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Everything posted by Comicality

  1. This short story is one of the monthly gems from Imagine Magazine! So check it out and let me know what you think when you get a chance! https://www.gayauthors.org/story/comicality/were-not-telling/ And be sure to check out Imagine #40 for more! https://imagine-magazine.org/
  2. Comicality

    We're Not Telling

    A series of weekend gatherings between a group of high school students secures their close friendship and makes sure that nothing changes from the bond they've been sharing since they were young. However, when two boys, Gavin and Bryce, discover a little something extra in their friendship...hanging out with the rest of the group may never be the same again.
  3. Comicality

    We're Not Telling

    It made me giggle helplessly to see Bryce's goofy face again today. An early Saturday afternoon, with a group of us getting together to jump on a bus and travel out to the big mall on the outskirts of town. The six of us had planned to spend the whole day window shopping, eating junk food, and catching a recent horror movie at the giant Cineplex at the far end of the mall parking lot. Me, Bryce...and our closest friends, Bradley, Jon, Tessa, and Ashley. We've been hanging out as the best of friends since the sixth grade...but we were a bit worried about falling for that weird middle school 'divorce' that so many of our other friends have gone through in the past few years. You know...when the people you once thought were your best friends in the whole world suddenly begin to change? They go through one phase after another, they start wanting to hang with the 'popular' kids and sit at another table in the cafeteria...hormones get involved...friendships get obliterated...ugh! Middle school can be such a goddamn MESS for us sometimes! And losing a trusted friend to something as stupid as 'trying on a new identity' can be extremely heartbreaking, to say the least. But the six of us? We decided that this wasn't going to happen to us. No way! We were besties! And we were going to STAY besties, no matter WHAT life threw in our way! So we all made a pact to never change so much that we couldn't be friends anymore, and now that we're getting ready to end the Summer and start our sophomore year of high school together right after Labor Day? I'm overjoyed to see that we all kept up on our end of the bargain, and that things were just as awesome as they ever were before. We had hardly changed at all. It wasn't an accident. We're still friends because we made the determined effort to keep that train running. So, weekends like this are an event that we've come to treasure and appreciate whenever we get the chance to all get together like this outside of school. It's just plain fun. You know? And that brings me to the 'hardly' changed part of the equation... Ummm...where do I start? Well, like I said...puberty kind of leads a full blown assault on all of us at one time or another, and hormones are just about as close to the full textbook definition of INSANITY as a teenager can experience without actually being put in a straitjacket and heavily sedated in a room with padded walls. Seriously...what the fuck? Sometimes I feel like I don't even know who I am anymore. Luckily, I've got good friends to remind me every once in a while before I lose everything that I struggled so hard to like about 'me' to begin with. We've been sort of suspecting that Tessa has had a crush on Bradley for weeks now. I mean, if she was trying to hide her infatuation for him, she's not very good at it. We can all tell. And I think he kind of likes her too. But he'd never admit to it. He's not very good at hiding his feelings either, to be honest. A little better than Tessa is, but not by much. He always holds the door open for her when we hang out. And he buys her stuff. Like candy and sodas and friendship bracelets at the pharmacy counter. He smiles at her all the time, but when she smiles back...it's like it terrifies him, or something. I used to think that was SO weird! But that was at the beginning of the Summer. Now that some time has passed...hehehe, I think I get it now! It was about eight days ago when things changed forever for me and Bryce. Just last Friday. But...the impact of it all was so monumental that it seems like the time 'before' all this was an eternity ago. And now that we both have to hang out with the rest of our friends as though nothing happened between us while nobody was looking? It became this really sexy 'secret' that made me want to laugh out loud with every breath that I could muster. And I think Bryce felt the same way. He could barely keep himself from giggling whenever we were within a few feet of each other. He has the cutest laugh EVER! It's pretty contagious. And impossible to ignore. Something about Bryce's smile just lit up your whole day. Or was that just me? Oh God! Am I in love? Already? It sure feels like it! I wasn't really aware of the crush that I had on Bryce before last week. I just knew that there was something about being close to him that made me happy. He was 'joy' personified to me, and I found myself always wanting to talk to him over anybody else. I always wanted to sit next to him at the lunch table. I always got a thrill when we wrestled or gave each other a few playful shoves between friends. I have to admit...sometimes I would just stare at his pretty face, and think to myself, "Wow...he's so beautiful. I wish I looked like that." I think that was the beginning of me finally figuring out how I felt about him. It was a slippery slope towards, "Omigod! I WANT him! I really do!" That could have ended up being a bad thing. Apocalyptic when it came to our friendship and the friendships we shared with everyone else at that table. But...by some sort of mystical tsunami of good fortune...it turned out to be the one thing that was certain to create an even tighter bond than the one we had before. It was hard to sit still without wiggling. Especially when Bryce's bright blue eyes connected to mine. I never wanted to kiss another boy so badly! It weighed heavy on my chest to the point of breathlessness. "That movie would have been so much cooler if they hadn't forced it into that stupid PG-13 category!" Jon said, chowing down on some chili cheese fries. Ashley said, "It was plenty scary as it was, if you ask me. I don't like the gory stuff so much." "It doesn't have to be gory. Just...I want a real HORROR movie, dammit! This kiddie bullshit is so underwhelming. Right, Gavin?" Jon had caught me off guard with his question. I was too busy starring at Bryce's sweet face. And his longish brown hair as it lightly caressed the sides of his lightly blushed cheeks. And his thin, but shapely, lips. And the 'nakedness' of his neck as it traveled down into the collar of his shirt. I was lost in an eternal daydream, and had to shake myself out of it when I heard my name. "Oh...ummm, yeah. Totally. They cut all of the cool stuff out when it's rated PG-13. It sucks." I said. Just hearing my voice caused Bryce to flash me a flirtatious grin, which almost made me fully hard just from the sight of it alone. Gah! STOP that!!! Bradley, predictably, said what we all knew he'd say. "I'm telling you guys...80's horror was much better. R rated, super gory, practical effects...they don't make horror flicks like that any more." Some of us groaned, and Jon just shook his head, saying, "Ever since you watched 'Stranger Things', you've been unbearable with the retro 80's worship. Let it GO, dude." "NEVER!" Bradley declared. "I was totally born in the wrong decade. I'm sure of it. I swear, I should have been an 80's kid." Tessa said, "Oh please. 