For the Writers in the house

  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Jun 30, 2010 12:43 AM GMT
    For those of you who have published, know someone who has published, or who are in the process of publishing a novel, book...etc. What is the likelihood of having a science fictional novel with a gay main character published? I am not well read, so don't really know how big the market is for a novel like the one I am in the process of writing.
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    Jun 30, 2010 1:01 AM GMT
    No clue, Though i'm working on something similiar (more graphic-less novel). However in my story the 'gay' will be a totally 'normal' bit.. The main characters are a couple and both happen to be men. It's hardly pushed beyond this. Are you thinking the gay bit (in your story and in general) might be reason to not publish something?

    Good luck btw icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 30, 2010 1:15 AM GMT
    Id read it. but then again Id read anything so icon_smile.gif
  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Jun 30, 2010 1:16 AM GMT
    Cobalt saidNo clue, Though i'm working on something similiar (more graphic-less novel). However in my story the 'gay' will be a totally 'normal' bit.. The main characters are a couple and both happen to be men. It's hardly pushed beyond this. Are you thinking the gay bit (in your story and in general) might be reason to not publish something?

    Good luck btw icon_smile.gif

    No, actually I was wondering if it would be best to tone down the gay aspect, though it is integral to the storyline. The gay main character and his straight brother play the roles of the hero. Both characters are a bit playboyish, so their sexuality is mentioned quite a bit (not in a trashy way).
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    Jun 30, 2010 1:21 AM GMT
    BeingThePhoenix said
    Cobalt saidNo clue, Though i'm working on something similiar (more graphic-less novel). However in my story the 'gay' will be a totally 'normal' bit.. The main characters are a couple and both happen to be men. It's hardly pushed beyond this. Are you thinking the gay bit (in your story and in general) might be reason to not publish something?

    Good luck btw icon_smile.gif

    No, actually I was wondering if it would be best to tone down the gay aspect, though it is integral to the storyline. The gay main character and his straight brother play the roles of the hero. Both characters are a bit playboyish, so their sexuality is mentioned quite a bit (not in a trashy way).


    I wouldn't tone down a thing. The gay part may actually make it more unique and sell. I don't even know of any gay science fiction novels.
  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Jun 30, 2010 1:27 AM GMT
    wrestlervic said
    BeingThePhoenix said
    Cobalt saidNo clue, Though i'm working on something similiar (more graphic-less novel). However in my story the 'gay' will be a totally 'normal' bit.. The main characters are a couple and both happen to be men. It's hardly pushed beyond this. Are you thinking the gay bit (in your story and in general) might be reason to not publish something?

    Good luck btw icon_smile.gif

    No, actually I was wondering if it would be best to tone down the gay aspect, though it is integral to the storyline. The gay main character and his straight brother play the roles of the hero. Both characters are a bit playboyish, so their sexuality is mentioned quite a bit (not in a trashy way).


    I wouldn't tone down a thing. The gay part may actually make it more unique and sell. I don't even know of any gay science fiction novels.

    Thats kinda the problem. I don't know of any gay sci-fi novels, either...lol.
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    Jun 30, 2010 1:30 AM GMT
    BeingThePhoenix said
    wrestlervic said
    BeingThePhoenix said
    Cobalt saidNo clue, Though i'm working on something similiar (more graphic-less novel). However in my story the 'gay' will be a totally 'normal' bit.. The main characters are a couple and both happen to be men. It's hardly pushed beyond this. Are you thinking the gay bit (in your story and in general) might be reason to not publish something?

    Good luck btw icon_smile.gif

    No, actually I was wondering if it would be best to tone down the gay aspect, though it is integral to the storyline. The gay main character and his straight brother play the roles of the hero. Both characters are a bit playboyish, so their sexuality is mentioned quite a bit (not in a trashy way).


    I wouldn't tone down a thing. The gay part may actually make it more unique and sell. I don't even know of any gay science fiction novels.

    Thats kinda the problem. I don't know of any gay sci-fi novels, either...lol.


    And oddly, everyone who reads Sci-Fi, or watches it on TV, IS gay. Smile. The market is dying for your book.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2923

    Jun 30, 2010 1:31 AM GMT
    I've published, though not a novel. From my experience, your best bet is to do some research as to what companies publish novels of the sort you are writing, and go to them.

