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A Break from the Norm

Hello everyone.  Thanks Dawn for having me blog here again today. 

In any genre of fiction you can find common tropes which occur again and again in book after book.  Whether it is the hero always being handsome and dashing or the heroine fainting all over the place, there are certain plot points that constantly come round like the proverbial bad penny.  The male/male romance genre is no exception and has its own set of tropes that are used time and again.

Every now and then a blog post will be written about those common plot devices, more often than not in the form of complaining about them being overused to the point of being done to death.  Readers and reviewers plead with the writers, begging them to avoid various plots, whether it is werewolf shifters and their mating rituals, brooding vampires who have been waiting for eternity for The One, or the teenager kicked out of their home for being gay who resorts to selling himself on the streets, only to fall for one of his tricks.  

The above examples are just a few of the many plots that are used again and again in this genre of fiction.  I am not saying that any of these plots shouldn’t be written.  As a reader I have read many of these stories and have enjoyed them very much.  I don’t for a single minute think these common tropes should be avoided completely.

But why do writers continually stick to the same plots?

Maybe it is because this is what is popular.  I can guarantee, without even looking to check, that if I went to the gay fiction bestseller list at Amazon or Are there would be a werewolf story in there somewhere.  Werewolves sell.  It is as simple as that. 

The common themes that readers and reviewers complain are overused are more often than not the biggest sellers.

Now, I don’t write werewolves, at least not yet, and nor have I written any of those other examples at the present time.  Which is probably one of the reasons why most people stumbling across this blog post will be wondering who the heck I am. 

My stories don’t stick to the norm, although I would have to admit there are a few of the other common tropes rearing their ugly heads sprinkled throughout my works. 

Rather than the common matchmaking ghost, my ghost is one of the main characters.  Instead of having the dashing and handsome prince who is practically perfect and never puts a foot wrong, my prince is a bit of an idiot who, as one reviewer put it, isn’t the brightest candle in the chandelier.  And when one of my characters sells his body to survive, it isn’t the man he sells himself to who he falls for…

I like to twist things round and shake things up in my stories, just as the readers seem to want writers to do. 

But if I ever want to make a career of writing I suspect that one day I will have to write what the readers really want, and resort to the common tropes they say they are tired of, but still read more of than the stories that try to break from the norm.

So, before I go, I would like to ask the readers not what themes you tired of seeing, but which you would like to see more of.  Share your thoughts and challenge us writers to step outside the box with the stories that you want to read.


TO SEE THE SKY by L.M. Brown
Total E-bound Publishing

Can a lab rat whore find love with the servant of his master, or will their different backgrounds and prejudices keep them apart?

In the distant future, where the devastation caused by war has driven the human race below the surface of the Earth, society is split in half. The rich scientists live in towers where they can monitor the surface and determine when the poisonous gasses have cleared and the world is safe for humans once more. Meanwhile the majority of the human race lives in crowded labyrinthine caves, where life is harsh and short. Uneducated and with no real prospects for the future, a 'lab rat' is lucky to live to see thirty years of age. Employment options are minimal and few can escape the fate of choking to death on the dust of the caves.

When AJ, one of the poorest members of society, needs credits for medicine for his sister he is in a desperate situation. With no other options available he risks alienation from his family by selling himself to the highest bidder. Love is the last thing on his mind, but while Blake, his new owner, might not be Mr Right, Ryder, his servant, just might be. Unfortunately, their different backgrounds, prejudices, and AJ's brutal owner seem destined to keep them apart, but true love can be theirs for the taking, if they can only find a way.

Excerpt

“Who wants to start the bidding at five hundred credits?”

“Five hundred credits,” a bearded redhead called.

“Six hundred,” the Adonis countered.

AJ turned to him with surprise. “Why didn’t you just pay the five hundred instead of holding an auction?”

“Curiosity to see how much you’d get,” he replied easily. “And like you said, some of us have more credits than common sense.”

AJ wondered what it would be like to have so many credits that he would think nothing of casually throwing them away like these men were. Did they even realise there were people dying in the labyrinth, simply because they couldn’t afford to eat, to take care of themselves or move away from the choking dust?

“I want to see the goods,” another potential bidder shouted out, reminding AJ of the proceedings.

The blond turned to AJ, who didn’t wait to be asked to strip. He tugged off his clothes and at the suggestion of the current high bidder, climbed onto a nearby table and let the crowd ogle his naked body.

“He’s a bit scrawny.”

“But look at his gorgeous cock.”

“Yeah, but you aren’t bidding on him sticking it in you, are you?”

“Who cares? I’d pay a bit more to let him fuck me as well.”

“Seven hundred.”

“Eight hundred.”

“One thousand credits.”

AJ looked around as he tried to place the voice of the newest bidder. He could see Ryder standing near the door to the kitchen. The voice had come from his direction and for a moment AJ fancied that maybe the waiter had placed the bid. Of course the thought was a ridiculous one. What waiter would have a thousand credits to spend on a whim?

“One and a half thousand,” the Adonis replied with a grin and a wink at AJ.

“Two thousand.” The new bidder raised the stakes and only the blond man at AJ’s side appeared to be willing to go so high.

“Two and a half.”

“Three.”

“Three and a half.”

“Five thousand.”

AJ’s hands shook and he still couldn’t pick out who the second bidder was. He looked down at the blond man beside him and silently begged him to outbid the unknown stranger.

“Five and a half,” his Adonis said.

“Ten thousand credits for a week with the virgin,” the hidden bidder declared.

AJ closed his eyes and waited for the blond to raise the bid again. He had seen the credit band of the Adonis. He could afford to go higher, much higher. But he remained silent as the auctioneer called out.

“Any advance on ten thousand credits?”


Available from Total-E-Bound

Bio

L.M. Brown lives in England, in a quaint little village that time doesn't seem to have touched. No, wait a minute—that's the retirement biography. Right now she is in England in a medium sized town that no one has ever heard of, so she won't bore you with the details. Keeping her company are numerous sexy men. She just wishes that they weren't all inside her head.

L.M. Brown loves hearing from readers so don't be shy.

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