24 Hours without being able to hold a cell phone, you'd be catatonic and you know it." We shared a few chuckles over it, but as I glanced over at Bryce again...his baby blue eyes glancing back at me...we shared another silent moment. There was a hidden tilt to his grin that let me know that he was thinking about last week. A few seconds of extended eye contact that let me know that our secretive little message was being both given and received. Bryce and I didn't want anyone to notice how enamored we were with one another, so we kept one ear focused on the conversation just in case. Grinning when the social cues from the others prompted us to participate. But, we were deeply involved with each other to the point where it almost felt like the rest of the entire mall was empty. Selfishly enjoying one another's company, while anticipating the next time that we'd be able to get some more time alone. "Gavin, can I have some of your fries?" Jon asked. "Uh huh..." I pushed my tray towards him, barely paying him any attention. "Whoah. That was easy." "Huh?" "You usually guard your fries as though they were the last rations on planet Earth. What's with the generosity today?" I said, "Oh. No, it's alright. I'm full anyways. You can finish them off if you want." "Score! Back off, vultures! Mine! You heard him!" Sacrificing the yummy goodness of a basket of mall fries was more than worth it. It allowed me to drift back into a full blown swoon as Bryce took a sip of his milkshake. Look at the way his lips lovingly grip that straw. The cold, thick, liquid oozing upward until it fills his mouth and slowly...sensually...melts on the way down his throat. An icy beverage never looked so erotic to me. I got a particular flurry of butterflies in my stomach when he looked over at me while he was sipping, and he coiled his tongue around the straw to taunt me. Hehehe, with a mischievous smirk, he closed his eyes and hummed in the sexiest way. I didn't mean to burst out laughing the way I did, but the sound of it caused Bryce to instantly start snickering as well, and that grabbed the attention of everyone at the table. Especially with Bryce having to hold his hand over his mouth to keep from spitting a mouthful of milkshake all over the table. Hahaha! CUTE! Omigod, he's SO cute! Ashley and Tessa looked at one another, then Ashley says, "What's going on with you two today?" Bryce giggled, "What? It's a good milkshake. Gavin's the one being a weirdo over there." "WHAT? Don't put this on me! Hehehe!" I said. Oh man, I'm squirming, aren't I? Stop it! I look SO suspicious right now. Bryce's face turned red, and his hair glided softly in front of his blue eyes as he tried to go back to sipping his milkshake in a 'normal' way. Even though he kept snickering over what he knew he was doing to me. Geez, are we going to become as obvious as Bradley and Tessa are with our little secret? I know that we should probably be more careful about all this, but...it's just SO damn fun! "You two have been so extra lately." Bradley said. "What are you hiding?" "Nothing." I smirked. "Nothing." Bryce giggled. "Leave us alone..." Then our eyes met again, and it was hard to keep from cracking up again. I couldn't even tell you what was so funny about the moment. All I knew was that when I was this close to Bryce, everything in the whole wide world was funny. Hysterical! Side-splitting, tear inducing, double over and hold your gut, FUNNY! And I couldn't stop smiling if I tried. No matter how many strange looks we got from our friends. Oh man...I'm SO in love! How am I supposed to contain this? And is it going to get worse over time? I don't know if I could handle that. I really don't. I felt the pressure beginning to melt away as they went back to their conversation, but my anxiety remained high as Bryce and I held our intimate eye contact for a bit longer. It made me wonder what he was thinking about when he smirked at me like that. Was it the moment when we both got really quiet at my house? When our playful wrestling had suddenly shifted the mood, and we found ourselves finally understanding what our hearts have been trying to tell us all along? I remember being so scared, and yet so excited by the promise of taking the biggest leap of faith ever. We stared at each other for a full minute. A giggle or two escaping us as we tried to settle some of the growing tension between us. I wanted to kiss him, but I wanted him to kiss me first. I wanted to be sure. Why was he hesitating for so long? It was maddening, having us smile and stare at one another without any idea, whatsoever, of how to proceed to the next step. I just remember my heart beating so hard that I could hear the rush of blood surging through my eardrums. An eternity passed between us. I'm serious. I thought that moment would NEVER end! It was like having my internet browser crash without warning, leaving me stuck on a page that I couldn't click away from. I giggled nervously again, and attempted to pull my vulnerable stare away from him. But, the moment I did...Bryce chose not to let the moment pass us by. He sort of jerked forward and kissed me on the cheek. It was so quick, so unexpected, that I didn't even have a chance to really enjoy it. As my face became flushed with a storm of dark pink embarrassment, my only response was to snicker out loud and look down at my hands as I rested them, palms down, on my legs. It took some courage to peek up at him again, and Bryce was just as red in the face as I was...but that smile. Wow...that smile. When he didn't see me reject his affection, or recoil with disgust...he brushed his hair out of his eyes...waited another few seconds...and then leaned in to kiss me on my other cheek. This time, it was a little bit slower. A little bit softer. His lips lingering on the side of my face for a brief moment before withdrawing again...searching my eyes for any sign of acceptance. I just remember trembling in silence. Physically shivering over the thought that this was really happening. I began to feel the wiggles in the center of my stomach, but something about the delirious joy he had brought me with those two simple pecks gave me strength. So, I took the plunge...and I leaned in to kiss him on his cheek, this time. Of course, I messed it up a bit, because I ended up kissing his HAIR more than anything else. But as I used my fingers to pull a single strand off of the tip of my tongue, Bryce laughed at me...and then used his hand to brush his hair out of the way. He waited for me to try again...so I did. All skin this time. Smooth, unblemished, skin. Warm. Pleasant. Sensual. What had we started? "If you're going to make a killer zombie movie, what's the point of having it be so tame?" Jon said. "They're unthinking, undead, cannibals! Just because you hide the blood or have somebody scream and die off screen, it's not like we don't know what happened to them. Just show it, already! And you know they're just gonna come out with an unrated version on Blu-Ray anyway later on. Anybody that's going to get all traumatized and crazy from watching a zombie movie...should just stop watching zombie movies. They're ruining it for the rest of us." Was he still going on about that? "Bryce, dude...what was the name of that one movie you showed me that one time?" Jon had disconnected us once again, and Bryce tried to weave himself back into reality without anybody else catching on. "That one movie? What movie?" "You know, that flick where those two zombies bit both sides of that railroad hobo's face, and they, like...tore his whole HEAD apart! Remember?" "Oh! You mean, 'The Dead Keep Living'?" Bryce asked. "The one where the zombies, like, devoured that entire orphanage?" "YES!!! That's the one!" Jon shouted. "Ewww! Omigod!" Ashley