Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why Write Slash (M/M) Stories?

Back in January of 2011, a couple of guys from a fantasy world that exists only in my imagination came storming into The Swamp and demanded that I write their story.  They were very loud and very insistent, and the things they said painted vivid pictures in my mind. 

So I dropped everything.  Well—everything I could—laundry and cooking cannot simply be dropped, as that sort of wanton irresponsibility sparks snarky comments at best, and full scale riots at worst.  (Ask me how I know.)  I wrote every day from mid-January to mid-May, and eventually, I had something I could call a first draft.

But there was something wrong with it.  The romance element I'd wanted was completely missing. I'd been trying throughout the writing process to find a romantic interest for my viewpoint character.  I auditioned a number of female characters, from warriors to wizards to tavern wenches, wrote a bunch of scenes trying to get the romance going, but my main character refused to cooperate, and I couldn't make any of them work.  He just wasn't interested. 

And then it occurred to me why.  He didn't want any of that.  He wanted his best friend, the guy who had taught him sword-play, and taught him how to survive in the world he'd been thrown into.  So I wrote a few scenes to that end. 

And it worked.  The chemistry between the two guys was amazing, and the scenes practically wrote themselves (doesn't happen that often, but it's a kicker when it does). 

And once that happened, oh, man, you should have seen the party that went on in my head when they realized that I was going to let them have what they'd been wanting all along.  So I rewrote the whole thing, working that romance between the two guys into the plot, and I love the way the relationship slowly develops through the story from strangers to best friends to lovers and life partners.     

So I guess the easy answer to the question "Why Write Slash Stories?" is that my characters made me do it.  But the other answer is that I really like it, and after drafting two more novels (the start of a sci fi series) and getting the first one ready to submit, I think I've finally found my niche and my passion. 

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