Such was my experience with this episode. While I liked the general idea enough to write it, I wasn't quite sure it worked. I had a range of reactions from my critique partners. Some really didn't like it at all, others clearly got it and had fun with the new characters. What do you think of this episode?
While I don't usually comment on an episode, especially when it's first published, this time is different. The preference is to the let the work stand (or not) on it's own merits. I'm reluctant to tamper with that, but readers need to feel certain that, like all my writing, I'm careful in my choices and there are reasons behind everything in my work. This episode is no exception.
It was fun to play with the concept of having a single character talk through an entire episode. But more than talk, this is no lecture. He just goes on and on and on and on. We've all met people like him and while no single individual in my world has been Matt -- other than maybe the author -- we've all had encounters like this where strangers just keep talking. And then there's the TMI...
The other thing I find quite interesting is readers' reaction to the idea that George might be flirting with Matt in front of Anita and Parker. This online lookup of the verb "flirt" in the Oxford Dictionary of American English reveals the following:
- (flirt with)a painter who had flirted briefly with Cubism
Maybe in my world, flirting with someone isn't quite the same as coming on to someone. And yes, I know that for many couples, even looking at another will be the cause of long, protracted argument. But it's still fun to see the strong emotions this one word (out of almost 1900) elicits from readers.
- (flirt with)the need of some individuals to flirt with death
Is George a bad person? Is Anita overreacting to George's apparent interest in Matt? Is George simply excited to be around a couple of gay guys? Really, that's for you to decide because once George left my mind and entered the ether, he lives and acts in your mind as much as anyone else's. Including mine. But I get to enjoy deciding what happens to him next!
Cue wicked laugh and video of author rubbing his hands together.