cringed. "Now that was a good horror flick! Filmmakers show SHOW us that stuff! If I wanted to use my imagination, I'd read a book. You know? Tell the scaredy cats to go be pussies on their own time." They continued to chat away about the terrible acts they wished tosee portrayed on screen, but the riptide of young love was too strong to keep Bryce and I apart from our dreamworld for longer than a few seconds at a time. Maybe the others think it's weird...but they have no idea how mind-blowing that afternoon was for us. They've never felt Bryce lean forward...this time not diverting his approach to one cheek or the other, but heading straight for my lips. And they've never felt the adrenaline rush that I did when I leaned forward to meet him half way. They'll never know about the electric surge I felt when our tongues touched for the first time, and I had to reach forward to hold onto his thighs to keep my balance. There was a time when the very thought of swapping spit with another person, even one as cute Bryce, gave me a sick feeling. But I, obviously, had no idea how utterly passionate it was. Now, I almost want to bottle his saliva and drink it down with my lunch! Kissing him was experimental at first, but we quickly got the hang of it. It was just a matter of, 'hey...let me try this', or 'let's see what happens when I tilt my head this way instead'. He did things too, and I just did my best to keep up. Both worry and pleasure fought for dominance over the experience. I wanted to absorb the intimate connection for all that it had to offer me. It was my first real kiss, after all. I am SO glad that I got to share it with Bryce instead of somebody else. I wanted so badly to let go and get lost in the moment...but I also wanted to be alert enough to concentrate on making this the best kiss Bryce ever had. Just in case he ever wanted to do it again some time. From the way he's looking at me right now...I'm thinking he does. Ashley said, "Why does everything have to be murder and karate and explosions with you guys? Just once, we'd like to be dragged to a romantic comedy or something? Or just a good drama? Something where people don't have to punch someone in the face in order to make their point." Tessa sighed, "Amen." Jon just replied with, "Lame." Then he turned to Bradley, asking, "I mean, those movies are sooooo boring, right? They talk and they talk and they talk...and then? Roll credits. Great. Thanks for wasting my life, 'movie'. I appreciate it." But, Bradley looked at Tessa, and he wisely replied, "I don't know, Jon. Maybe...every now and then, we can let the ladies choose the weekend movie. You know? Maybe it won't be so bad." Hearing this made Tessa melt in her seat, and they shared a smile while Jon rolled his eyes at the predictability of his, once rational, friend's comment. "How did I know you were going to take their side?" He moaned. Meanwhile, I thought about how the very concept of time had ceased to exist for Bryce and I as we were making out. I remembered the way my hand was shaking as I caressed his cheek and lifted his silken brown hair to tuck it behind his ear. I remembered the feeling of his soft breath on my skin. I remembered how 'different' it was to continue kissing him once we had taken our shirts off. Touching his flesh...feeling it slide beneath my fingers. There's no feeling that I could possibly compare it to. It was...total magic. I can still feel the vibration of his soft whimpers on my lips. The tender 'stab' of his erect nipples against my chest. The blissful feeling of fatigue as our expression of newfound love had gone beyond our bodies ability to fuel us with the energy to keep going. And yet...we kept going, regardless. We'll never be able to explain to our friends that we soon began to undress down to our boxer brief underwear. Or that we lay back on my bed and started to hump and grind on one another until the warm leakings of liquid sex permeated the fabric, leaving sticky little stains on each other as we writhed on top of my sheets. I doubt they'll understand the feelings I experienced when Bryce was on top of me, and I allowed my hands to slide under the elastic of his waistband to grip the milky white mounds beneath...pulling him further into me as my craving for him increased tenfold. What would Jon say if I told him that the same lips that Bryce was using to draw his cool milkshake up through that straw...were doing the same to my hard inches just a week before? What would Ashley think if she knew that I spent full minutes kissing and licking the insides of Bryce's splayed thighs, my tongue sliding over the textured wrinkles of his sack while he writhed beneath me in ecstasy? Would Tessa and Bradley think we were crazy for tongue kissing and humping each other until we both erupted with a double explosion of heated seed, covering our flat bellies as our legs got tangled around each other, our lips almost numb from their no-longer-innocent collision? Would they understand us doing it for a second time less than ten minutes later? Maybe it's just not for them to know. Maybe...like a lot of our inside jokes...you just had to be there. Hehehe!" I heard Bryce slurping his drink, reaching the bottom of his milkshake, and I had to focus on making my erection go away as Bradley announced, "We should get out of here. Let's head out to the park or something. This place has outlived its usefulness for the day." Tessa replied, "Sounds good to me. You lead, and I'll follow." Jon added, "Agreed. You guys ready?" Bryce and I couldn't keep our eyes off of one another, but kept quiet for the sake of normality. Bryce wiped his lips and smiled. "Ok. I'm good to go." Immediately, I said, "Ok. Let's bounce out of here." What? It's not like Bryce was going to go anywhere without me tagging along to stare at his cute face some more. That's just not a possibility. We got our trash together and picked up our trays to leave. But Bryce secretly gave me a nudge, telling me to let the others walk ahead of us by a few steps. Then he smiled at me, taking a hold of my hand. Only for a short moment, his bright blue beams making me weak in the middle...but it meant everything to me. Maybe the rest of our friends won't understand what was going on between us. Then again, maybe they will...someday. But for right now, this was our playful secret, and I don't think I'm ready for anybody else to be a part of it just yet. It's ours, you know? We own it. We live it. And we can enjoy the knowledge of having everybody around us in the dark when it comes to the things we do. I know that we're just starting out, and we're still kind of baffled that this happened at all...but that's ok. They'll never know the taste of him. They'll never hear him moan the way that I've heard him moan. They'll never know the feel of his soft, wet, tongue sliding against their own...or his gentle weight bearing down on them while kneading the spongy softness of his sexy bubbles while his hardness runs its slickened tip over their skin. I almost wish I could brag about it, to be honest. But that would ruin the mystery. Hehehe, and I kind of like that part. At least for now. Yeah, they may not understand...but we're not telling. Nope. Let them wonder. They're only getting the PG-13 version for now. I guess they'll just have to use their imagination until we decide to give them the unrated version. You know...later. Hehehe!
  4. It's the 15th! And that means there's a brand new issue of Imagine for you guys to enjoy! All the usual goodies, a new chapter of "Predators: 2-14-9x", my interview with featured author, Lindon Weztser, and a new short story from me called "We're Not Telling"! So enjoy! https://imagine-magazine.org/
  5. Comicality

