So, I was over on Reddit, you like I often am, and found this question. And answered it, like I do. However, the answer I initially gave was a simple generic answer. If you want to read my original answer unaltered, simply click on Reddit's embed feature links which Reddit provides for webmasters to be able to post their answers on their websites, while linking back to the original thread on Reddit (if you didn't know Reddit offered and encouraged the use of this feature, look for it in the "share" features underneath every post, comment, and reply on Reddit).
I am answering random questions today about world building, over on Reddit and decided to take my answers from there and expand upon them even further over here. So that's what this page is. Me rambling on about various aspects of world building techniques I use when writing the Quaraun series. The questions I am answering are embedded here. Clicking the link in the embedded question will take you to the original Reddit page where you can see the original answer along with other people's answers. If you wish to comment, you can do so on the Reddit page where a place to do so is provided.
In any case, as with all of my Reddit answers found on my site here, my original post on Reddit is much shorter then the article here.
I know this is a plot and not the story itself, but I'm guessing by the writing you are still in high school and have not yet learned many grammar rules? If so, please focus on your grammar classes, and if possible ask your teacher to give you extra credit assignments (does your school have an honours program? If so, ask to be enrolled in the gramer honours program. Explain to your teach you are writing a series of novels that you plan to get published, and you are looking to take extra credit and honours classes/assignments in grammar to improve your writing skills so you'll have a better chance of getting published.)
Whether you are still in school or not, I highly recommend, getting a grammar book (college textbook) and spend a few months doing all the exercises and assignments. If you can find a textbook that puts heavy emphasis on diagramming sentences (breaking the sentence apart and turning it into a scientific equation) get that one and do them.
I improved my grammar and writing (prose) skills by finding such a text book and then doing 100 sentence diagrams every day for 6 months. It's dull and boring work, but it works wonders at improving your ability it write fluid, easy to read prose.
I suggest this, because, I can see you have the drive, motivation, and passion to get this project running forward, and from what you have said, you seem to have the determination to work on your plot and characters and world.... but....
You can have the best characters, the best world, the best plot, ever imagined, and without the ability to use grammar rules to put those things into correct writing (prose) no publisher will ever accept it.
You have a lot of very big grammar errors going on in your plot.
For example, a thing that often indicates a teenager wrote the story, is an over use of prepositions. Prepositions and their excessive overuse, is the thing that makes a teen's dialogue stand out from an adult's dialogue.
As a person gets older, they tend to use fewer and fewer prepositions in their conversations, causing their speech pattern to become more "adult sounding" and less "immature".
Because a person usually writes with the same voice that they speak with in daily conversations, it's usually easy to guess an author's age.
The grammar rule about prepositions, is to use them as little as possible. To think of them as candy. A sweet tasty thing to add here or there, but a thing that will cause serious tooth decay (and story decay) if used too often.
Usually you can find a way to completely remove most, if not all prepositions from your writing, and replace them with less passive, more active words, resulting in less awkward, more smooth flowing reading.
If you must use a preposition, try to never use more then one per sentence.
Which brings us to the first sentence of your plot:
>>Two young men embark on a journey with their entrusted friends on the account of a worldwide contest held by The Guardians, a mysterious council of powerful and dangerous beings.
Here are the prepositions in your first sentence:
There are 6 prepositions in your first sentence. This causes the reader to fumble, and drag, when trying to read the sentence. It slows down pace and action.
If you were to take that plot, as it is written right now, and submit it in a query, you would be automatically rejects, because of the 6 prepositions in the first sentence. The editor wouldn't even look past that sentence, to read the rest of the plot.
Remember, that storytelling, and writing a readable story, are two seperate things. Storytelling is creating the plot, the characters, and their world. Writing a readable story is taking those things and using proper grammar to convey the story to others.
It is my belief, based of things you've said here in the comments, that you have a pretty solid story, some well thought out characters, and a very good idea of how you want the plot to progress. I don't think you have much to worry about in these regards. I think, if you keep on the way you are headed, you'll have a very good story to send to publishers.
