2020. A note from the author.

Hello, friends.  I started this project fourteen months ago, and now that I have reached a natural stopping point in the story, I will be taking a break for a few weeks, maybe more; we’ll see.  Life is busy.  I need to plan what I’m going to write about for the next school year in the story.  I also have a few related tasks I’m going to work on; for example, I need to organize some notes to myself, so I can stay consistent with characters’ names and such.  There are already at least three Mikes, two Jennifers, and three Kims in the story (although to be fair those were common names for people my age).

This is not a regular post.  If you are new to DLTDGB, it is an episodic continuing story about a university student in the western USA in the 1990s.  Scroll down to other posts to read some of these stories. Or if you are in this for the long haul, click here to start from the beginning.

One of the related tasks I’ve been meaning to do is complete: I made a playlist of all the music I used in year 1 of DLTDGB (42 songs).  It is mostly early and mid-1990s “alternative rock” and pop-rock, along with some classic rock, because that is what I was listening to at the time period I am writing about (and I was going through a big Pink Floyd phase at the time, so they’re in there several times).

 

Anyway… I definitely want to thank you all so much for your support.  I have enjoyed getting to know those of you who have interacted with me and shared this journey through my past.  Hopefully you have found something in my story that has influenced you positively.

But I want to hear from you.  I have a lot of thoughts about this.

Do you have any comments or suggestions on this project?  How am I doing? Is it easy to follow, or is my storytelling too confusing?  Are the episodes too long? Too short? Just right? Does it depend on the story I’m telling?  

Should I change the title of the blog?  I took the title from a song lyric from the time period I am writing about, but I did so without permission from the artist, so if this blog gets too big I might have to change it.

I wonder sometimes if I have too many characters.  I’m not really sure how I can do this project without a lot of characters, though (and this is why I included a dramatis personae page).  But do I need more character development for the minor characters, or does that not really work well for short episodes told by me?  Should I name other characters by just their first names, or would it make it easier to remember if I referred to more people by first and last names at least once per episode?  Do I need more physical descriptions of what the other characters look like?

Of course, DLTDGB is based on true stories and real people, but I have taken liberties with many of the details, particularly conversations.  I don’t remember every word of every conversation from 25 years ago, obviously. I also made some minor changes for artistic reasons.  For example, I know I did not actually listen to Bush on the way home from my last day in the dorm because I never owned that album until I got it at a used music store in my late 30s. I wrote that in because I want to end every school year with the song that this blog is named after, but that song was not released to radio until early in my sophomore year, so the album was the only way I could have known the song by the end of freshman year.  Another obvious example: the episode about the “football championship” did not use any actual NFL team names or trademarks, and the real life events that inspired that story happened during a regular season game, not the championship game.)

But I still wonder, how much should I deviate from the truth?  Should I keep it mostly true in broad strokes as much as possible and just fill in the details, as I have been so far?  If I have a story from another time in my life that would make a good DLTDGB episode, can I adapt such a story and pretend it happened in Jeromeville in the 1990s?  Or would that take away from the integrity and truth of this project? I suppose ultimately only I can answer this question, since this is my writing project, but I am curious what people think about this.

I am also unsure exactly when to end the project.  My original thought was to go up through December 31, 1999, since that is the last day of the 1990s, and then tie up a few loose ends with some “epilogue” stories set in 2000 and later.  I am still leaning toward doing this.  I also considered continuing the main narrative up to July 2001, since that is when I actually moved away from Jeromeville, but it seems like most of my most interesting stories happened before then, and if I deviate from the truth slightly, as I mentioned before, the most interesting stories from 2000 and 2001 I can probably rewrite as if they happened earlier.

So, yes, please share if you have any thoughts about any of the above, or about anything else, or if you just want to say hi.  I can also answer questions about anything you read on here, although I might give incomplete or evasive answers if answering your question would give away major spoilers for future episode.  (I know, for example, multiple people have asked me what my career is as an adult.  I have not answered that question, because I will eventually write about experiencing the process of exploring and discovering careers throughout most of 1997, and since I am still today in the same career field that I settled on before finishing my undergraduate studies at UJ, answering this question would give away things that I will write about later.)

16 thoughts on “2020. A note from the author.

  1. Obviously I’m no expert, but…
    1. Yes, it’s easy to follow. Greg has a consistent voice. And I like the music.
    2. Episodes could be shorter, but I have a short attention span.
    3. I haven’t read as regularly as some people have, but I have a little trouble keeping some of the characters straight.
    4. Write as long as you want, don’t worry about the ending; although, I like the idea of ending it in 1999. But if that’s the case you will probably have to do some time-jumps.

    One thing I’ve learned about writing is that the best part is sharing it. So I’m jealous you’ve created a fictional universe you can share with all these people. Don’t worry about how long it lasts, just have fun.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s hard sometimes to tell all the stories I’m trying to tell without making them unnecessarily long. I will often think of little stories I want to tell that are too short for a post by themselves, but not necessary to the main plot. So maybe I need to cut some of those out and save all of those little stories for an occasional montage-like episode or something like that. I’ll definitely work on that, and I will keep this in mind.

      And I agree… I love getting to share this with people. And I also love that my fictional universe is not entirely fictional, so it can be interacted with, like when I have pictures related to the stories I tell. In my post about Spring Picnic and the band Lawsuit, someone commented that he read it and looked for the Lawsuit CD on Ebay, but they were all really expensive. It really is a wonder of the modern Internet that I can tell a story from my past and inspire someone on another continent to look into the music of an obscure independent band that broke up over 20 years ago. (I don’t have a lot of actual pictures from that time period; I had a camera, but it sat in a drawer unused for a long time. I think the first time I took pictures in college was a party I went to at the end of sophomore year, June 1996.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you 🙂 I think it was a unique time in the world, not just because of what was going on in my life, but also because of how the world was changing, with the Internet starting to enter the mainstream but not having taken over all of life yet.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. As Lindsay mentioned, the episodes could be shorter. I can’t always read an episode in one sitting, sometimes it takes me 4-5 goes over several days because of life.
    As you’ve noticed, I’ve been confused with characters before as there are many and sometimes with similar names.
    Otherwise, keep up the great work and keep writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The structure of Don’t Let the Days Go By is like my website story Alien Resort. I prefer short posts, like your most recent, just enough to advance the plot one click. In the About page I would cast the story as based on a true story with fictional character names and location names. In other words, don’t tell the reader that it’s fiction, because as a reader I would like to believe that it’s true.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The kind of stories I tell seem to need more detail than your one-paragraph posts. DLTDGB is an episodic continuing story, but I want each episode to stand alone as a self-contained story as well (or, occasionally, one that can be resolved in two parts with a cliffhanger in the middle, like I did for the 3/3/1995 and 3/4/1995 episodes).

      As for whether or not to tell readers that it is fiction, that’s a good question. Everything I have written so far is true in broad strokes. I don’t always remember the exact date when it happened, or if things that happened on the same day here actually happened on the same day in real life. A lot of the details of conversations I made up, although sometimes I will remember word for word something that someone said once and I will work that in (like Charlie saying “there’s always room for hydrochloric acid,” I don’t remember when or in what context, but I do distinctly remember him randomly throwing out that line sometime during freshman year). But I like to show readers that everything is basically true by having pictures of stuff I saved from back then and modern-day pictures of the places I write about, and by the fact that Taylor actually comments on here sometimes.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Some of your posts are a bit lengthy, but I’ve enjoyed them. Keep the music – My horizons have been expanded. The 90s was my childhood, so I’ve enjoyed a collegiate perspective. Plus, your writing is so engaging.

    Liked by 1 person

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