    Chapter 1

    ((Hugz)) Sleep well!
  6. Comicality

    Chapter 1

    LOL! Thanks again! I wrote this so long ago, I think I have to read it again myself! Hehehe, but every word is always appreciated. Thank you! ((Hugz))
  7. Comicality

    Chapter 2

    Thanks, Wattelec! No worries about the comments. I blab a lot. I'm sure it's exhausting to comment on them all. LOL! And yes, this story is complete. It kinda did what it had to do. So I'm leaving it alone.
  8. Comicality

    Chapter 1

    I was always a shy and doubtful kid, growing up. Hehehe, what can I say? Besides, I haven't changed much since then. It was bound to come out in my writing.
  9. Comicality

    Chapter 1

    Hehehe...'letting Billy top'...'he's an asshole'...I've got a naughty mind!
  10. Comicality

    Chapter 42

    True. And when I look back at my high school years, I was the exact same way. If only I had a clue then like I do now? My whole life would have been different. Hindsight is always 20/20, right?
  11. Comicality

    Chapter 40

    Thanks, Blue Dhalia. ((Hugz)) I'm sorry for the heartbreak, but you'll be stronger for it in the long run. I promise. Been there, done that. I totally get it.
  12. Comicality

    Too Cute . . .

    Hehehe, this one brings back a few memories. D'awww…
  13. Comicality

    Too Cute . . .

    I liked it! Not quite what I was expecting, but I remember it being a good time. Then again...it was BBS, so...he makes everything feel happy!
  14. Comicality

    Imagine Magazine Issue #40 Is Up For September!

