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So I want to be a writer. I feel I’ve made that somewhat clear by now, what with it being proclaimed in just about every pocket of text on this site. But I kind of, sort of, totally left out sharing what I want to write about!
That’s probably important.
Luckily, it’s an easy omission to fix. I want to write about . . . LOVE. *sigh* (One must always clasp their hands to their chest and sigh dramatically when talking about love. It’s a rule).
Yep, I want to be a romance writer. Do you think less of me? Honestly, I can’t blame you if you do. There’s a bit of a stigma there. We all know it. Even if, logically, we also know writing romance has its own intricacies and challenges just like any other type of writing. I’m also sure the number of sales on Amazon don’t reflect it as a “lesser” genre. But it’s got a bad rep, all the same.
I blame that aisle in bookstores. You know the one I speak of. Especially those of you who experienced it before what I like to believe was The Great Cover Artist Revolt (okay, I’m sure it was the publishers who clued into the fact that times were a-changing, but I like to imagine the artists just throwing down their pens and refusing to draw one more man-nipple.
That aisle. Ugh. It was just so . . . wispy. Wispy hair. Wispy clothes. Wispy fonts. Wispy hymens . . . I remember walking down it for the first time as a teenager, embarrassed and on the look-out for anyone who might catch me in such a compromising location. But I couldn’t resist! I was so curious to see what kind of shenanigans all those muscular dudes were getting into that precluded them from wearing entire shirts.
If you can’t relate, I should add that at that age, needing to breathe air embarrassed me.
I fought through it though, and I bought my first romance novel. I’m pretty sure it was written by Nora Roberts. Not because I have any actual recollection, but because statistically, that just seems the most likely possibility. Seriously, how many books has that woman written? Whatever it was, it was not good. And yet! I was hooked. I know. Reading a terrible book should not turn you onto a genre for life, but for me, it did. Because I loved the idea of the book. I loved the thought of reading the story about how two interesting people fall in love and live happily ever after.
I loved even more the thought of writing such a story myself.
Which circles our meandering path back around nicely to the point. My goal here is to produce a romance novel.
But what KIND of romance novel, you might be asking. Indeed, there are a plethora of choices out there to choose from. And not just pertaining to different settings anymore, but partner pairings and deviant preferences as well! It’s all very exciting. I’m not sure I could pin myself down to just one. Of course, it’s worth considering how that choice will impact publication options. A few mainstream authors like J.R. Ward and now even Kresley Cole with her upcoming novella are dipping their toes into the m/m pool of jisms, but only after being super well-established. And not, like, in any real way. At least from what I’ve heard.
Any non-traditional pairing is still relegated to the realm of e-publishing, and that’s unlikely to change. This means most m/m, threesomes, and BDSM-themed stories still end up being self-published. And before you think about protesting, “BUT! But what about my 50 Shades! That was super-steamy-hardcore-ouchy BDSM!” I have a few counter protests of my own. Most about that nonsense being published in the first place. Forget all the drama about it being barely disguised abuse and the totally illogical character decisions, it was just plain old bad writing. If you are interested in real/good BDSM romance, check out Joey W. Hill. Actually, she covers the m/m and threesomes, too. She’s an over-achiever like that.
Self-publishing is not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion. In fact, as an individual who is interested in being published in some form or another, I think it’s a pretty awesome development, and most likely the route I’m going to take.
Are you thinking less of me again? Once more, I think there’s some amount of prejudice floating around. This, too, I get. There are some real cringe-worthy efforts out there. But there are also some really amazing self-published authors, too. I intend to provide proof of just that as we go. Anytime I read something I absolutely love, I’ll share.
My decision to take the self-published path is very intentional, and relates to that plethora of choices I mentioned above. You see, my brain is not exactly mainstream. I actually struggled quite a bit with this decision, and even with this blog. Should I go for the bigger audience and cater to the most popular tastes? My ego told me yes, because my ego is a slut that likes being pet. But ultimately, that is not who I am, and not what I want to write about. I enjoy reading traditional pairings and some of the big-name authors, sure, but not as much as I enjoy the other stuff.
The non-traditional, rule-breaking, unexpected stuff. And that is what I want to write. M/M, threesomes, and yes, maybe even dabble in the uber-manly-but-sexually-submissive male protagonist. And they will fall in love in all manner of settings, fantasy as well as contemporary. Though probably not historic, because I listen to too many history podcasts and have problems with suspending my beliefs long enough to imagine history as anything but dirty and disgusting.
Don’t get me wrong, I will no doubt write some of the traditional stuff, too, but it’s not really what tickles my muse’s fancy.
That said, most of the materials I’m going to be reading and sharing as I learn will not be genre-specific. Writing is writing. All stories have the same basic components (characters, story arc, conflict, etc.), so if your genre is something different, don’t feel like there’s nothing here for you. Of course, the practice writings and story snippets I share will no doubt be chock full of smuttiness and, yes, shirtless men humping each other’s legs. But hey, exposure to different things is good for a writer!