My feeling is that the thing you need to work on, is learning grammar rules and practicing doing textbook writing exercises to help you get those rules branded to memory. You writing style is very difficult to read, because there are no grammar rules being put to use, and you are kind of just tossing words on the page without any real thought to the correct order they should be placed in, and thus how you have a sentence with 6 prepositions in it.
I'm not seeing any real issues with your story (plot, characters, world, tropes, etc). My feeling is that, if you clean up the grammar, you've got something extremely publishable on your hands.
>>I just want to know what tropes and over used elements in fantasy I must avoid. Some cliches exist, but those are minimal. I'm trying to avoid usual fantasy tropes and developing characters different than the popular characters of fantasy fiction.
Perhaps an unpopular opinion (I know how writers these days love to obsess over trope rules), but I think that tropes are like book reviews: things that authors have no business worrying about or focusing on.
Let's think about it. How long have books existed? Since the early 1500s if you only count bound books. Longer is you count scrolls and tablets. The oldest known scroll was recently found in China and is 20,000 years old. Books/stories have been around a long time.
Now, in that time, how many authors worried about tropes? Not many. Why? Because, 10 years ago, the concept of tropes did not exist.
The first time I ever heard of tropes was 4 years ago, I hadn't a clue what was being discussed, until someone gave me the link to the site. One website, the opinion of one person who decided to build a website, has changed the way authors today look at writing.
But, let's look at the concept of tropes. A trope, is something that is used SUCCESSFULLY over and over again, resulting in many books becoming bestsellers, because readers like those things.
So let me ask you... if a thing is used SUCCESSFULLY over and over again, resulting in many books becoming bestsellers... WHY then, would you want to AVOID using that thing in your own book?
Can you see how illogical it is to avoid tropes?
But let's look at tropes even further... WHY did someone decide to build a website, listing well over 10,000 tropes to avoid? Bitter? Angry? Hates books? I mean think about it. Who died and made them god? Where does one person get off making a list of 10,000+ Thou Shalt Nots, and result in authors grovelling at their feet, Yes, Sir, I'll never add it again, Sir, please don't beat me, Sir, let's kiss your feet, Sir... I mean really? Are authors REALLY that scared of one person and their one website, that they don't dare to write their book without getting that's site's approval first? Can anyone say dictatorship and communism?
Tropes are not rules of writing, they are the opinion of one person, who spent a lot of time writing a very large website. One rather bitter person who really hates books and takes great delight in tearing plots apart and attacking them viciously.
And now authors tremble in fear.
Tropes are there for readers. They provide readers with a treasure hunting game, to examine their favourite books looking for ways in which their books are alike.
Readers LIKE tropes.
By avoiding tropes you are DENYING your readers the enjoyment of reading their favourite tropes.
I feel that if an author is going to worry about tropes at all, that it is in their best interested to focus on INCLUDING tropes, rather then avoiding them.
It is my belief that the concept of tropes is there for readers not authors. It allows readers to look for books that MATCH their favourite tropes.
I write my books the way I want them written. If they contain tropes, then, heck, they contain trope. I don't know if my books contain tropes or not, and I don't care, either. If readers don't like it, fine. That's not going to stop me from writing my next book my way either. I'm not trying to keep up with the Jones. I'm not trying to please any one. I'm not trying to impress anyone. I'm writing the story, that I want to write. I'm writing the story, that I want to read.
But why do I compare it to book reviews?
Book reviews, like tropes, are things that authors obsessively worry about. Like Tropes, book reviews are things that are intended for readers not authors.
A reader reads a book, and then tells other potential readers, "This is great because..." or "This is terrible because..."
Some authors obsessively read reviews, and it effects their ability to function. They worry and fret and become depressed and are unable to write because of it. I've published 130+ novels and I've never read a review yet.