    Sorry about that, dude! I'll try to see if I can get it changed tonight! ((Hugz))
  15. Comicality

    Creating and Escalating Tension

    Now, while many readers that get truly involved with the stories we write online are mostly involved in the sometimes exaggerated drama of the situations we put our main characters through...I feel that it is often the tension delivered in a few key scenes, sprinkled here and there throughout, that truly captivates a reader's attention and brings them to the edge of their seats. It's this grinding on the nerves, along with a few tugs on the heart strings, that can really allow your audience to lose themselves in your writing and become fully engaged in every word of text in front of them, craving to read more as soon as possible. If you can pull this off as a writer, then you have developed a very persuasive gift that you can use to carry you through many more stories in the future. Writing is a gift, but the stories you create and the way you build them up have a specific 'science' to them. It's just a matter of learning to apply an instinctual formula to fit the context of your story in a variety of different ways. Tension in a story can make your work unbelievably addictive if done right! Once you learn the literary 'mathematics' of it all, you can write hundreds of new and amazing chapters and change things up enough to avoid becoming repetitive or predictable. That being said, hehehe...my apologies to any of you who ever lost sleep trying to burn through any of my previously available chapters when you had other, more productive, things that you could have been doing with your evenings instead. It's flattering, believe me. But I hope it's not keeping you from work or school or family or anything else meaningful. That wouldn't be a good thing. Before I jump right into it all, let me start by sharing this particular scene with you guys. This is from the 1996 movie, "The Rock". To this day, I still regard this particular few minutes of film to be some of the most intense moments in any movie that I've ever seen before. (There are others, sure. But I didn't want to post anything that might have spoilers involved. If you haven't seen 'Seven' with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman? Yeah, the end of that movie is INSANE as well! WATCH IT!!!) When viewing this scene, the tension starts off being pretty 'action movie accurate' from the get go, simply because of the ordeal itself. But notice how, minute by minute, things are elevated to some serious 'Holy SHIT' levels while watching everything unfold! The flawless acting, the motion of the camera angles, the swell of the music in tone and volume, the heated dialogue...soon being shouted at full volume, in what seems to be a no-win situation. To me, this is the perfect example of what creating and escalating tension is all about! Give it a look! One thing that I really love about this scene is the fact that the tension is being pulled SO damned tight before a single bullet is fired! It's not the action that creates the tension, but the build up to it. By the time the actual fighting begins, your audience is already wound up and ready to explode! Giving your scene the kind of power that you need it to have to set off the bomb that you've got planned to go off at any moment. Like..."JESUS! Where is this going??? This can't be good!" This is what I like to call 'punchline tension'. It's designed to build up to a major turning point in your story, and the tension created is all about the 'payoff'. VERY effective, because your readers can see it coming, but they hold on, regardless. Listen to the dialogue. It's a chess game, basically. Both the General and the team leader begin by trying to reason with one another and inject a few logical points to get their opponent to consider changing their mind. When that doesn't work, the team leader (Played by Michael Biehn) attempts a different approach by talking to the other soldiers in the room instead. However, the general (Played by Ed Harris), counters by reminding them all of their elevated and advantageous position. This is when people start yelling to force their point home. However, neither side is willing to back down, and once things have reached their most volatile moment...it doesn't take much at all to set acts of extreme violence into motion! When the scene finally drops the hammer on the audience, the impact of it is crazy!!! You almost want to cringe and shout, "NO NO NO!!!! Ahhhh!!! Shit! This is BAD!!! SO BAD!!!" Congrats! You now have yourself a captive audience! Just keep in mind that the build up to a major moment in your story is just as important, if not MORE important, than the moment itself. This is how you lock your readers in. Think of it this way... If your readers are sleepy and need to get up for work or school the next morning? If they have to go to the bathroom? If they're due to perform open heart surgery in a few minutes...but they choose to finish your recent chapter instead? Then...SUCCESS!!! As it should be! (By the way...don't EVER delay open heart surgery for a story! LOL! That's IMPORTANT! Jesus, what kind of monster are you? ::Giggles::) To visualize...tension in your fiction is the ability to place two opposing forces at an equal distance of a line drawn in the sand. At first...they're far enough away to possibly solve their conflict without losing control of the situation. However, as each side takes another step forward, pressure is applied, and things get more intense. They eventually end up in one another's faces, and they keep inching forward until one side or the other eventually crosses the line. And that's when all hell breaks loose. This particular building tension is all about the eventual payoff. That's the focus. Draw your readers in and keep 'tightening the screws' until they're ready to snap. And then...Boom! There are other slight variations on the idea of creating high tension, however. So, while I have your attention, let's touch on the majors. Another scene that I would like to share with you all is from the 1989 movie, "Aliens"! I wish I had a clip that includes more of the build up to this moment, as I have always felt that it was truly brilliant. But, you know...Youtube! To this day, the sound of that 'Aliens' motion detector thingy creeps me the fuck out! GAH!!! Hehehe! Basically, there are alien creatures that are overrunning this deep space facility, and even though an entire team of well trained, heavily armed, soldiers, have been deployed to handle the situation...it is immediately clear that their enemy has been underestimated, and they find themselves completely overwhelmed by what's going on! The tension, like every other part of the story, has an arc to it. It builds, it reaches its peak, and then shit hits the fan and it's all a roller coaster ride downhill from there. Take a look... Now, unlike the scene in "The Rock", where all of the tension comes before the big action set piece...THIS scene takes the action and places it, center stage. When writing a hardcore action scene like this, the tension is built through pure chaos, instead of suspense. There's a difference. What begins as a very quiet, anticipatory, moment...suddenly gets boosted up to level 100 once they realize what's really going on! Figuring out that the 'animals' they expected to outwit are smarter than they seem? That escalates tension. Having a young child now put in harm's way? Escalated even more. Having a 'traitor' in their midst that they can't trust with Burke? Another level of tension. And then, (R.I.P. Bill Paxton) when one of the main characters actually DIES during one of his most heroic, and totally badass, moments in the entire film...well that just shoots the tension through the ROOF! Because it lets the audience know that the stakes are so high that not everybody is guaranteed to make it out of this alive. Beloved main character or not! Increasing tension rule? Take the plot armor off! TV shows like "Game Of Thrones", "24", and "The Walking Dead", have used this