Saturday, May 14, 2011

On Becoming a Writer

Nearly a year ago I started writing my first book. It was a memoir because the only thing I knew was to write about what I know. I finished Glass Houses in a matter of months and after submitting the manuscript to the agent of my dreams, less than two weeks later received a rejection.

After receiving the rejection I joined a local writer's group. We meet twice a month. I've been going to the meetings since March and have really learned a lot from the other writers. I submitted Glass Houses to a publisher and am waiting to hear back from them.

Because of what I learned from the group I started writing my first work of fiction. I'm still writing what I know, which means my book revolves around gay characters. One of the people in my group invited me into a couple of Facebook groups; one for writers of male/male romances and the other for people who write erotic romance novels I'd describe as kinky.

Since joining these various groups I've been reading a lot of blogs, excerpts, and posts on Facebook written by other writers. It's been a real education. I had no idea the market for erotic romances about other than traditional male/female couples was so vast.

I had to leave the group for kinky writers. Frankly, much of the discussion either freaked me out or gave me the creeps. Whatever floats your boat and to each his own but swinging, group sex, and kinky scenes are just not for me.

I don't think I'm a male-male romance writer, either. Many of the writers in this group seem obsessed with gay sex. The irony is that most are women, including many married women.

My manuscripts do contain gay sex scenes. However, the stories are not about sex. I write about people who happen to be gay and sometimes have sexual encounters. In every case the sex scene is supposed to show something about the main character.

The biggest surprise is the quality of much of the writing I see from published authors. I'm not talking about a typo here and there--we all make mistakes. Many of the errors are just sloppy or careless while others reflect a limited knowledge of grammar I had to learn in middle school. Some of it is just awful.

For better or worse, exposure to all these different writers has helped me to see what I've always known. I was born to write. It may not happen next week, or next, month, or even next year--but one day you'll be able to buy a book written by...

The Crotchety Old Man

1 comment:

CathyB said...

Okay, Michael. I think I see a punctuation error. HA! Paragraph 3, sentence 3. Check that apostrophe, dude!


Sorry, couldn't resist. And please 'splain it to me if you're right and I'm wrong.

(which could, I suppose, be the case....)

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