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.
(n) taking delight in the happiness of others, vicarious joy.
(n) the time after lunch or dinner spent talking to the people you shared the meal with.
(n) just the right amount.
(n) the overwhelming urge to squeeze or pinch something very cute
(n) a joke so poorly told and unfunny you can’t help but laugh
(v) to do something with soul, creativity, or love; when you leave a piece of yourself in your work.
(n) a longing to travel. Missing a place you’ve never been.
(n) pre-fun, the sense of enjoyment felt before a party or event takes place.
(n) ab absence of anything annoying, taking pleasure from the presence of gentle or soothing things.
(n) a person who is always late because they think they have more time than they do. A time optimist.
(n) the ability to gauge mood of others, read the atmosphere, and react appropriately.
(v) to continue eating part the point of being full because the food tastes so good.
(n) the act of buying a book and leaving it unread, often piled together with other unread books.
Thanks to Hollywood, authors may have a very false sense on what they can accurately write about volcanos. How many times have we seen bodies swallowed who by lava at the depths of a volcano? Well in reality the odds a body would make it that far is slim to none. The temperatures can reach over 1800 degrees Fahrenheit which is hot enough to incinerate the human body. For comparison the cremation of a dead body is carried out at a temperature ranging between 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.
But there’s more. You have to get close enough. The rim of the volcano is filled with enough toxic gas to kill anyone who gets close with temperatures reaching 900 degrees Fahrenheit. When approaching you may think you’re getting tired, but it really is the toxic combination of sulfur, methane, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. Without oxygen, it would not be long before you suffocate.
Most images of the inside of a volcano we got by photographers either hovering above, drone, or who have dropped down towards the center. That’s if the smoke and updraft from the heat doesn’t force the helicopter back or just devour a drone.
Magma is also more viscous than water which means falling into it from any height would be the equivalent to falling into concrete.
So now you’ve plummeted from a great height, you’re suffocating, skin already burnt, with broken bones and most likely ruptured organs from the impact, now what? Due to the viscosity of magma you don’t plan on sinking in too far. In less then a second you’re going to look like grandfather’s ashes.
So, is it possible to fall into a volcano and live? Well, it’s rare, but it has happened. In 2007 a Maasai porter fell into a volcano but managed to pull himself out. How is this possible. Well the lava he fell into was noncarbonate lava which is only half as hot. He suffered severe burns to his legs and arms but lived. Natrocarbonatite lavas are rich in the rare sodium and potassium carbonate minerals, nyerereite and gregoryite. Due to this composition, the lava erupts at relatively low temperatures around 1022 degrees Fahrenheit. Not that this is just a mild heatwave but compared to regular lava temperatures natrocarbonatite lava has enough difference in temperature that the molten lava appears black in sunlight, rather than having the red glow common to most lavas. It is also much more fluid than silicate lavas.
Some volcanos can erupt enough sulfur dioxide to bring down the temperature globally. The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines brought the global temperature down at least 32 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USGS.
When a volcano erupts it can cover around a 20 mile radius. And if the volcano does not get you the lightning might. Volcanic lightning occurs mostly within the cloud of ash during an eruption and is created by the friction of the ash rushing to the surface. Lightening can strike 5-10 miles away.
A volcanic eruption might not be the big blockbuster boom like the movies portray either. Sometimes only a hissing sound is heard when a volcano erupts. But, what Hollywood does have right is that the force of the sound wave can cause hearing loss and break glass.
Have you ever sat there trying to think of how to write shirts and pants better? Did you know there actually a name for every type of shirt, collar, sleeves, pant lengths, and more? Check out these numerous images to help you describe your clothing better.
Want more? Check out our Clothing For Writers Pinterest page. We'll be continuously adding more information for our authors.
Disclaimer: NeoLeaf Press does not own any of the images below. Some images are harder to see. If interested in any images below please go to our Pinterest page listed above.
Pants and Skirts
What’s causing my headache?
