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Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com • Gay love - not marketable? : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com
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Gay love - not marketable?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:32 pm
by Crono91
So I curious if gay love is a topic that is often avoided in novels because it is not as marketable?

I'm writing a story, and it's young adult fantasy--action adventure, and the main character becomes best friends with another guy, and eventually through betrayal and such, they are at odds with each other.

The story is more plot focused than character focused; however, the story does center around these two a lot. And while it's written in a way where readers can interpret their interactions together as merely "good friends," in the very last scene, I wanted to have them kiss. Which is really the only scene in the entire book that would overtly have a gay scene.

I can end it without that, and it wouldn't change anything, and some readers could just assume it on their own. Yet, being gay myself, it is an element in the story I personally wanted to add, more as a way to show how the bond has grown, been destroyed, and grew into what it is now.

But I don't know if that's marketable or not. I can't really find anything on it. I don't want my story to just be some niche genre, which is how I see gay romance movies turn out.

So honestly, in your expertise if you're savvy with the book market, is that subject best left pushed aside if one really wants to break out and publish something marketable, or will it not affect things much?

Re: Gay love - not marketable?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:52 am
by shadowwalker
There are tons of books with gays (a good friend of mine has had over a dozen m/m romance books published). My question would be why leave that kiss until the end? Why make their relationship ambiguous until then if, as you say, it doesn't change the story? If you want them to be gay, then own it. If the story's good, the only ones in your audience who won't buy it are the bigots, and who cares about them? ;)

Re: Gay love - not marketable?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:15 am
by Crono91

Re: Gay love - not marketable?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:09 am
by onceuponwednesday
#MSWL and #LGBQT are totally in love right now. Kissing not only at the end of the book but all the way through it. Agents are all about diversity these days, which is about time, books are the best place to learn how different people live.

I like that they kiss at the end, it adds a little "will they/won't they" tension or even "are they/aren't they".

Re: Gay love - not marketable?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:53 pm
by James A. Ritchie

Re: Gay love - not marketable?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:58 pm
by James A. Ritchie
There is a market for gay love. There's a market for anything and everything. But the market is pretty small, and what else would you expect? In order to receive a very large market share, a book has to have characters that the large majority of readers can relate to in every way. Because of this, very few people on a percentage basis buy books about gay love. So what? Other subjects and categories also have a small market share, yet those who enjoy these things still write books about them. I suggest writing what you're passionate about, not what the market wants. Worrying about market almost never works out well. Writing out of passion often does.

Re: Gay love - not marketable?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:40 pm
by shadowwalker

Re: Gay love - not marketable?

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:14 am
by Aeoneye
The way you described your story proves it isn't a default niche gay romance. As simple as it may sound, write the best action/adventure as you can with a three dimensional, living/breathing gay protagonist who has needs, weaknesses, and goals. I'm certain readers will be more receptive than you're worried about.

The reader has to become familiar with how the protagonist feels. If he has a struggling attraction for the other character then it must be displayed otherwise you're missing out on good storytelling. Readers are better at picking up clues than we think, so his thoughts and reactions can be subtle like you want it be. Romance should be subtle in an action/adventure anyways. Not only does this emotional struggle help the story to write itself, it makes the reader want the protagonist to win.

The kiss can be saved for the end. If the protagonist is constantly denied this adds good conflict. The pay off at the end could be very rewarding for the reader. Though you do want the reader to know he's gay so the pay off is more fulfilling.

Re: Gay love - not marketable?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:54 pm
by nhope
People read stories for different reasons. To learn, to explore, to understand. People relate to stories that parallel or mirror their own lives, good parts and bad.

If you or someone you know is gay, or fat, or bald, or toothless, someone else probably is too. So write your story. As far as marketable, I have no idea but I imagine yes. Why not leave that up to your agent? Don't they tell you those things?

I guess I look at writing differently. Everyone says to "tell your own story", "find your voice", "write about what you know" and some writers always seem to question that. Just say what you believe needs to be said. Someone will be happy you did.