The reviews are written by readers for readers.
I write my books the way I want them written. If readers don't like it, fine. That's not going to stop me from writing my next book my way either.
Stressing over what other people think, serves no purpose other than to damage your own health.
That's why I put tropes and reviews in the same category. They are both things that are pointless to worry about because they are both things meant for readers, not authors, and when authors start worrying about either, authors start second guessing their story and end up not writing their best story, because they are too busy jumping through hoops.
In the end, I say, forget about tropes. If your story has them, then it has them. It's no big deal.
>>[Edit] And should I use profanity which is modern. Like 'fuck', 'shit', etc?
I don't know what years these words began to be used, but they are far from modern.
Julie, Justine, and 20 Nights of Sodom all contain excessive use of the words fuck and shite (spellt with an e). They were written by Comte de Sade in the 1700s.
>>That's what makes epic fantasy feel "epic" and make it feel like the fate of the world really matters.
Actually Epic Fantasy means: "a novel that is 300,000 or mores words long".
"Epic" is only used the way you are using it, to describe MOVIES.
In the publishing industry, 'epic' refers to word count and has nothing to do with genre. Thus you can have Epic Fantasy, Epic Horror, Epic Sci-Fi, etc.
Epic means something completely different in the movie industry then it does in the publishing industry. If you are planning to write Fantasy and get it published, you need to make sure you learn to use the correct definitions of words. Most publishers will reject your manuscript unread, if you describe it's genre as "Epic Fantasy" then say it's any word count under 300k. They are not going to take you seriously as a professional in the career if you can't be bothered to use the correct definitions of words.
Remember, the publishing industry is a career focused on WORDS and not knowing the correct definitions of words, is a red flag that you don't know enough about words to be trusted to write them. You'll just get rejected, and be left wondering what was wrong with your book.
>>I would appreciate it if you considered the reader when choosing character names. They don’t have to be unusual or unique to the point of being unpronounceable or annoying. Example: Myreehahm, Frelplemore, Xzardemak.
This is a fascinating one.
I once had a reader ask me about my main character, how it was I MADE UP his name. They pointed out the "silliness" of yet another character's name. They also asked about a particular word found in the story, and had a little rant about "apostrophes in MADE UP words"... I'll tell you the word in a minute, but first...
The character is Persian. 1400s era Persia.
The series draws heavily on Persian mythology, including Persian folklore about people being possessed by spirits.
These spirits are known as Di'Jinn.
The Di'Jinn are a huge part of real life Persian culture and are divided into 2 groups: The Dev (anglicized = Devil) and The Ghul (anglicized = Ghoul), which are the equivalent of Angels and Demons in Christian and Jewish mythology.
BOTH of the characters in question are each possessed by one such spirit.
The main character's name is Quaraun.
Quaraun is a real Persian name. It means "one who walks with God".
He is possessed by a Di'Jinn that believes it is god. Quaraun is not his real name. Since being possessed by the Di'Jinn, he can not remember his real name and uses the Di'Jinn's name "Quaraun" instead.
The second character, is GhoulSpawn, who was given this name because his father was a Di'Jinn, specifically a Ghul, thus, The Son of A Ghoul, aka GhoulSpawn.
As for the decision to use real world Persian mythology, and real world Persian names, and real world Persian mythical creatures... my family is of Persian descent, thus why Persia.
But the point is this:
The reader thought the name Quaraun, was made up, when it is not. It is a real world name, from the culture that is the setting of the story.
The reader thought the word Di'Jinn was made up. It is not. It is a real world mythical creature that is in fact believed as real by more than 60% of the world's population, and is a pivotal creature found within Muslim mythology.
The reader thought the name GhoulSpawn was silly and meaningless, when as explained above, it has quite significant meaning and it in fact vital to the central plot.
Because these words were familiar to my culture, I never gave it a second thought. For me and my culture, these words are normal and far less ridiculous then Tom, Dick, or Harry, which are laughably silly names for us.
