I’ve decided to end my search for the perfect template, the perfect formula, the perfect outline that I can plug my plot points and characters into and be done with it. That is because my stories are unique—as are all stories—and no one formula will do my stories justice.
I will, however, continue to gobble up how-to books on how to write and, specifically, how to write M/M Romance. Isn’t this a contradiction? Let me explain.
From the hero’s journey to The Anatomy of Story I have been searching for the perfect formula that will tell me what milestones along the way I should set while plotting my stories about boys falling in love. Some of the schemes seem more appropriate for action/adventure rather than a romance genre and some of them seem to ignore everything but the romance aspects of a romantic plot.
I have gained great wisdom and insight into my stories on this journey, but I have come to the realization that my story is my story; it is unique. It has a unique shape, and can’t easily fit into a one-size-fits-all scheme. That said, I have gained lots of insights into how to structure my plot, some of the scenes which need to be present or amplified. I have gained insights into my characters, and I realize I need to go back to them and make sure they are fully fleshed human beings before I start trying to force them into action they are not naturally inclined to. I have gained insights into setting and mood and theme and how to use these as structural elements to tell my story. In general, I’ve done well when I can extract what wisdom I need from each scheme or strategy and apply it to my stories in a way that is fresh and new.
So I’m going to keep reading about how to write, how to plot, characterize and structure, but if I can discipline myself to just start writing and not distract myself with the next, new 7-point scheme for making my story commercially viable, romantically integral or just, plain comfortable to read, I will do well.
Please let me know what your thoughts are about story structure and how-to books and articles. I’d like to read them, if highly recommended. Perhaps I will be more explicit about what I have learned from the how-to books and articles I have consulted. If that would be of use to anybody, let me know.
Wish me luck on the journey. I’m stepping out. This is the scary part.
And now go enjoy the universe of M/M fiction!