technique to perfection. Yeah...that favorite character that you loved so much? They might not survive this episode! So keep biting your nails until you know they're safe for sure! Give your characters multiple problems to handle all at once! HARD problems! And put a timer on them as an added bonus! They've only got a few seconds to do...'whatever'! Hehehe! It'll be awesome, trust me! Action scenes like this one demonstrate the value and serious 'gut punch' that tension can deliver to your audience when you need to give your story a powerful boost, and let your readers know that outcomes can be a bit more unpredictable than they think. For heavy action scenes, I find that creating many different levels of uncontrolled chaos works wonders. There is a scene in "Gone From Daylight", where the main character has gone to save a friend of his from a drug induced stupor on the edge of town...and he finds him, barely conscious, with the love of his life helping him out. As well as two of his friends, who are experts at fighting off enemies. The scene begins with people trying to stop the main character from taking his friend home, and a giant battle ensues. But it's not just that one fight that is the focus of the scene. There's an overwhelming series of events that all begin to take place at once. A dangerous fall, a rickety fire escape, a deadly battle between his best friends and an enemy of great strength, the need to protect his love interest...all of these things are going on simultaneously. With the focus, rapidly, shifting back and forth from one major emergency to another to keep the readers as wild and frantic as the characters in the scene. Putting your readers into the same panic that your main character is going through can also make an exciting scene so tense that they won't be able to look away until they see how it ends! Watch the "Aliens" clip again! See how they bounce and back and forth from one big problem to another. Quickly! Zoom, zoom, zoom! So, for action scenes, use a flurry of different dilemmas in unison, and switch between them to keep the tension party going strong! So...what if you're not writing some kind of 'punch in the face' action scene in your story? Well, I believe that all conflict, whether argumentative or displayed through a physical confrontation, is simply a harsh dispute and an even more harsh defense of differing ideologies. That always makes for the BEST conflicts, and the greatest moments of tension in whatever story it is that you're trying to tell. (More on 'Conflict' in a future post, and how it differs from tension, as I explain it here.) This type of tension is created mostly through dialogue, and may not result in some massive shootout or hand to hand combat scenario...but biting and well delivered dialogue can have the exact same effect if done correctly. As we all know, words can hurt more than any kick or punch delivered physically. Again, the same rules apply. You have two people approaching a line that's been drawn in the sand, and one of them is eventually going to CROSS that line in an attempt to bully their opponent out of their opinion, and give up. This can be accomplished by giving some real thought to how both sides of an argument feel that they're in the right, and are desperately trying to convince someone else to see the light. These kind of conflicts start off as an attempt to reason with the person standing in their way, and tension rises as the different ideologies begin to clash in a frustrating manner. The idea of "WHY can't you see my point of view???" Builds to a crescendo, and...of course...a line is crossed. A writer can do amazing things when their readers can see and possibly sympathize with both points of view. By creating tension in this way, you force readers to tackle the conflict within themselves, and they may not know who to root for right away. Which can only make your story and it's main conflict all the more engaging in the long run. This scene is taken from season 2 of the Netflix show, "Daredevil"! It displays the clash of ideologies perfectly, in my opinion. You have two men that are, basically, vigilantes. They both work outside of the law in order to bring justice to their city. However, has one of them gone too far in killing the 'scum' that he sees no redemption in? Or is the main character deluded by the 'good' he thinks he's doing, while allowing the crime and the murder to continue? Listen to the conversation they have, how it builds, and see if you can see the point in both sides of the equation? Now...99% of that entire scene is just a conversation on a rooftop. With two determined characters trying hard to make their point. There's a desire to feel vindicated. They feel that there is something to 'win' by shouting it out. But when neither side seems to be making any leeway with the other, tension builds, and drastic measures have to be taken to end the argument. Because logic and reason isn't working anymore, and the line was crossed when one of the parties has given up on a diplomatic solution. They'll never see eye-to-eye, and attempts to reach any common ground are over and done with. A slight variation of escalating tension, but it still works wonders, depending on the story you want to tell. Now...ONE more, before I stop blabbing! Hehehe! This method involves two sides that seem to be equally matched, but when pressure is applied and the heat gets turned up...a great truth is revealed. Creation of tension in this way comes from your audience siding with your protagonist, and truly ENJOYING the badgering and bulldozing of another character until they get the answers they're looking for. This can range from beating a criminal suspect up for information, to a heated courtroom confession...as is brilliantly displayed in the infamous scene below... Now, this might sound a bit weird to you, but it's true. Words in a story have a 'speed' to them! Weird, right? If you want to have a calm, romantic, moment between characters after sex...where they're just laying in bed and enjoying the afterglow? Then make your sentences long, and poetic, and highly descriptive. Draw the out, and capture the nuance and detail of the moment. But...when it comes to tense situations, heated arguments, or immediate threats? Keep it short! The shorter the sentence, the faster your audience will read it. Keep them dodging back and forth from one hyped up scene to another. Like ducking to dodge a bullet fired in their direction. It may sound silly, but it's true. A 'period' in a sentence during a tense scene is like an editor's cut during an action scene in a movie. When action happens, the cuts become quicker. More frantic. They create 'energy'. That's what you want to do with your words. So shorten your sentences. It helps in creating a feeling of tension. It seems like such a small thing, but it works. People who argue interrupt one another. They SHOUT! They make insults and offensive comments. They say things to regain the upper hand at any cost. The 'back and forth' between characters is a weapon that you have at your disposal when trying to bring the stress and fury that your readers are looking for in the most crucial of moments. Shorter sentences, description, dialogue, creates a faster feeling of momentum in your writing. This is you, turning the volume up on the stereo and making this scene stand out as something to pay attention to. Just don't drag it out for TOO long! Anxiety can be exhausting. And it gets tiresome if you wait too long to give the audience what it's looking for. Anyway, that's my take on creating and escalating tension in your work. As with everything else, it takes time and practice and a lot of 'trial and error'. But once you get it down...it's going to add some spice and flavor to everything you write from that point forward! So consider it a skill that you want to study and keep close to the hip for later use! Cool? As always, I hope these little self-learned lessons over the years will help you guys out in some way! Good luck! And I'll seezya soon!
  16. Comicality

