If you are, please take this simple quiz to determine whether you should proceed.
- Will the characters live beyond-fabulous lives in Manhattan, Fire Island, or both with no discernible way to pay?
- 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?
- Will an important scene of the book take place in a locale that you have never visited and cannot be bothered to research?
- Will the main character be impossibly gorgeous and universally desired?
- Will he be an idealized version of you?
- Will the book be centered on his inner life, even though he doesn't have one?
- Will he search for true love, find it, and toss it away without motivation?
- Will he basically live his entire life without motivation, like some supremely fabulous houseplant?
- Will you provide another major character simply as a foil for the main character's fabulousness?
- Will one of the characters be a devout Catholic who later commits apostasy and becomes the party boy to end all party boys?
- How about a crazy right-winger who turns out to be gay?
- How about a politically correct puritan who turns out to be a whore?
- Will part of the plot or exposition center on a religion with which you are familiar solely from a newspaper article about it?
- Will the characters engage in dialog that no one would actually say in real life, just so that you can make a point?
- Will everyone have HIV?
- Alternatively, will the book take place in a parallel universe in which, even though it is well after 1981, there is no HIV?
- 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?
- 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.