3 comments on “Episode 59 – The Perfectly Behaved Boy with Judd Madarang and Phil Corso

  1. Hello! This is Thomas O., the writer of this story. I’ve never heard your podcast before, but someone was kind enough to point me in this direction. First off, I’d like to thank you for your fair and thorough dissection of my story. It’s not too often that an amateur author gets to listen to three people spend half an hour discussing what he’s written. You and your friends make some astute observations, especially in regards to the lingering effects of trauma. I’ve spent the last eighteen years working very closely with abused children, and it obviously worked its way into my writing, even though that wasn’t really my intention. One of you spoke about babysitting a child whose outbursts far exceed the one that was described at the beginning of the story. I had to chuckle at that (in an knowing/agreeable way), because I know exactly how bad an extreme tantrum can be… believe me. In the case of Miles, I had to keep it fairly toned down so that it would be real to the character.

    Yes, the heads are very much a representation of Chekhov’s gun, and I think it was pretty obvious they would show up again. I went into this knowing that a lot of the readers would figure the ending out, but I was so in love with the idea of someone getting two heads as a gift that I went ahead (a-head – get it?) with it anyway. As a counterbalance to the figurative allusion to Chekhov’s gun, I put a real gun in the story. Note that uncle Anton shares the same first name as Anton Chekhov… that’s not a coincidence. So in the story, the figurative gun is fired, and the literal gun remains unused. It’s just a little joke I added for my own amusement, and I’m pretty sure nobody would pick up on it if I didn’t explain it.

    As far as the criticisms go (the predictability and the stilted writing), yeah, those are fair points. A truly surprise ending, at least one that feels natural to the story, is difficult to accomplish. In this case I was more focused on the journey. I think you (Jeff) appreciated that more than the others… win some, lose some. And my writing style, again, that’s something that not everyone’s going to like, and I get that. I do have a tendency to overthink things and put in unnatural words; it’s something I’ll keep in mind for the future.

    Thanks a lot, guys. If you ever want to pick apart another one of my stories, they’re here: http://www.creepypasta.com/tag/thomas-o/

    • Hey, thanks for stopping by and for listening! This has never been a particularly author-aimed show, being a difficult combo of literary criticism and comedy, so I’m glad we weren’t too off-putting for you. I appreciate your work, because without it, there’d be no show. It takes a particularly dedicated author to specifically seek out criticism from strangers who have been, perhaps, a bit unforgiving. Keep up the good work and thank you for the comment!

  2. Pingback: Checking Out the Critical Comments – Thomas O.

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