel speak for itself, but aside from that, I’ve withheld and smirked without answering when confronted with questions about BMS for too long. I hope you all enjoy the story, and thank you for an absurdly long time – seven years – of enjoying the story. I’ll talk to you all next week.
5 thoughts on “The Final Being More Social Q&A – Part 1”
What was that with Nicole calling Megan Megan names? It usually happens if you have some connection and history witch such a person, positive or negative. But I did not have such impression. I am not sure they even explicitly spoke to each other in the whole story, aside of that confrontation with May in the council room (where several such names were used). Neither Nicole used such naming for anyone else.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Was it ever explained why Nicole could , to Adam at least, seemingly get dressed or undressed in the blink of an eye?
LikeLiked by 1 person
In an eventual sequel, it would be interesting to read some flashbacks to key events from POV of May and Nicole, perhaps in context of Nicole revealing their talk behind the closed door.
Before judging Adam too harshly, as you disliked him later, one has to remember he was 14 year old, socially awkward and inexperienced. He was told and taught by Nicole that having sex at his age is OK, having casual sex is OK, being slutty is OK. What do you want to do with such shitty cards in hand to play the card game of life? Skipping teaching him all essential soft social skills toward girls, he was programmed to become a social monster. Considering this, he managed very well.
Aside of multiple bad decision, he made multiple good decisions too. He often did/said what he should not and vice versa. He usually at least believed it was OK what he did, or did not know what to do or that he should do something.
But Adam did not consciously do such cruel, evil things as Phil did to Nicole, not even to Megan. This was not about Phil looking bad because Nicole and Adam hated him. Phil was not programmed this way to think it was OK. And, he was 3 years older, he should know better.
If we love or like and care for a person, even in the middle of an argument, we do not hit their weakest point to kill, like if he/she is our deadly enemy. By doing that, we kill what we claim we feel for them.
Aside of responsibility for your own bad actions, we have also responsibility if we have taught or made others to do bad actions. Nicole taught Adam a lot. Adam taught Megan part of it and received all kind of anger for that, including from Nicole herself. What about Nicole responsibility? Adam would not do so without Nicole. Even with May and her own responsibility, things could develop for May very differently without the long range Nicole influence.
What May did with Phil makes in Only If You Want even less sense. Only psychopats hurt people just because they can. May did not want any revange for Phil. If she wanted to use it to get Adam because of his pity, why would she go so far to potentially destroy Phil’s life?
The several times mentioned info in OIYW that Adam was abusive or manipulative in middle school is either lie told to Nicole and Phil, either it is not consistent with BMS. Phil’s image of Adam in OIYW is in strong contrast with what we know from BMS.
My conclusion for BMS + OIYW is, it was a great story, with characters (including minor ones) I liked, I liked and disliked their actions. But, OTOH, the story itself is kind of toxic. While reading OIYW just recently, I had to make a break and read a story with more healthy relations. BTW, reading erotic stories from 8 is not exactly healthy either.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I don’t know what you mean by “from 8.”
I wouldn’t disagree with any assertions you make about characters from your own POV, but I’ll also say that I don’t write stories to tell a particularly optimistic view of people, especially high schoolers. Teenagers are toxic and selfish. If one is going to write an emotional story about teenagers, the story is either going to have to be told from a somewhat toxic standpoint or be non-realistic.
Lastly, I don’t want to tell you how to interpret the story but a few things you assert are things you can’t know. “Phil was not programmed this way,” for example. “If [May] wanted to use it to get Adam because of his pity” is another. I don’t quite see their upbringing as “if X event happens, Y trait will come forth.” It seems like you’ve decided that there’s some kind of objective morality in this story’s universe where cause and effect are laid bare, Nicole is the principal cause, and the rest of the story can be built from there. Again, if that’s how you want to see the story you have the right, but it bears mentioning that we come at these characters seeing them differently. I’m sure your reasoning is more complex than I’m making it out to be, I’m just thinking out loud.
Was there a particular question in this comment that you wanted me to formally answer?
You may have realized from my prior comments I am not a short form responder. 🙂 I have put some questions to the very end to have them handy.
