So I spent my college education primarily as a creative writing major. As such, I spent a lot of time in workshop classes. For anyone that doesn't know, a workshop is basically a giant critique group. There's kind of a debate on the net about whether they're a waste of time or not, but I'll talk about that some other day.
Anyway, there are two things to know about fiction writing workshops in college: 1) they're all about short stories, and 2) they strongly encourage that you write literary fiction. When you Take these two things and throw them at a dude, something exciting will happen. This is what we like to call the Man Story.
But let's cut to the chase and just define what makes a story the Man Story:
- The author and narrator are both college males
- The narrator's best friend is kind of a womanizing douchebag
- But the narrator actually is a decent guy
- They may smoke pot together at some point
- The narrator doesn't know where he's going with his life
- There is a girl who once had relations with the narrator or the douchebag
- The narrator and the girl have unresolved sexual tension
- There is usually some kind of mundane task involved
- And a lot of the time said task doesn't gets completed
- The narrator has an epiphany of some sort--usually that his life sucks
- Nothing much really happens at all ... other than the mundane task
Does that sound familiar to you guys? It probably will if you've gone through college level creative writing workshops. Then again, maybe it won't. Which is why I'm posting this today, because I'm curious whether this phenomenon was limited to Montana people or whether this is worldwide sort of thing.
So really, tell me. Does this sound familiar? Have you read the Man Story before? Better yet, have you written a version of the Man Story? Tell me about it in the comments.