I’m still mulling this over a little, but here are some things I’ve contemplated:
+ I feel pretty strongly that, as a writer, I personally want to Get It Right. I’m not looking to appeal to any one audience in particular, but to as many people as possible.
+ Genre can sometimes be a crutch. In my writers group, which includes authors who write in a number of different genres, we sometimes get into conversations that basically go like this: “This scene seems a little ridiculous.” “It’s okay, it’s a convention of the genre.” I mean, there are for sure some things that can only be found in romance novels, and I even like some of these things, but having someone tell you a scene is trite and silly will make you think again. Just because I can get away with it doesn’t mean I should do it.
+ I was tickled by this discussion (probably NSFW) about silly things sometimes found in m/m romance. I aspire to avoid some of these problems, but I think this is also a level of detail I rarely write. There’s a fine line between romance and erotic romance. I personally like to write just enough detail so that the reader knows what’s going on but I prefer not to describe every vein and hair. And I definitely fall into the some novels have too many sex scenes camp. (I’ve read books where I found myself skipping sex scenes. They either detract from the plot or they lose some eroticism by happening so often.) So, um, what was my point? Oh, yeah. We female writers don’t always have male bodies hanging around to study, I suspect some inaccurate things creep in, but it’s funny how sometimes those inaccuracies become a trope, and hopefully I’ve not ever written anything that will make a male reader go, “Um, what?”
+ Relatedly, there’s been much made in the m/m romance blogosphere of the Lambda Literary Awards’ decision to only give awards to GLBT authors, despite the great number of excellent straight female m/m writers. TeddyPig sums it up pretty well: they’re idiots! Victor J. Banis also weighed in. And Jane and Sarah F at Dear Author also have some things to say. Maybe we can all agree that a good book is a good book, regardless of who wrote it?
+ Bonus: Erastes on how to write an m/m book… or not!