    Each publisher will have different guidelines as to how they want a book presented - be sure to get those right.

    I had luck getting a few "names" in my field to read my book, and included their recommendations with the manuscript I send in. In one or two cases, they even contacted the publisher to recommend the book in question.

    Not much ehlp, but maybe it all adds up...

    Good luck with it - that's an achievement!

    Nat
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    Jun 30, 2010 1:31 AM GMT
    Hey, I am a Freelance writer, former journalist, and presently have a fiction novel being placed with my lit agent; the novel isn't Sci-fi, but there is all types of sexuality. Anyway, I think Science Fiction lends itself to "putting itself out there," so I really wouldn't worry about it not being well recieved.

    One important thing to consider, however, is who your target audience is? Will general sci-fi fans eat it up, or will it be more of a cult readership? Is the book more literary in nature, or motivated by action?

    A great place to begin getting a clearer picture is to write a rough draft of your book proposal; it's what you will have to submit to a lit agent with your manuscript. You have to anwser questions that may help at this step in the game. Google Book Proposals, lots of great formats & examples.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 30, 2010 1:33 AM GMT
    There are genre's for every type of writing
    Publishers like Alyson Books have been around for years

    If you're interested in writing? Write
    Take classes
    Go to critique group meetings
    check out other writers on line
    If you have a book or an author that you like or one that seems similar to what you're writing check out where they were published
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    Jun 30, 2010 1:40 AM GMT
    i am doing something similar as well, as a couple of you have said.

    Mine is more fantasy instead of sci-fi, but close enough. I wouldn't say to tone it down, though with mine, its again, not pushed and not blatantly stated, but it isn't argued, and there isn't any sort of gay sex scene or anything, just happens that all the main characters are gay lol.

    It'll be a while before i ever finish mine, but i'd love to read ya'lls.
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    Jun 30, 2010 1:41 AM GMT
    BeingThePhoenix saidFor those of you who have published, know someone who has published, or who are in the process of publishing a novel, book...etc. What is the likelihood of having a science fictional novel with a gay main character published? I am not well read, so don't really know how big the market is for a novel like the one I am in the process of writing.


    I think it depends somewhat on where or how you want to get it published. For fiction to be published by a major publisher you need an agent. This is a good site and article:

    http://www.writersdigest.com/article/5-myths-you-shouldnt-believe-about-agents/

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    Jun 30, 2010 1:43 AM GMT
    BeingThePhoenix saidFor those of you who have published, know someone who has published, or who are in the process of publishing a novel, book...etc. What is the likelihood of having a science fictional novel with a gay main character published? I am not well read, so don't really know how big the market is for a novel like the one I am in the process of writing.



    Assume it's going to be a success. Good writing gets attention. I say write from your heart rather than from a lot of feedback.
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    Jun 30, 2010 1:43 AM GMT
    I'll throw my hat into the ring, saying that generally, fantasy and science fiction is a pretty open field for alternative sexualities. Hell, Young Adult fiction is even pretty far out of the closet now.

    One of the major YA novels of 2008 was Lauren McLaughlin's "Cycler," which was about a girl and a boy who share the same body and has been held up as some sort of parable about transgender issues (it's not.)

    Anyway, what's important is that you write the character as the character best fits with the plot. No one's going to care if your character is gay or straight if the novel isn't good, and it's usually pretty obvious when an author shoehorns sexuality in as an afterthought to a character. I'd say the reverse is also true: if the character is gay, don't make him straight because you think that's what the audience needs.
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    Jun 30, 2010 1:48 AM GMT
    I have two friends who completed gay-themed books (a novel and a memoir) in the last year. Both had received decent advances from their publishers.

    In one case, the publishing company simply decided not to publish the book at all. In the other case, the publisher (Alyson) has continually delayed the publication date with no word of explanation.

    I've been under contract to HarperCollins for years. Considering the state of publishing, I feel no strong impetus to produce the book for which I was contracted.

    I have a handful of clients who have self-published books and sold a helluva lot more copies than they likely would have with a big publishing house.
  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Jun 30, 2010 2:25 AM GMT
    WOW. We have several writers here. Thanks for the great advice. I think I'll just continue writing as unabashedly as I feel is necessary to get the story out and see where it goes from there.
  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Jun 30, 2010 2:31 AM GMT
    ObsceneWish saidI have two friends who completed gay-themed books (a novel and a memoir) in the last year. Both had received decent advances from their publishers.