Cassandra DenHartog PTA, LMT
That’s an age-old question which has many answers.
First of all, what are headaches? Usually, we associate this term with pain in the head, but did you know there are many kinds? Whether you’re having pain in the front, back, or all over can make a difference.
Where is your pain located?
Forehead and around eyes- Usually is a sign of eye strain. This is common with people doing a lot of computer work or in constant brightness changes. Solution? First make sure you are not expressing stress and worry with your facial muscles. Massage, using upward strokes around forehead and eye brows, can help. You can get muscle knots around your eyebrows, which can result in pain around the eyes and forehead. If massage doesn’t help, try having an eye exam. You may not be focusing correctly. Glasses, or a correction in your glasses prescription, could help with this.
Back of the head at base of skull- Headaches located here are usually due to stress and tension. The upper trapezoid muscles, the muscles at the tops of your shoulders, come up and attach in the back of the head. When these muscles are overworked, they constantly pull on the back of the head irritating the tendons. It’s like tendonitis of the skull. This causes pain that starts at the back of the head near the base of the skull that can wrap all the way around. Solution? When you feel this headache type start coming on, use ice on the back of the head. This decreases inflammation and helps prevent the pain from spreading. If this does not help or the headache is already too bad, try shoulder massage. Start at the tops of the shoulders and massage up to the back of the head. Remember to give extra love to the base of the skull. Self-stretches can also help prevent these type of headaches. The best stretches: pulling your nose to your armpit, and pulling your ear to your shoulder.
Side of the head- These headaches are typically caused by the temporalis muscles; the muscles of the temples. They can also be caused by eye strain, or emotions causing excess use of facial muscles. Solution? Take your pointer finger and begin to rub on your temples. If you are feeling soreness or tenderness in this area, this is most likely part of the problem.
Pain coming from the jaw up into the head- This usually comes from the masseter muscles or muscles around the jaw. This can be a common trait for people with TMJ problems, or people who chew a lot of gum, or have a tendency to clench their jaw. Solution? Massaging the masseter muscle can be very beneficial. You do this by opening your jaw wide and following your teeth back until you feel the muscular structure of the masseter muscle where your jaws comes together. Relax your jaw and, with mouth closed, massage this muscle up and down. This muscle should feel very tight but soften when massaged. Also, try avoiding aggravating activities such as gum chewing.
Pain all over the head- If there was no specific spot where the headache started, it could have more of a chemical and a muscular cause. First thing to check is if you’re hydrated. Remember the average human needs at least a half-gallon of water a day to stay adequately hydrated. Also, consider if you’re are going through a hormone change. Hormones can be behind frequent headaches with no other apparent cause. If this is suspected, you should consult your doctor. Hormone imbalances are hard to self-correct, but not impossible. If a doctor isn’t for you, look at eating a lean diet. Remove anything that causes an inflammatory reaction; this means cutting back on gluten, decreasing or totally removing red meats from your diet, and eliminating all sugars. Decreasing inflammation in your body can help with hormonal balances.
Pain in ears and into head- This most often feels like an earache. Often it is due to plugged Eustachian tubes, or what people call plugged ears. Often this is hard to get rid of. Solution? Start by taking several hot steamy showers. Sometimes this is enough to relieve this pressure. If not, you may want to consult a doctor. If you are experiencing dizziness, a feeling of the room spinning with movement, or a feeling of being drunk, you could be experiencing vertigo. This I something you should consult your doctor about, as this usually can quickly be relieved.
Pain in head and neck with head down- This occurs when you are looking down or at a computer screen a lot. In this age, it’s what people call “texter’s neck,” which is caused by the increased strain of holding the head at a forward position for a prolonged time. This can be relieved by adjusting how you look at screens, books, etc. and raising things up to eye level so the head is square atop the shoulders.
The modern change in doing book launches online has brought with it a new term, takeover. So, what’s a takeover? A takeover usually happens when someone asks other authors to takeover a time slot on an online book launch. Slots are usually one-hour long. The point of a takeover is to bring in more authors and in turn increase awareness of the event.
