Many of my books are gay versions loosely based on traditional romances. If you take the time to read the books you’ll see that although the storylines are similar, the way I tell my stories is extremely different from the way the other stories were either written or produced in film. For example, in GAY PRIDE AND PREJUDICE the two main characters live in modern times, the setting is South Beach, FL, and there are many original steamy, sexy scenes I’ve added that have never been done before. And not the way I’ve done them. I started doing this mainly because growing up as a gay person I never had the opportunity to read about gay characters in romantic, emotional, sexy situations. There were a few serious literary gay novels out, of course, but they were always so glum and serious I longed for something light with a happy ending.
So I decided to re-write a few of the stories I always wished had been written for gay people. As a culture, until recently we, the lgbt community, basically took what we could get and never complained. I do, in fact, write about gay culture as I know it from my own experience as a gay man. And though the titles of some of my books are similar to other straight romances, not to mention satirical in many cases, the contents of the books are very different. And I seem to be hitting a nerve because I’ve been getting many, many positive responses from readers who always wanted to see these stories done as gay versions. If I’d been wrong, trust me I would have stopped writing them and moved on to other things. I’ve been in publishing for a long time. I know when something works and something doesn’t work. For me: It’s. All. About. The. Reader. And so far they seem to be enjoying these books.
I don’t do this with my short stories. But even though these short stories are not loosely based on any well known straight romances, there’s only so much you can do with storylines to make them different. At least this is what I’ve always been taught, and what I’ve learned in my twenty years of writing. The thing that sets each storyline apart, even if it’s loosely based on something else, is how the storyline is written. In other words, what makes this different from something else? How is it unique from another version of the same storyline?
TV sitcoms do this all the time. I’ve seen the same storylines repeated over and over for years. The big differences are in the way the storylines are rewritten, and how they are executed by the actors in the sitcom.
I read an interesting piece the other day I wanted to share, about how there are only really seven basic storylines in the entire world. I do think there are more, however, storylines are not infinite and I also think most books are all rewrites of other storylines that have been done before. You can check out the piece I read here. And I’ve copied and pasted the introduction to the piece below.
According to the British journalist and author Christopher Booker, there are only seven ‘storylines’ in the world. In his book, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, a work that took over forty years to write, Booker surveys world literature, outlining commonalities and showing that, although there are a multitude of tales and endless variety in the telling, all narratives are really variations of the basic seven.
Booker’s work is detailed, interesting, and very long—over 700 pages—but his message is simple. Whether they represent the deep psychological structures of human experience or whether they are merely constructs of tradition, no matter what the story, you’ll find one or more of these basic plotlines:Read more at Suite101: The Seven Basic Plots: Christopher Booker Examines Common Narratives in Storytelling http://www.suite101.com/content/the-seven-basic-plots-a46899#ixzz0zGZEB6jp