    Creating and Escalating Tension

    EXCELLENT example! Yes, doctor! I concur! Hehehe!
  17. It's the 15th! And that means there's a brand new issue of Imagine for you guys to enjoy! All the usual goodies, a new chapter of "Predators: 2-14-9x", my interview with featured author, Lindon Weztser, and a new short story from me called "We're Not Telling"! So enjoy! https://imagine-magazine.org/
  18. Comicality

    Chapter 1

    Hehehe, I had SO much trouble getting this story out! Had to write it three times! It's nowhere near as good as the original that I wrote (and LOST! Grrr!) But thanks! And yeah...me in high school? I had it BAD for Eddie Furlong! :: Giggles :: In fact, he's 50% of the model I used for 'Taryn' in my "Gone From Daylight" story! Sighhhhh...
  19. A sweet short film to make you guys smile. I always love these. Hehehe! OMIGOD! The pencil twirl and the cassette mixtape! I remember it well! Gah! Sneaker Pimps! I LOVED that song! LOL! "Six Underground" was awesome.
  20. Comicality

    Souvenir: A Brandon Smiling Prequel

    Awww! I love it! Great idea!
  21. Comicality

    Chapter 1

    I actually had an idea for Colin, and this pic came closest. In my mind, anyway.
  22. Comicality

    Chapter 8

    THANKS! XD And yes, the story is actually 'finished' now. There is still soooo much work to be done to reconstruct it from beginning to end, but it will be available as an ebook soon, and the rest of the chapter will be posted here as well. It just takes me an ice age to do everything. LOL! But, yes..."Dream Lover" has an ending! Believe me.
  23. Comicality

    Chapter 46

    Wow! Thanks for the quote and the lesson! It's definitely in the same vein...pun intended!
  24. Comicality

