The common misconception about writing M/M (male and male) romance is that it’s very hard. Like most fiction, research is recommended, but in reality, writing a M/M romance is very similar to writing a traditional romance.
Stay away from stereotypes. This is usually considered lazy writing and does not portray complex main character well. When starting to write a M/M romance, delve deep into back story. Make sure you have a well fleshed out past that makes sense with the character. Don’t be overtly obvious as you build a character. Telling things like he was caught with playgirl magazine in his room, most often will not go over well with a reader. Give hints to why your main characters are attracted to each other. Touch on qualities and desires like you would in a normal romance.
Try to make your characters dynamic and stay away from the typical he’s very feminine and he’s very masculine unless you have a solid concrete reason to do so. There’s nothing wrong with a romance featuring two feminine men or two very masculine alpha men.
Don’t use phrases like it was a life style choice or a phase they are going through. As M/M becomes more popular and people are becoming more aware, many people of the LGBT community are coming to light. It’s an old opinion that it’s a phase or taboo. More so, with the growing LGBT community becoming more open, the popularity of M/M fiction is growing. This is partially do to the draw to something new in the world of readers.
Possibly one of your biggest hurdles in writing M/M, is making this relatable to your typical reader. This means, not just targeting your LGBT community. You need to get into the head of your character and the heart of your reader. Make them feel the struggled and understand. With the growing popularity of Fantasy, Sci-fi, and other genera’s in pop culture this may be one of the hardest things to write well as it’s still not very main-stream yet.
If you are starting out, and not in a M/M relationship yourself, the best place to start is research. Start with other popular M/M novels. Read up on your desired topic. Ask someone in that kind of relationship. Don’t be afraid of offending people. Often times they will be nice and let you know if that is something they are comfortable talking about. With so much false information out there, going to the source is best. Don’t pry. No one likes people probing into their personal life, so start out by asking something simple like, “I’m writing a book and thought you could help me. Would it be all right and email you about what I’m working on and if you’re interested, could I ask you some questions to help me write this?” Be courteous, and if they say no, accept it and move on.
Steps to writing M/M
1. The more outward about their sexuality the more dynamic and carefree their personality tends to be.
2. If a character is hiding their sexuality they will tend to over masculinize themselves to play the role.
3. Remember they are normal people and will act like any other characters in situations.
4. Don’t be afraid to peek into a porn site for ideas when writing explicit sex scenes.
5. Don’t name, brand, or tag these characters like they’re the ‘token’ character in your story.
6. Be detailed and check your facts.
Writing F/F romance
Writing F/F fiction (female and female) can be tricky. The biggest rule is it must be catchy. F/F fiction is well dominated by M/M fiction and tends to be a harder sell. This could possibly be because of the high amount of female romance readers over male.
To start, characters cannot be stereotypical. To capture a reader, you need to dynamic characters that stand out. Females are great emotional characters, so capturing your reader with feelings instead of intense action will be easier. Avoid derogatory terms such as lez or dike as this diminishes your character.
When writing F/F characters, don’t try to write them as if they are men, and if you do make sure there’s a very good reason. A more dynamic character may check out another woman’s butt or breasts, but are most likely not going to come on with cheesy one liners.
A woman trying to attract a woman will be very similar to a woman trying to attract a man. Remember all characters actions will be based on reason and often past experiences. A strong back story makes it easier to believe why a character will perform a certain action. How their family, friends, and peers reacted to them in the past with shape how they interact in the future.
A female character shunned for being a lesbian might try to hide it. They might sneak to places they could meet someone like themselves or even date other men to cover it up. On the other hand, someone who’s family embraced them and were encouraged by their friends might be very outgoing and open about their sexuality.
Don’t be afraid to have others read your work and listen closely to criticism. If multiple people say about the same thing, this will give you grounds and a place to start to rework your writing. If everyone says they don’t like your main character, figure out why. Ignore comments regarding their sexuality and focus on deeper things. Sexuality and things outside of a reader’s norm should not effect if they like the story or not. A common example of this is aliens, fantasy creatures like centaurs, or androids. Good writing can push a reader past their boundaries.
Facts and Myths about LGBT
Myth: Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is just a phase.
Fact: Lots of people do experiment with their sexuality, but for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people their attraction to the same or both genders all their life is the same as straight people. Often it is felt or known at a very young age.
Myth: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people can be cured.
Fact: This is like saying you can be cured of naturally having blue eyes or liking the color red. There is no cure and scientists have warned that trying to do so with some current procedures out there can be very dangerous.
Myth: Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is a choice.
Fact: People don’t choose who they fall in love with. Same sex, opposite sex, old, and young.
Myth: People who are lesbian, gay, and bisexual are very promiscuous and will try and jump into bed with anyone they meet.
Fact: Sexual orientation has nothing to do with how many or how few partners a person has.
Myth: Being bisexual, gay, or lesbian is unnatural.
Fact: Scientists have shown that bisexual, gay, and lesbian relationships have existed in the animal kingdom for years. Most notably seen in bonobos, orcas, black swans, and even lions.
Myth: Gay men molest children at a high rate than heterosexuals.
Fact: Scientists found no evidence that gay men molest children at higher rates than heterosexual men.
Myth: Allowing gay people to serve openly will damage the armed forces.
Fact: Much research has been done on this subject and found that over the years up to 10% of our armed forced have been gay and operating under the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policies. Also no research has been found that depicts there is or have been any harm in allowing gay troupes to serve.
Myth: LGBT people can be identified by certain Mannerisms, clothing or physical characteristics
Fact: People are individuals with individual tastes and interests. Observable trends tend to start stereotypes, but most often they are untrue and not accurate.
Myth: In a same sex relationship one person usually plays the masculine role and the other a famine role.
Fact: As with heterosexual couples, this dynamic varies from person to person depending on personality, dynamics, and other factors.
Myth: LGBT people do not make good parents.
Fact: Other than stigmatism from their peers, research has shown there is no higher occurrence of issues/problems than in children of heterosexual children.
LGBT definitions and more
LGBT is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. It has been used since the 1990s.
A lesbian is a homosexual woman; a woman who is sexually attracted to the same sex.
Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term's use as a reference to homosexuality may date as early as the late 19th century, but its use gradually increased in the 20th century.
Bisexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior toward both males and females.
Transgender people are those who have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex.
Pansexuality, or omnisexuality, is the sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity.
A person with no connection to the traditional system of gender.
Experiencing little or no sexual attraction to others and a lack of interest in sexual relationships.
Little or no capacity to experience sexual attraction until a strong romantic or emotional connection is formed with another individual, often within a romantic relationship.
Gender fluid is a gender identity best described as a dynamic mix of boy and girl.