Higher Education among The Authors

Hey guys,

Another thought for another post here. I’ve noticed that we’ve got some educated people among our authors. I myself have a PhD in Japanese literature; Hypnothrill has an article coming out in a edited volume; nycboot, if I remember correctly, has written a dissertation; absman420 went to grad school for music; bucke and Ng5 are in the science field. So, I wanted to see who else has gone to grad school amongst our author pool and to ask if they ever had thought about incorporating what they study into what they write for GSS. For my part, my main areas of research are Imperial court poetry and music, but I recently came up with an idea for a story set in the 15th or 16th century that deals with piracy on the seas between China and Japan.

2 Likes

I was a priest (R.C.) M.A.s in Education & Sacred Doctrine. Still studying, taking courses in whatever I want to.

4 Likes

Rather suprisingly, given that I have an extremely eclectic CV and my PhD dissertation was actually on the history of gay erotic fiction, I don’t feel like my academic research interests make their way into my gay erotic stories very much. I think they’re a lot more heavily influenced by my hobbies and experiences, including music festivals, hostels, gyms, and bathhouses that I’ve visited–all of which have appeared in lightly fictionalized form in my stories.

1 Like

Not sure if that’s counting, but I did make the German equivalent to a Master of Computer Science in the 90ies.

Not that this would help me anyway with writing gay erotica :slight_smile:

Wow, I didn’t know we had an expert! Now you have to join the admin team to check all the incoming stories :slight_smile:

But I totally get that your visits to bathhouses and gyms gave you way more insight in gay culture and stuff to write about :wink:

2 Likes

Well, a lot of those are Eastern European saunas and gyms in and around the post-Soviet country where I live. So I’d say that they’ve given me more insight into straight culture (and the homoeroticism inherent within it).

2 Likes

You graduated in gay erotica in an eastern European country?! :open_mouth:

1 Like

No, no! I’m American. I just live in a post-Soviet country now; I moved here for work, and it was the best decision I’ve made. Admittedly, there’s not much gay community here, and most of the time, I stay semi-closeted. But that was also the case in the small US cities in Indiana and South Carolina where I lived before.

I just hope you don’t have to live in eastern-Poland homophobes country. Not sure it’s any better in the rest of eastern Europe.

But, if you’re happy there… :astonished:

I have a Masters in Music Ed, but how does it affect my writing? Deep…

On the surface, very little. None of my characters have been musicians, although I have written a couple of teachers and coaches. On the other hand, constructing a story is a lot like composing music. You have your theme. You establish it, explore/ develop it, build a counter-theme, harmonize, then climax.

Hey — this might be my PhD!!!

2 Likes

Yeah, I have a Ph.D. in music (and two Master degrees; if I said anymore you all would be able to easily figure out who I am). Of the one story I’ve published and the three that I’m planning, none of them deal with my area of specialty. However, I’m also somewhat educated in certain periods of history - and I must say that when M. Greene writes one of his historical fiction stories, sometimes the accuracy with which he portrays the setting and characters is uncanny! Every now and then someone writes a story and puts in details which one would normally just glaze over and assume that’s part of the setting. But when you actually know those details and see that the author has portrayed them accurately, it really makes the story “click” in a special way. For those able to recognize those details, it makes the reader much more sympathetic to the story and the author.

Now that you’ve brought up this topic, maybe I should consider a story along the lines of the film HANGOVER SQUARE (1945). In that film, the protagonist—a composer—upon hearing certain sounds, goes into a temporary hypnotic state during which he kills people. Typical of an overwrought 1940s Hollywood film, he winds up dying in a flaming concert hall as he plays the concerto he was composing throughout the film.

1 Like

Geology and biology degrees, here. Probably contributes to why I’m so attached to stories of strange creatures that are able to entrall men…

2 Likes

The book of Hangover Square is so much better–written by Patrick Hamilton, who was a brilliant novelist, but these days is better known for his plays, Rope and Gaslight.

1 Like

Thanks for that - I’ll have to track down the book!

Ethics. I sometimes wonder whether including certain perverse actions in a story would be unethical from the standpoint of prompting a reader who may have the propensity toward them to actually do one or more of them. E.g., castration of another or himself using a humane method. I counter this to myself with the example of a murder mystery writer who lays out a detailed murder plot. That is done and published (and made into T.V. scripts) all the time. Although I include a disclaimer above my stories noting that fantasy stories do not have consequences in the real world but actual activities do, I do not think that many persons would actually be swayed by reading such.

Guess my B.A. in Philosophy before the M.A.s might prompt this question . . . plus my 18 yrs. in the priesthood.

What thoughts might any of you have about this?

I have a Masters in Education, which mostly translates to me screaming “IQ IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT AND ALSO DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY!” at dumbing down stories. As for my (unpublished) writing i think it mostly comes across in the themes i try to communicate. Themes of growth, change, and betterment.

I think the important thing about having a degree, especially a higher degree, is the skills you learned earning it. Sure the knowledge is handy, but the research skills, the critical thinking skills and the perseverance are much more likely to come through.

2 Likes

New author to the site here, but not new to writing- My Bachelor’s is in Directing Playwriting and Production. I work professionally in Performing Arts Administration, and a play of mine is currently slated to appear in a festival at a major Regional theatre.

2 Likes

DikThik: Such are the trade-offs in (what we perceive as) a free society. Action is up to the individual.

Millions of children have grown up watching cartoons, most of which are insanely violent. I still watch around 70 films a year, many of which contain violent, unlawful or non-consensual content. So do millions of other people all over the world.

Of course in every society there are going to be unstable people who want to enact what they see in the media in real life. (I forget which Disney film it was that led to a spate of teenagers sitting in the middle of a highway resulting in their deaths - a great example of why those under the age of 18 are not yet in full control of their senses.)

I think you have to trust people to know they are reading fiction which is designed to create a world that could not exist in real life. The alternative is having laws so censorious as to restrict a great deal of life.

1 Like

I feel so under educated. I hold a BSc. in Computer Science.

I try not to hold myself to what’s possible in technology, but I do try to make the technology self-consistent within a story. I’ve got a couple stories (Executive Override, Welcome to My Party) that rely on software bugs to make the transformations happen.

@BlindSeer0 - Totally hear you around IQ as a social construct… I’m definitely guilty of using it cheaply, quickly, and incorrectly.

2 Likes

The movie was called The Program. Here’s a NY Times article about young men trying to copy the stupid highway stunt. I think this is an example of how genre matters a lot when it comes to audience impressionability. The Program was a semi-realistic movie about a high school football team, and the whole point was to make the guys on the team look cool. On the other hand, we don’t have a spate of anvil-related injuries, despite falling anvils being a component of many Looney Tunes shorts, because viewers are mostly able to tell that the cartoon isn’t operating under real-world logic. I think that most stories on GSS are the same way; they contain enough genre cues that a reader would know the situations they depict would be impossible to replicate in real life.

1 Like

I failed Java programming three times, so I’d say your degree is pretty impressive.

As a math major into dumbing down i love IQ because it gives a solid number to grasp on to and use narratively. Chapter 2 of Saints and Sinners where Tank loses IQ but gains a proportionate amount of muscle is one of my favorites. I just have to quiet the part of me that says IQ doesn’t equal education, and that its also a precentile bell curve distribution so its range isn’t as wide as people think.

1 Like