    In one case, the publishing company simply decided not to publish the book at all. In the other case, the publisher (Alyson) has continually delayed the publication date with no word of explanation.

    I've been under contract to HarperCollins for years. Considering the state of publishing, I feel no strong impetus to produce the book for which I was contracted.

    I have a handful of clients who have self-published books and sold a helluva lot more copies than they likely would have with a big publishing house.

    I never thought about self-publishing. All of a sudden, I'm crushing on this idea. Would you consider that as more of a back-up plan?
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    Jun 30, 2010 2:33 AM GMT
    As a writer... be true to yourself... and fuck everyone else.

    Write what YOU want to write, not what you think people want you to write. If it is true and honest and good, let's hope an editor/publisher thinks so, too.
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    Jun 30, 2010 3:20 AM GMT
    I've got a couple manuscripts being shopped around by my agent and he has mentioned that in today's market publishers are just looking for a reason to reject you.

    I've read several scifi books/series with gay characters...but they have, as u mentioned, 'been toned down.'

    As several people mentioned, think of your target audience. The typical scifi reader is a str8 male. Is your subject so gay they can't relate or would be turned off? If the answer is yes, then you may be giving the publisher a reason to reject you outright.

    If you want to get the book out there, you may have to compromise. I certainly did, but the changes suggested for my book ultimately made the book a much better piece of literature than it was when I submitted it to my agent.

    I suppose once you are established, you can get whatever you write published. As a virgin author, however, you have to pick your battles.

    That being said...there are gay scifi characters.
  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Jun 30, 2010 3:44 AM GMT
    tommysguns2000 saidI've got a couple manuscripts being shopped around by my agent and he has mentioned that in today's market publishers are just looking for a reason to reject you.

    I've read several scifi books/series with gay characters...but they have, as u mentioned, 'been toned down.'

    As several people mentioned, think of your target audience. The typical scifi reader is a str8 male. Is your subject so gay they can't relate or would be turned off? If the answer is yes, then you may be giving the publisher a reason to reject you outright.

    If you want to get the book out there, you may have to compromise. I certainly did, but the changes suggested for my book ultimately made the book a much better piece of literature than it was when I submitted it to my agent.

    I suppose once you are established, you can get whatever you write published. As a virgin author, however, you have to pick your battles.

    That being said...there are gay scifi characters.

    I think the straight brother acts as a effective counter-balance, that should ease reader tension. At least, that’s the idea. Aside from that, I don’t intend on being too sexually explicit, though the gay angle is an essential part of the story.
  • arielanatole

    Posts: 77

    Jun 30, 2010 3:50 AM GMT
    I am not a writer, but am an avid reader of Science Fiction/Fantasy and you would be surprised how many of the main stream authors already have vibrant gay characters in the novels. Mercedes Lacky, and Brent Weeks are just two of a prety large group. The real question is whether or not your story is worth reading. A lot of gay SciFi/Fantasy is crap, Lacky and Weeks make not be gay author's but they write captivating novels with gay characters in them, and a lot of the time especially in Lacky's case the gay character is a prominent character.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 30, 2010 4:51 AM GMT
    as someone who has published and now publishes other people's work, i have to say the trick isn't convincing the public but convincing your agent
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    Jun 30, 2010 4:53 AM GMT
    BeingThePhoenix saidFor those of you who have published, know someone who has published, or who are in the process of publishing a novel, book...etc. What is the likelihood of having a science fictional novel with a gay main character published? I am not well read, so don't really know how big the market is for a novel like the one I am in the process of writing.
    The key to making anything sell is marketing.
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    Jun 30, 2010 4:54 AM GMT

    You can also do it by going to lulu.com and self publishing.


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    Jun 30, 2010 7:46 AM GMT
    I'm in the process of publishing. Fictional characters' sexuality is (thankfully) becoming less important and it doesn't matter if it has or hasn't been done before. Focus instead on making the manuscript cohesive and remaining true (or untrue, depending) to the genre. If the sexuality does not work, your editor or test readers will tell you that if you're unable to see it yourself. Do not, repeat, do not remove it simply because you're concerned about getting published.