Writing Books/Character Help
QUESTION: I' write Young Adult fiction, sadly not published yet. I've finished one book, the first in a series but this has nothing to do with the question. I'm currently writing another book for a different series and it's a controversial one. I've been playing with the idea for a long time now and just got the courage to begin writing it. The reason why I feel it's controversial is because the main character is gay instead of being straight. I know there are books out there that have a secondary character portrayed as gay but never a main character.
So here are my questions: how do I go about it effectively with him? I have him in a current relationship, how do I go about doing it without going over the top, like cliches and stereo-typing him?
If you need more information to go on, I'll be glad to give it to you.
ANSWER: Hello, Greg,
Be honest. It is that simple. Don't worry about going over the top. Your character is neither perfect nor should he be. He is human with good and evil, right and wrong in his choices. Do avoid cliches. Rather, atempt to use vocabulary to express what you mean.
If what I am learning about gays is true, that for hundreds of years they have been around us every day, albeit in the closet, then there is no stereotype. A gay man may seem on the outside just like a straight, or he may be quite effiminate, or he may be a flaming queen. However, there are gestures or body attitudes that give gays away even when they are determined to stay in the closet. You need to closely observe and learn to see without being told. Often parents and family members know or strongly suspect even when the gay man has no idea that they do. Sometimes they would rather not be told so they don't have to deal with it or they may not care. The latter is more modern, don't you think?
If he is in a relationship with a man, be honest about it. If he is with a woman and wants to be with a man, be honest about it. If his relationship, man or woman, is on the rocks, be honest about it. Be honest about his doubts, emotions, fears, and above all his anger. Don't censor your self, but try not to be vulgar like so many young adult books and movies are. There is nothing vulgar about love.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Okay, To make sure I have things down pat (For lack of better words.), I have him with some trust issues, he was abandoned by his parents at an early age because they thought he was a freak on nature, a psychic in other words, an organization took him in and helped him learn how to use his powers and he has considered his caretakers as his family and they have helped him over come most of his trust issues. By incouraging him to open up. Flash forward ten years, he is now in a relationship for about a year with a boy his own age. He hasn't told his boyfriend about what he is and he's afraid to, fearing he may reject him the same way his parents did. He finally convinces himself to do so but certain events has risen to prevent him from telling his boy friend. In the mean time, his boy friend is supportive and patient with him through out all of this.
I just wanted to make sure if I have followed what you have said so far because I feel as if I do before I asked you the question.
You will have to decide if your young man is brave or not. If he continues to allow "certain events" to prevent him from doing what he should, then he will have consequences. Perhaps that is the route you want, so he can learn from his lack of honesty or bravery. Or you may want him to overcome the events and hesitation, and get it off his chest, come what may.
My way would be to allow HIM to tell ME who he is and what he wants to do. Ask him!