    Writer Responsibility

    Writer Responsibility December 8th, 1980... A true musical icon was gunned down by his ′number one fan′, according to his assassin. Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon that night by shooting him in the back, and this was not long after he had just given him a personal autograph earlier in the day. And he didn′t run afterward. Instead...he sat on the curb, and read from J D Salinger′s novel, ′A Catcher In The Rye′. A book that he says inspired his heinous act. One of the saddest days in American history, in my opinion. Now, of course...there isn′t ANYTHING in that book that would suggest killing anybody, least of all a musician who seemed to be dedicated to ending war and violence in all of its many forms. But, it begs the question...when you′re writing a story and putting it out there for the whole world to see...do you feel that you are officially stepping up to claim some responsibility for the messages that you put into the words you share with others? Do you find a moral obligation to be ′careful′ with what you write? Or do you find that limiting on your creative freedom...and therefore, the antithesis of truth and honesty in your art? Not an easy thing to tackle, but let′s give it a shot, shall we? This week...let′s talk writer responsibility! I will be the first to admit that I really don′t censor myself when I′m writing a story. I don′t hold back. My emotions pour forth, and I follow my personal muse as far as it will take me if I think it will paint the kind of picture that I wanted to paint. However, when my creative energy has been spent and the dream factory closes up for the night...the ′editing′ part of my brain takes over, and I feel that other choices have to be made in order to feel good about putting the stuff that I′ve written out there for an unknown public to read. Please, don′t ever think that I write anything without a sense of conscience. I do. As much as I champion freedom of expression and challenging other mindsets to accept and embrace concepts that they might not be willing to let invade their comfort zone...I am always careful with what I say and how I say it. Many of my stories deal with some very heavy issues. Abuse, suicide, heartbreak, coming out, bullying, terminal illness...and people are actually absorbing what I write. Every word. And no author knows whether their story is going to be taken as an emotional roller coaster ride that leads to an impact on someone′s life...or if it′s going to be the next ′A Catcher In The Rye′, inspiring them to do something foolish. Maybe even criminal. It′s something that I always keep in mind when I′m putting a story together. It would KILL me to know that something that I wrote caused somebody to hurt themselves or somebody else. To make a bad decision, to risk unprotected sex with a stranger, to take advantage of a minor, break the law, or to contemplate suicide...simply because they read it in a ′Comicality′ story. I couldn′t live with that. That was never my intention and it never will be. And yet...how much responsibility can an author take upon him or herself when it comes to how their stories are interpreted by others? Where should the line be drawn? I don′t want my teenage readers being afraid of sex. I don′t want them to shy away from it or to be embarrassed by their desires or ashamed of their pursuits. But...at the same time, I don′t want to have my stories building fantasies around dreamy boys and easy relationships where you never fight, never need a condom, and everybody lives happily ever after, no matter what, either. There has to be a middle ground somewhere. A compromise that allows them to think for themselves according to a particular situation. And that′s where I try to keep my writing centered. In the middle. Yes, there are good times, and yes, there are bad times...but there are no pleasurable deeds committed without possible consequence, and there are no downfalls into misery without a sense of hope and redemption. There′s a balance to be maintained. I always strive to show both sides of the coin so everyone reading can make positive choices based on who they are as a person, and not just based on what I wrote in a story that was meant to be used for entertainment purposes only. Thoughtful, inspiring, motivational? Definitely. But entertainment, just the same. I have to take some personal responsibility for the content of my stories. Especially now that the ′Comicality′ brand has a bit of notoriety online. I have to be more careful than ever. I never know who is reading. I have no control over how they take my message or what they do with it. So, I take all of these things into account when I look over my stories and get ready to hit ′send′ to share it with the rest of you guys. I′ve been through violent abuse, I′ve suffered heartbreaks that felt like I′d never ever be able to smile again, and I′ve been at death′s door myself, not to mention, losing a very close friend of mine to suicide when he was only 17 years old. It hurts. It HURTS! But that puts me right in the middle of a conflict that I need to wrestle with if I′m going to truly be passionate about the content of my stories in general. Can I be responsible in my presentation of ideas, and yet still be honest enough to capture the hearts and minds of people out there who need to know that someone understands their struggle, and has the courage to speak the words out loud so they can stop feeling so alone? It′s a thin line. But one that I think every writer reading this can walk if they really feel the urge to do so. I think the goal is to keep your readers in mind, younger and older alike, when going over some of your most emotional scenes. I try to imagine how someone else my read the scene. I want to be raw and brutally honest about the severe pain associated with a broken heart. I want it to be visceral and disturbing and emotionally moving in a way that will remind and possibly bring up past feelings for readers who have gone through something similar. They can feel that torment as if it was brand new. The truer you are to your feelings and memories in your writing, the more connected your readers will be to your project. We′ve all been there before, right? But what about the college boy who′s currently going through a serious heartbreak or rejection at the exact same moment that he′s reading my story? What happens if I′m digging around in his backyard and end up doing more harm than good by triggering emotions they′re not dealing with in a healthy manner? I wouldn′t want that. There are times when I think about certain words or phrases that I use in my stories, and I go over them to ′soften the blow′ by using words with a little more finesse instead. If one of my characters gets their heartbroken, I might avoid talking about how much ″I want to die...″ or ″I could KILL him for stealing my boyfriend from me!″ It may be something that I write while I′m in the moment...but sometimes my conscience pops up and says...let′s not phrase it that way, Comsie. People are reading. Have any of you other writers ever experienced that in your stories? Please feel free to leave your thoughts down below. I′m curious. The other side of that coin, of course, is that the gritty details of certain serious issues are needed for the story to have the kind of hard-hitting impact that I want it to have. If I write a scene in a story where a boy is getting violently bullied, dragged into a high school bathroom, and beaten up with no one to come to his rescue...I want it to be unsettling. It′s meant to be a disturbing scene. I don′t want to hold back and deny the readers who have experienced hardcore bullying in their lives an honest portrayal of what it′s like to have to live through something like that. When I talk about suicidal feelings or childhood abuse, it comes from a very personal place. And readers who recognize those feelings immediately feel a kinship for the descriptions going in to the scene. And for many, it can be a very therapeutic exercise to relive some of those moments and finally lay them to rest. I have gotten so many emails over the years from people who just want to say ′thank you′ for telling the truth and helping them to come to terms with what they′ve been through so they could move on. I don′t want to fake it or sugarcoat some of the harsh realities of what′s going on. Otherwise, what′s the point of the story itself? Am I going to have the stones to say what needs to be said or not? If not, then I can leave the heavy content out of the story completely and write giggly fairy tales all day. Why not? Hehehe, sorry. I′m rambling a bit this weekend. But it′s something that′s awkward for me to think about sometimes. So, any thoughts on this? Please leave your comments below if this has sparked anything for ya! Bottom line, I feel a duty to be honest in my writing, but that doesn′t mean that responsibility gets tossed out the window. I don′t think any author should take a ′devil may cry′ attitude with their stories. Words have a power that we, as writers, definitely understand. Words can be used to empower us, enrage us, break down barriers and blockages, and inspire us to do great things. But those tables can turn quickly if we don′t at least put some thought into how the message is received...instead of just how it is delivered. Anyway, food for thought! Thanks for trying to decipher my weirdness! Hehehe! And as always, I hope this helps!
  25. Comicality

    Hehehe! Wait...WHAT?!?!?!

    Ummmm...ok! This is an actual advertisement! I'm thinking...maaaaybe we don't put this out where kids can see it and discover how 'delicious' this new version of friggin' RAT POISON is!!! WTF? :O Really? I cartoon mouse and an action sequence? Have we not LEARNED anything, people?

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