The point being that, what one culture sees as normal, other cultures see as unusual or unique. Most names in novels written by Americans are unusual or unique by my mind, but they match the names that Americans give to their children.
Keep in mind that one person's unusual or unique is another person's normal. So it's all a matter of how you view someone else's culture.
>>1) The Guardians are dangerous because if the prowess at both battle and magic. They are not evil as such, and have been known to ruthlessly eliminate the threats to the world over their years of keeping vigil. Deadly sounds good, though.
I like The Guardians. They sound like the type of group I'd end up becoming so fascinated with, that I'd end up wishing the author would write a story about them instead of the hero, LOL!
Are they like villains (or seen as villains by the heroes)? Or are they just a group there to trip up the hero along the way but not the primary bad guys?
>What I would like to see more of in epic fantasy is a modern/contemporary setting. Aside from something like The Craft Sequence, which is very urban fantasy, there’s not really much that I’m aware of that’s both modern and secondary world—especially nothing I would consider “epic.” The closest I can think of is renaissance Gentleman Bastards, that’s still historical by ~500 years.
>I’m writing my own epic fantasy trilogy that’s modern, but since it’ll most likely never see the light of day, it doesn’t really count.
I don't think you know what the term "Epic Fantasy" means.
Epic Fantasy means: "a novel that is 300,000 or mores words long".
"Epic" is only used the way you are using it, to describe MOVIES, never books.
When a person uses "epic" to describe Fantasy in reference to setting as opposed to word count, that generally is an indication they only know the Fantasy genre from watching movies and are not in the habit of reading books.
One only has to read a few Fantasy novels to learn the difference between High Fantasy (Fantasy in an epic setting) and Epic Fantasy (any type of Fantasy that is 300,000words/500 pages long).
>>especially nothing I would consider “epic."
People who read mega giant 500 page door stoppers on a regular basis would never make the mistake of calling a Fantasy novel "epic" because of the setting/plot/characters/etc, because they know "epic" refers to the physical size of the book itself.
There is no "considering" a book to be epic. Either it has 300k words or it doesn't. It's 500 pages long or it's not. There's nothing to consider.
>>If the characters are using the information in the moment that they're conveying it to the reader, then the exposition won't be an info-dump, it will be part of the story ;)
I like to write info dumps, separate from the novel (that way I won't be tempted to write them in the novel) and use them as reference points, for things I want to include in the novel. This way I can be sure to include important items, throughout the story in the relevant places.
>>What do you consider typical fantasy tropes?
I was wondering this same thing.
Of course I was also wondering why it mattered.
And I was wondering, how much of the trope site I would have to read to find out the answer.
>>Do you mean like a fantasy story with a quest or the fact that good and evil in these stories are so obvious?
Questing Fantasy is a genre.
Are we now suggesting that an entire genre is a trope to be avoided? Must we now not only avoid the tropes but also avoid the genres?
When well it end?
Should we stop writing Fantasy all together?
>>Not only that but the character types and story elements which have been overused.
As I said before, story, plots, setting, characters, are not the problem with your writing.
You are specifically worrying about "overuse" and yet, you can't convey a simple message without using 6 prepositions. You have much bigger problems to worry about the overuse of tropes, when your overuse of prepositions is going to bar you from every publisher out there.
Have you ever read The Writer's Market?
If not I highly recommend you get a copy and read it.
It's a listing of 20,000 publishers, and have each publisher's submission guidelines.
If you want to read a list that's going to ACTUALLY impact your ability to get published, that's the list to read, not the trope list.
Well, because many publishers, especially those in Fantasy, actually list in their submission guidelines tropes they want to see more of.
TROPES THEY WANT TO SEE MORE OF.
So while newbie writers are running their asses off, avoiding tropes like the plague, they are also shooting themselves in the foot and murdering their own career before they even get their foot in the door.
