Tags: m/m writing

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Small Press Writers: What do you look for in a publisher?

As some of you may or may not be aware, Jessewave is doing a series of How To articles for aspiring (and perspiring) m/m writers. I volunteered to do a post on what to look for in a publisher -- I feel qualified to talk about this since I've made both good and bad decisions in choosing my publishing partners.

Keyword there: publishing partners. That gives you a clue what I look for in a publisher.

But of course the article will be of far more use to our peers if it isn't just about me and my choices, so I'd really like to hear from you on what you look for in a publisher. What's on your publisher wish list? What mistakes have you made -- and what have learned from them? 

By the way, I have no problem naming "good" publishers in the article, but I'm not going to mention the stinkers by name (for obvious reasons). However, we can still -- without naming names -- point out the things to watch for and avoid when, for example, looking over contracts.

And, frankly, I think it would be interesting to hear from the not-yet-published as to their expectations as to how the publishing partnership works. I know that when you're starting out, the desire to be published in any way, shape, or form often overrides all other considerations.

My article is out on the 28th, so I really need any and all feedback before the 24th.

Thanks for your help with this! I know your colleagues will appreciate your valuable insight and experience.

**I should probably add that if you'd prefer to contact me privately, off-line, please feel free to go ahead and do so.**
writing, how to, m/m, gay fiction

Bigger and Better: The Writing M/M Romance Workshop

Calling all cars. Be on the look out....

So a month or so back I was contacted by the lovely Jennifer Leeland of Romance Divas to kick off the first day of their online Not Going to Conference Conference with an M/M Writing Workshop. The conference begins on July 14th and runs through the 18th. I can only be there (online, that is) on the 14th but the M/M workshops will continue with other talented purveyors of our genre.

Anywhoooo, the topic is pretty much open and God knows I'm happy to babble endlessly on any aspect of M/M writing, but what would some of you like me to focus on? Any preferences? I'd like the workshop to be be as helpful as possible -- and any angles I don't cover can probably be picked up by the authors who take the following days of the workshop.

What are you interested in discussing in workshop format? What can I do to make the online workshop experience more useful for you?
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You never get a second chance

To make a first impression.

And other things your mother told you. So I'm watching Steven Seagal yesterday (part of my health and fitness program) and I hear this line.

We're not here to decide who is wrong or who is right. We're here to decide who lives and who dies.

Now...is it just me or is that not one of the funniest lines of the week? I'm convinced he (the writer?) really was trying to say something there. And the scariest part is...I sort of get what he was trying to say. Or maybe the wine and dark chocolate is getting to me. Anyway, I admire Steven for trying something new (a horror flick in this case) but the film was not a success. Not even by the standard of Steven Seagal flicks.

Anyway, I've been reading -- and enjoying -- and I'm thinking about first lines. There's nothing like a great first line to hook reader interest. Granted, a catchy or quirky first line that is not in keeping with the rest of the book...that is not relevant or is merely quirky for the sake of quirky or doesn't match the tone...isn't going to do you any favors. By the same token, it takes a lot more than a catchy first line to sell a reader on a story.

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Top Ten Peeves in M/M Writing

 I'm not actually posting them here -- or anywhere at the moment -- because I'm in the home stretch of Adrien and it's at that frantic point where I'm liable to kill the next person who rings the doorbell.

Anyway, I realized that I had a blog due at Loose Ends, which is the unofficial blog of us (we?) Loose Id authors. So I posted a couple of quick thoughts, but if you'd be kind enough to chime in with your own opinions, I'll put them all together one of these days and do a real live post on the subject. 

The blog is
right here. 
writing, how to, m/m, gay fiction

Is there a doctor in the house?!

 And, by the way, I better not ever find you using a question mark and exclamation point together except in jest. 

Yes, I'm feeling better. I now have my voice back -- and can begin shooting my mouth off again. 

Nikki Kimberling  kimnik  winds up our week-long writing discussion with our final observations on her poisoned prose right here. 

An interesting -- and amusing -- experiment for the Nikster and I. Hopefully you all found it of value as well.

Hope you're all having a terrific Sunday. 
writing, how to, m/m, gay fiction

Pardon My Promotion

So the legendary writing book went live in its electronic incarnation at Fictionwise yesterday.  MAN, OH MAN: Writing M/M Fiction for Kinks and Ca$h can be ordered in print from your favorite indie or GLBT bookseller now, but it will still be a week or two (or four) before it pops up on Barnes and Noble or Amazon. 

Anyway, I don't want to blab on and on about the book. I do want to say -- briefly -- that there were writers, editors, reviewers, publishers who I didn't interview and I probably should have. This wasn't a deliberate slight; mostly it was a lack of awareness. I asked to interview the people I'd read or had come across in my initial months within the M/M community. I know more people now, so needless to say, if and when there's a second edition, there will likely be a broader spectrum of opinions and input (although we've got a very interesting selection of "voices" now).

The other thing I wanted to mention was that in a few cases, people and companies I invited to participate just never managed to get their act together. In one case I held up production for a publishing house that I thought would be valuable to include, and they still couldn't pull themselves together. So it's not like I didn't try to get the broadest possible selection. And then there were companies like
Blind Eye that I just didn't find out about in time, but would have loved to include.

Anyway, that's pretty much it. The book is out, and I'm relieved and happy. No, it's not the final word on the subject, and yes, many people will have different ideas on wriitng and publishing. Good for them! Dialog is great. I hope this book is of use -- and entertaining. Because those were my two aims. To inform and amuse. Ideally at the same time. If I've managed to do that, I'll have done what I set out to do. And if by some chance I actually manage to influence M/M fiction for the better, I can die happy.

(Though preferably not right away.)

For anyone who'd like detailed information on the book, [info]angusdevotee has done an incredible job of summing the thing up, so I refer you to her site.

And that's pretty much it for the Blatant Self Promotion. At least on this subject. So what do you want to talk about now?



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This, That, and the Other

Sorry to be scarce yesterday, but I see that the discourse was civil and on subject, so thumbs up to open discussion. 

Some interesting comments (as always) on the topic of whether serious literature can be sexy -- because isn't that sort of what the original comment boils down to? Or, rather, that was kind of my angle, but the conversation went in a fascinating if unexpected direction.

Sarah said: Yipee for serious literature! I agree. I'd rather read something with meaning and substance, not rampaging cocks. (Even though my next story is going to have a gay robot second-story man.)

And I agree. But surely there's a middle ground? Does it have to be one or the other? Does Serious Literature have a sex life? Or does it spend every night -- and weekends as well -- in the library? Personally, I want to believe there's merit in everything I write. Not that I'm writing Serious Littrachure, Darlings. But commercial fiction or not, I want to believe there's value to it -- a point to what I'm doing with my life. I think we all need to believe this, don't we?. And I put the same effort and energy into everything I write. I guess that's partly ego. If my name is attached to something, I want it to be the best I can make it.

In fairness to the review requester who I lifted out of context, he did say "overly erotic or sexual fantasy." He didn't say no sex, although
"overly erotic or sexual fantasy" might be somewhat subjective.

Anyway, the previous thread collapsed upon itself, so if anyone has any additional comments or thoughts, feel free to post them here. In very quiet voices. I've got mucho deadlines crashing on my aching head. And it is truly aching after 2 Baileys, 3 Italian margaritas, and 1 Irish coffee. What. The. Hell. Was. I. Thinking?

Operative word: HELL.

Have a terrific weekend, all. And a Happy Easter.