About “since 8”, I apologize, if it does not make sense to you. It must be either a typo I have read either some game of my brain, somehow remembering you wrote it about yourself in the blog as the age since when you read erotic stories. 🙂
Toxic may not be the right word but I have language skills excuse. It is just difficult to relate BMS for me to my own European experience with a high school ages ago (casual sex was rather foreign concept in 80’s for our high schooler age ), or to other high school stories I have read. The most prominent and being compared story in this context is for me the long form New Girl In Town ( 23 chapters, in progress ) by AuroraIncident on Literotica(almost exclusive source of my erotic reading) . Located to US South Caroline, it is about HS seniors, but less wild than BMS freshmen ( Adam, Megan, May etc). I am aware of teenager relations being often toxic and selfish and it is displayed in such stories. But BMS is quite unique in having like only such relations, like if nontoxic relations did not exist, what is not much real. I have not seen there any side or just passing-by character who had teenage romantic relationship, with or without sex. I hope 14 and 13 year old schoolmates fucking like rabbits is not a realistic example even for US/CA high schools.
I agree I do not know what is not written in stories. But what is written in the story universe takes precendence over what is not. All, Phil, Adam, Nicole, Megan, May, Olivia and others had their light and dark moments. I have already expressed in several places on your site and on Literotica I have seen many good and bad actions/attitudes/thought in all your characters, not dividing them into good and bad guys. The light/dark boundary goes through all of them. About May, I am not the only reader of OIYW ( Literotica. comments to OIYW), confused about the leverage in the reported Phil raping, but I agree Phil’s perception may be different to the May one.
I did not have in mind any kind of determinism as a cause-result chain. I have written in some other comment about 2 levels of responsibilties. What I do/say and how I influence others. Their actions may or may not be based on what I said/showed to them as good/OK. But I influenced them. For some it would have zero impact, for others partial or full impact. Personality is mixture, including influence of others. If I had public influence and said to people “Go and storm the White house!”, some would soundly refuse, some would hesitate, some would go. Is my responsibility smaller at those who refused and the biggest at those who went ? I do not think so. Is their responsibility smaller as I have told them to do so ? I do not think so, if they are adults.
Even in Hazelwood HS scenario, I highly doubt, excluding such influences, Adam would be fucking Megan the way he did, Megan would become a slut, nor Adam would explicitly asking Matt If being a slut is really bad thing ? If Nicole or Adam more or less say/show to Adam or Megan “casual sex or being slutty at 13-14 is OK”, it is not OK, regardless of if Adam or Megan acting will or will not be based on that, or influenced by it.
I think your writing style is great, at least from my limited, non-native reader’s POV. Otherwise I would not comment your work more than other authors. It triggers my reactions somehow. I guess it is a good thing, it is IMHO better than “read and forget”.
Q1: Dialogues are important channels to transfer information to readers for the 1st person forms. Sometimes it seems characters are rather shallow in attempts of mutual understanding within dialogues. Is it intentional, regarding the age, being shallow teenagers ? This is understandable, but leaves readers in confusion.
Q2: The BMS is largely about character interactions of many kinds. But, compared to other stories, I miss there other typical plot details like school and other events ( save 2 parties, that are rather kind of “mass interaction” then external event) that are natural part of high schooler life. Sport, music, outdoor…. These events are often integral part of the story plot and character development. It is like they live in vacuum of their mutual interactions. Again – intention? I know, Adam is rather indoorsy, but others ? Pulling Adam out from indoor shell ?
Q3: I do like the 1st person Adam’s POV of BMS, helping a lot in relating readers to the POV character. But as many background motives of other characters are not explained to Adam nor reader, it keeps readers in confusion what to think. I do appreciate when you explained some, but it was often kind of necessity, otherwise future actions would not make sense. Did you consider in beginning writing it in the 3rd person form, switching characters ?
Q4: May, her background, attitude, reasoning and POV remain a big mystery, a price paid by the 1st person form. It would be very interesting to have her side story or extensive comment, unless it would be e.g. retrospectively revealed in an eventual sequel. Could you at least shortly comment it for now ?
LikeLiked by 1 person