Want to kill your career, well, go ahead avoid the tropes, who am I to stop you. Obviously I don't know what I'm talking about seeing how I've only published 130 novels.
The creator of the trope website has never even written a book, let alone published one.
Who has better advice here? The author of 130 published Fantasy novels, or a webmaster who never published anything but a list of tropes to avoid?
Heck, you don't have to believe me, read the listings in the Writer's Market, 20,000 editors and agents, BEGGING for tropes, going out of their way to say: Hey, look, we want tropes! Readers want tropes! Look, here's the tropes we are looking for!
Don't know what The Writer's Market is?
And you want to become a published author? Are you sure you've researched the publishing industry and even know what a writing career is? Or have you done anything but obsess over tropes to avoid?
Here, have a Writer's Market...
Wondering how authors find publishers?
Writer's Market - it's a giant 1,000+ page book, costs around $40, is like a yellow pages style phone book directory of every publishing house, magazine, anthology, newspaper, and literary agent currently seeking submissions. There are around 20,000 publishers listed in it.
They come out with a new edition every year, so get the 2018 edition which comes out in a few weeks.
It's not easy to get listed in the Writer's Market. They do a major amount of rigorous filtering, to make sure no scams get in.
The Writer's Market has been the #1 way authors find publishers since the 1940s.
Here's their website: http://www.writersmarket.com/
They have an online directory that is the same as the print book, but it costs around $70 a year to access it.
>>If you feel like you're in the middle of an ocean with no map and you experience that frightening feeling of being lost, don't try to save yourself by going back to conventional structure, familiar settings, or classic story tropes. Instead let yourself be lost. If you're lost without a map you know you're on the right track.
This is very good advice and is exactly why it is I never use outlines and do not pre-plan stories.
I start writing with no clue in what direction the story is going to go.
I am always fascinated by a person who speaks in trope, and knows tropes well enough to just list them off the top of their head. This tells me that someone is seriously procrastinating on their writing and doing so called "research" instead.
You do realize that your intensive study of tropes is nothing but you going out of your way to find ways to avoid writing anything at all, not just avoiding tropes, right? That's probably why I've published 130 novels and you've yet to even finish writing a first draft.
I'm not someone who keeps up on the latest trend in tropes, so I've got no clue what you are even talking about.
I guess, the only way for me to translate what in the heck you are saying, is for me to head to the infamous malware infested trope website. Good thing I've got Norton...
Okay the tropes you have listed are:
Here is what the Trope website has to say...
>>The tropes that I try to avoid the most in my own work are:
Straight White Male lead: 25-30% of Americans are straight white males, but you wouldn't get this impression from mainstream American fiction. I don't have a problem with straight white men (I myself am 2 out of 3), but I don't think they need the special treatment they're getting. I don't have a problem with most individual works that do this, but I have a problem with the publishing culture that says you're supposed to do this, and only this, never anything else.
Only 25% to 30% of America is white?
99.9% of Maine is white.
Maine has 2 million residents.
Are you telling me that outside of Maine, there are almost ZERO white residents?
I find that rather unbelievable.
>>The tropes that I try to avoid the most in my own work are:
Planet of Hats: I would go so far as to argue that humanity's Hat is that we assign Hats more value than they deserve. What every Planet of Hats in fiction (Vulcans/Elves are aloof, Klingons/Orcs are violent, Ferengi/Goblins are greedy) has in common is that they were created by humans, and humans look at each other this same way: "LGBT+ are sexual predators" "Hispanics are lazy rapists who want to steal our jobs" "Muslims are terrorists" "Blacks are thugs" "Atheists have no morality" "Jews have taken over the country" "Feminists hate men" "Liberals hate Christianity"
I find this list even more fascinating then the tropes you listed...
Do people really believe these things?
Or perhaps the more accurate question is: Do Americans really have their heads stuffed THAT far up their asses?
Every one of all 130 novels in the series features at least one and often several rape scenes. Meaning more than 130 different rapists make an appearance in the series.