So, what do you do for an hour? It seems like a long time, but you only need around 6-10 posts! That’s easy right? As authors, we post more than that just having fun on Facebook. Here is a step by step suggestion on what to post:
That’s it! It’s that easy! Most often, if you follow this process, you’ll have more than enough for an hour.
Here you are with this amazing character named Joe… Well that’s how it usually starts. Authors sometimes take for granted the power of a name. Look at the big names such as Harry Potter, Jesse Stone, Jack Reacher, and James Bond. Each name not only fits the character, it’s also catchy and memorable. This is what every author should strive for.
Choosing a name is not as easy as picking something that sounds good, it needs to have meaning (like why would their parents choose that name), needs to make sense in the location (Someone in Russia most likely won’t have a Chinese name), and needs to unique, (different than the names of other popular book characters). This makes the task a little daunting and has led to many authors having an awkward amount of baby name books on their shelves. Luckily, there are many online sites which help with name creation.
For names that need significant meaning or certain origin we recommend Behind The Name. This website has extensive information on names, origins, meanings, and even popularity depending on year.
The next is a fun UK website Name Generator. This website has a plethora of options including Character Names, Pirate Names, Hero Names, and Villain Names.
Another great option, especially for fantasy writers, is Fantasy Name Generator. This is commonly used for gaming groups and has over 100 categories for names for fantasy characters including Aliens, Elves, Dwarfs, and many more.
The last great website Fake Name Generator, also generates demographics including things like address, phone number, favorite color, and vehicle they drive.
We all struggle with finding the perfect title for out novel. Most of the time we look for something that sounds catchy and makes sense. What most authors typically miss is doing significant research on their title before picking it.
Why do research? Well, researching a title, keywords, and trends could be the difference between having a best-seller and a flop. A good example of this is books with the word ALPHA in them. There are so many books, that a casual shopper just entering the title will be flooded with results, and often those results will not even contain your book. Why? Because, if there are other books with a similar or the same title that have higher reviews and/or sales they will show up first.
So, what should you do? After coming up with a title idea, search various sites such as Google, Amazon, and Goodreads. You want to make sure another book does not have the exact same title and look at how many books have similar titles. If possible, try to find a title that only closely matches ten or less books. Sometimes this is not possible, but it’s a good habit to get into.
Try a swing at Google too. If your book is about werewolves in Chicago type in a few key words and see what Google auto suggests. This will show you what are the trending phrases. Just typing werewolf net the results werewolf, werewolf cat, werewolf game, and werewolf syndrome. Typing Werewolf In nets the results Werewolf in London, Werewolf in Spanish, Werewolf in Paris, and Werewolf in French. Well Werewolf in London and Werewolf in Paris is already taken for book titles, but Werewolf in French is not. Also, Werewolf Syndrome has minimal book results. (Note from publication of this article this may have changed so use it only as an example.)
All this information can help you launch your book with a bang and make it easily found by your readers. Using this method also makes it so you don’t use another popular title. Authors have been known to get hard feelings when they think someone if copying their title.
Still a little hung up? You can also try online random book title generators.
Random Novel Title Generator
Random Story Title Generator
Book Title Generator
Well good question. Most people post when they want or when it’s convenient for them. In reality, they could be losing out on a lot of potential viewers. Every form of social media tends to have a ‘rush hour’ and also, mostly due to refresh rate, require a certain number of posts to really make sure you are noticed.
Best Times To Post
Pinterest: 7:00PM – 12:00AM
Facebook: 1:00PM – 4:00PM
Twitter: 12:00PM – 3:00PM
Worst Times To Post
Pinterest: 1:00-7:00 AM & 5:00-7:00PM
How Often Should I Post
Pinterest: 20-25 times a day
Facebook: 2-5 times a day
Instagram: 1-3 times a day
Twitter: 1-3 times a day
What Should I Post
Sunday: Focus on humor with Sunday Memes. If you’re religious offer some blessings or scripture quotes. Also try information on how to get ready for the work week.
