Thursday, June 21, 2007

Planning on writing a gay novel?

If you are, please take this simple quiz to determine whether you should proceed.

  1. Will the characters live beyond-fabulous lives in Manhattan, Fire Island, or both with no discernible way to pay?
  2. Will you expose the reader to intricate detail about the characters' partying and sex lives, but never tell the reader what they do for a living?
  3. Will an important scene of the book take place in a locale that you have never visited and cannot be bothered to research?
  4. Will the main character be impossibly gorgeous and universally desired?
  5. Will he be an idealized version of you?
  6. Will the book be centered on his inner life, even though he doesn't have one?
  7. Will he search for true love, find it, and toss it away without motivation?
  8. Will he basically live his entire life without motivation, like some supremely fabulous houseplant?
  9. Will you provide another major character simply as a foil for the main character's fabulousness?
  10. Will one of the characters be a devout Catholic who later commits apostasy and becomes the party boy to end all party boys?
  11. How about a crazy right-winger who turns out to be gay?
  12. How about a politically correct puritan who turns out to be a whore?
  13. Will part of the plot or exposition center on a religion with which you are familiar solely from a newspaper article about it?
  14. Will the characters engage in dialog that no one would actually say in real life, just so that you can make a point?
  15. Will everyone have HIV?
  16. Alternatively, will the book take place in a parallel universe in which, even though it is well after 1981, there is no HIV?
  17. Somewhere toward the end, will you include gratuitous praise of lesbians that will not be credible to anyone who has ever actually met a lesbian?
  18. Does "Tell; don't show" make sense to you?

How to score: If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, I recommend that you not write your gay novel.


Anonymous said...

You write very well.

Anonymous said...

This is true for any kind of novel as well.