Of the 130+ rapists in the series, ALL but one of them is straight. In fact ALL but one is a straight, white male.
As a general rule, if you see a white male in the Quaraun series you can be 100% guaranteed that he's evil, a criminal, and likely a rapist.
You know, I actually do not know what a Hispanic is, or where they come from.
Perhaps if I owned a TV, mayby I would have some point of referance?
I don't know.
Is is possibly Hispanic is a new politically correct name for a culture that previously was called something else? Like how Indians are now called Native Americans, perhaps? I can't recall ever hearing the term "Hispanic" until the past couple of years. So it seems like the term is fairly new.
This one I have heard before, but I fail to understand it.
I have heard it before, because arrogant shit head white powers, like to show up in my driveway and accuse me of being a Muslim and a terrorist based on the fact that I wear a veil.
I've heard this one, but again, I don't understand it.
Also my main character's primary lover, is a gay black man.
You know, I know several Atheists, and every one of them is FAR more moral than any Christian I've ever known.
I've never known a divorced Atheist. I know more than a dozen divorced Christians.
I've never known a drunk Atheist. I know more than a dozen drunk Christians, including a LDS/Mormon bishop who owned a bar.
I've never known an Atheist who had an abortion. I know more than a dozen unwed teens who were forced by their Christian parents to save face by having an abortion. Two of these girls, one 14 the other 16, were tosses out on the streets and homeless while pregnant, because they refused to have an abortion.
You know what's weird about this one?
The local Ku Klux Klan keeps showing up in my yard. They claim I'm Jewish!
Also, have you ever read the comments on my YouTube videos? Jew haters keep commenting on my videos accusing me of being Jewish.
I don't know where this rumour calling me Jewish got started, but it's the most bizarre thing.
I'm not Jewish and I can't figure out why this accusation keeps getting thrown at me.
I actually have seen women who called themselves feminists and said they hated men. I got the impression though that they had serious mental health issues.
I remember Summer 2016, there was a group standing on the street corner, collecting signatures for a petition.
I walked up to them and asked what the petition was. I never found out, because the man with the stack of clip boards resonded to say:
"We're Christians. We don't need YOUR signature."
Puzzled by this I asked what he meant, but he refused to acknowledge me after that point.
As I walked away he said:
"Damned Liberal gay-lovers. They're everywhere these days."
I don't know why he thought this, but it was the same day this photo was taken, in fact, this photo was taken only a few feet away, so apparently, he translated my clothes as "looking gay"??? I don't know.
>>The tropes that I try to avoid the most in my own work are:
Men and Women Can't Be Friends: I once saw somebody respond to this online by saying "I'm bisexual. By this logic, I would have no friends," and I immediately added "And I'm asexual. By this logic, I would have friends :(" This also goes along with the idea that romantic love is somehow "more than" platonic love, whereas my three protagonists are a lesbian, a straight man, and a straight woman who love each other platonically more than any of them have ever loved anybody romantically.
Men and women can't be friends.
I'm a woman and I have SEVERAL male friends.
In my series, main character Quaraun's best friend is BeaLuna.
Quaraun is male.
BeaLuna is female.
In the entire 130 novel long series, there is never a romantic anything at all between them.
>>The tropes that I try to avoid the most in my own work are:
The Smurfette: I've been a math/science nerd for longer than I've been a writer, and I don't think a lot of male authors realize just how hard they work to make overwhelmingly male casts. If I flip a coin 10 times, I'm going to get Heads and Tails a lot more than just once or twice each, right?
Smurfette, 1 female among 99 males.
My family: 1 female (me) and 7 males.
My mom's family: 4 females and 15 males.
The clan: 400+ people, only 64 of them are female.
Of Maine's 2 million people, Maine's population is 73% male. And has the highest death rate of females in the Union.
I don't know, you can claim the 1 female to an all male cast is unrealistic, but, damn, you much live in some weird society if you've got more then 1 female fore every 2 or 3 dozen males.
