Thanks so much for explaining!!

Thanks, Glen! I asked a day or two ago about just what exactly makes "gay liturature" (and made a beginner-level typo for which I will never forgive myself):


http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/what-exactly-makes-a-gay-novel.html

And your explanation shed a whole new light on the subject for me. I just had a quick follow-up question: Suppose there really isn't that much focus on the character's sexuality at all, main character or not. At least, no more focus than there would be in any other fantasy story. What genre would it count as if the character just happened to turn out gay? No hinting, plot build-up, emphasis or anything. The knight in shining armour, so to speak, in this story just happens to like... other knights as opposed to the princess (who he still rescues of course, as he is a hero). Thanks a lot!

Answer: First, let me say I can't give a definitive answer here. This is just speculation and other readers should feel free to correct me if I'm in error.

Before, I suggested that having a Christian main character doesn't necessarily make for a Christian novel. Christianity is so common in the Western world that being Christian doesn't make a character stand out. It's a trait that doesn't call attention to itself unless it's connected to themes or issues in the story. (For example, in the play/film Doubt, the fact that the main character is a nun has a huge bearing on the story. Her inner conflict is all about a test of her faith.)

Presumably, the same would be true about a gay main character. If the character's sexuality has no bearing on the plot, issues, or themes of the story, then it shouldn't matter. It's no more an issue than his hair colour or favorite food. A book should only be considered gay literature if the main character's homosexuality matters to the story.

One day, that may be the case.

However, at the moment, I suspect that homosexuality is a trait that would call attention to itself, simply because a general audience would see it as an unusual trait. We are not yet used to gay main characters (though we are starting to get used to them).

It's a gray area. People who enjoy LGBT literature might be disappointed in a book where the main character's homosexuality is a non-issue. On the other hand, some readers might automatically categorize a novel as gay literature for no other reason than it has a gay main character.

I suspect it might even depend somewhat on who publishes it. A book might be more readily classified as gay literature if it were published by a house that specializes in that genre. The same book with a different publisher might be categorized differently.

Call it a cop-out, but in such cases I suspect it's best to just write the book and let other people decide what category to put it in.

Comments for Thanks so much for explaining!!

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Oct 19, 2012
My first chapter
by: Collette Anderson

Good Afternoon Glen:
This is Collette Anderson here, and I am stuck.

My question is this; in my first chapter is it okay to insert a gift wrap box that (actually hides some pictures of my husband and my sisters secret affair) my sister dropped off because she wants my husband and she loves hurting me. I also want to know if I it is okay to insert this strange letter stating that someone I know is HIV positive. (it's my sister)

Is it okay to have these two mysterious conflict in my opening. My book is about these three (troika) women who became friends from attending an "Woman Thou Art Loose Woman" retreat that T.D. Jake's hosted. They women met at the airport. and their lives parallel. They all work with children. I need your help. Please Glen

Oct 19, 2012
Response
by: Glen

Hi Collette,

Anything is all right if it fits the story. In this case, I assume you're trying to create some mystery right away, and there's nothing wrong with that - at least nothing wrong with your description.

Beyond that, you will have to assess the actual chapter once it is written.


Oct 20, 2012
Chapter access problem/
by: Collette Anderson

Good afternoon Glen my trusted confidante:

I thank you so much (1) for your response(2)I am not sure as to when I should open these mysterious events. I am still with some external and internal conflict. This is why I needed your help. I heard about this when researching all of these documents. I never knew about this so-called HOOK.

I have twenty chapters completed where as every now again I go back in and insert some more information that I drum up. Am I to introduce this gift box sooner rather than later(this is my question.)

The protagonist is also having issues with her husband but I was going to find a way to introduce the gift box and then the HIV test results. My main character will have the job of connecting the two dots and she come up with her sister on both streets and she will. I just need help PLLLEAASSEEEEE!!!!!

Oct 20, 2012
Response
by: Glen

Collette,

Imagine someone told you about a symphony they were planning to write and asked you if it was okay to introduce violins four minutes in. You couldn't answer that question. You would have to hear the music to decide if it worked or not.

In this case, I suggest you write the chapter so that it feels emotionally right to you, then show it to some people you trust and see if it makes them want to keep reading.

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

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