Monday: Monday’s are rough so focus on motivation. Update your products and give people sometime to look forward too.
Tuesday: Engage your audience. Give out samples of your product. Make a poll.
Wednesday: Give back to your audience. Start a contest. Update you blog posts. Offer some Wednesday wisdom.
Thursday: Post some business promos. Post a selfie with your product. Launch a new promotion or remind your audience of one already going on.
Friday: Focus on fun day Friday. Post a picture of a family activity. Share a Friday meme. Add a new post to your blog.
Saturday: Let your audience get to know you. Post a Saturday selfie. Share a special offer for your business. Tell your audience why you do what you do.
What About Hashtags
#Monday #MondayFunday #MondayMotivation #MotivationalMonday #MondayMorning #MondaySelfie
#Tuesday #TipTuesday #TuneTuesday
#Wednesdays #WisdomeWednesday #WellnessWednesday #HumpDay
#Thursdays #ThirstyThursday #CoffeeThuesday #ThursdayThoughts
#Friday #FridayNight #FinallyFriday #FollowFriday
#Saturday #SocialSaturday #Caturday #SaturdaySwag
#Sunday #SelfieSunday #SelflessSunday #SundayBrunch #SundaySchool
Making a character is difficult, but with this handy chart you can work out small facts you never knew about your character. This can help flesh out a confusing character, or just get to know one better.
Character Chart Part One: First impressions
AGE: HEIGHT: WEIGHT: BIRTH DATE:
HAIR COLOR and Style:
Describe physical characteristics, body type, etc.:
Specific markingS, tattoo, scar, birthmarks:
Greatest physical flaw:
STYLE OF DRESS:
One piece of clothing he/she would never be without:
What does he/she think of this profession:
Character Chart Part Two: A brief look
Name of father: Important details:
Name of mother: Important details:
ATTITUDES TOWARD PARENTS:
Brothers: Important details:
Sisters: Important details:
ATTITUDES TOWARD siblings:
Favorite place, hangout, peaceful spot:
IS HOME A HAPPY PLACE FOR CHARACTER TO BE? WHY?:
DESCRIBE CHARACTER’S PHYSICAL HOME. DRAW OUT A FLOORPLAN IF IT HELPS:
Character Chart part three: A closer look
FAVORITE STYLE OF MUSIC:
Favorite pasttime, book, TV show, movie, etc:
Most precious possession:
BEST FRIEND, detail, description:
Person he/she would call for help. Why?:
Character chart part four: keeping it straight
BEST ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE THIS CHARACTER:
DESCRIBED BY OTHERS AS:
CHARACTER TRAITS, STRONG OR WEAK:
BIGGEST emotional flaw:
GIFTS CHARACTER POSSESSES:
WHAT DOES YOUR CHARACTER DO, HOW DOES HE/SHE BEHAVE WHEN he/SHE IS-
CAUGHT DOING SOMETHING WRONG:
Character Chart Part Five: Into the mind
OPINION OF SELF:
MOST FRIGHTENING CHILDHOOD MEMORY:
MOST EMBARASSING CHILDHOOD MEMORY:
MOST JOYFUL CHILDHOOD MEMORY:
An embarrassing SECRET:
Most powerful dream:
Goal in life:
Character Chart Part Six: Into the Heart
What characteristics do they look for in a spouse:
Name of Romantic interest, fiancée, spouse:
How do these characters interact:
A key detail about their relationship:
What would be an ideal date:
What would cause your character the most heartache? Why?:
Character Chart Part Seven: Into the soul
What is one thing youR character would never do:
In a life or death situation would your character fight, fly, or freeze? Why?:
Who is the one person your character feels they couldn’t live without:
GREATEST WANT OR DESIRE:
PiCTure a sCenario where your character is in peril. What do they do:
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