That said, in my own series, the cast is nearly all male. They are also Elves, shortly after an apocalyptic event that has wiped out nearly the entire race, and only a few males have survived. It is believed that all females have died, though they are uncertain and hold out n the hope that some, somewhere, might have survived.
> I am often reluctant to encourage gender diversity, even on the grounds of realism, because I still get at least one person saying but what if... and attempting to propose a situation that would be all straight males.
I grew up in a culture that is what most Americans call "3rd world" meaning, we had no access to the exorbitant luxuries which Americans classify as so-called "necessities". We had no electricity. No running water. No toilet. The build was not what most people would have called a house. The walls were single layer of boards, no insulation, and spaced enough to let in both rain and snow. If you've seen this weeks weather, you know that here in Maine, right now, it's -20F with a wind chill of -60f. Not many Americans in the lower 48 realize the extreme living conditions that a large portion of Maine lives in, right now, in 2018.
Because of the living conditions, few infants survived to childhood. Few women, survived childbirth. Things like the common cold were deadly.
There are 400+ people in our clan. Most male have multiple wives. The reason being because it's rather rare for females to survive to 30 years old. In Gypsy culture, a female that reaches 18 not married is considered an old maid, because she's already middle age. Not many Gypsy women make it to 40.
Let's look at some statistics for the State of Maine. It 2016, Maine celebrated reaching a population of 2million people.
Do you know why our living conditions are what they are? Because in the past 8 years, we have had 5 houses on our land. A bomb blew up one. A backhoe drove over 3, a house moving company drove off with the other one. An 8 foot white cross stands in the hole left behind by the bomb... the KKK put that there.
We're not white.
We're not Christian.
And many of the men in our clan are gay.
>>And that’s not the problem, because an actual situation that would realistically be all straight males would probably have come from quite a unique and original premise.
Come to Maine.
Maine is a society of neary all straight and nearly all male, and they are very hostile, incredibly violent....
>>an actual situation that would realistically be all straight males would probably have come from quite a unique and original premise.
Are you suggesting that Maine lifestyle, Maine culture is unrealistic, original, and unique?
If you think a culture made up almost entirely of straight males is unrealistic, I challenge you to come to Maine and have your eyes opened to reality of a region that is in fact nearly all straight and nearly all male. Just be sure to wear your bullet proof vest, most everyone around here carries a machine gun.
>>Sure. I was thinking of a gay MC but I thought people would think I was taking advantage. So I dropped it.
My MC started out straight, so I thought. It was written into the story that he had 4 wives and 8 children, yet none of them ever made any on page time. About 10 years and as many novels into the series later... he's in bed with his best friend, another male.
I had never written a gay character before. Didn't plan the scene. It wasn't part of a novel. It was just me doing this rather mindless stream of consciousness writing, not really thinking about what I was writing, just random writing for the sake of writing.
After I wrote it I was like... Why the hell did I write this? I tossed it aside and didn't think any more of it. But then later (a few years and several more novels into the series, later) one of my readers emailed me and asked:
"So when are you gonna write a sex scene with them?" (MC and best friend).
I was like... wait... what? why would I do that?
I headed to a FB group where a lot of my readers hung out and I asked them... this reader thought he was gay, do you think he's gay? Turns out ALL of my readers were like "Yeah, why, did you not know he was gay?"
I wrote this character for close to 20 years before I realized my readers thought it was a Yaoi series! (At the time I had never heard of the word Yaoi, so I had no clue what it was they were saying when they called it Yaoi.)
I don't know. I never wrote him thinking he was gay. There was no romance or sex between him and his friend, so no reason to think they were lovers, yet, somehow readers thought they were a gay couple, and though I started the series in 1978, it wasn't until 2014, when I wrote the first story that contained any romance or sex between the two.
It's weird the way it progressed. My readers new he was gay before I did, and here I was the author writing him!