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Old 03-14-2018, 05:52 PM   #1
JasonClearwater
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When to tag a story with 'romance'

When does a story move from 'two characters form some kind of relationship' to being categorised as 'romance'? In your mind as writers, in an erotic context?

I write predominantly GM, and I've used this as a tag on a handful of stories where the characters have a strong emotional connection to each other, but I've no idea if I've ever written anything approaching anyone else's definition of 'romance'.

When's it appropriate to use this tag in your mind? Any other GM authors have an opinion?
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:01 PM   #2
NotWise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonClearwater View Post
When does a story move from 'two characters form some kind of relationship' to being categorised as 'romance'? In your mind as writers, in an erotic context?
I think you can tag something as 'romance' or 'romantic' whenever building or fulfilling the characters' emotional relationship is a large part of the story. In romantic stories eroticism works as part of the emotional relationship, and not without it.

The Romance category is something different.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:06 PM   #3
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Thats a good question. I used the 'romance' tag in the story I just submitted. I see that I've used it in two others. I'm not sure off hand what these three have in common that motivated me to add that tag.

In one, the couple was already in love. In another, they have little chance of ever falling in love. In the new one, they have a very good chance to fall in love.

I'm going to have to give this some thought.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:22 PM   #4
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It's been my experience in writing GM the readers expect anything tagged "romance" to include a HEA ending of some type. Even "happy for now" will usually pass muster. Any story that involves deep emotions being shared can qualify, but not if it leaves people hanging.

Readers that search out gay male romances can be a very intense fan base, so long as you give them what they want. Doesn't always have to be "Tonto and the Lone Ranger riding off into the sunset" but a noncommittal peck on the cheek after an under the stars quickie won't make it "romance" for them either.

My most successful GM romances are heavy on the emotional bonding with the physical side of the relationship being the bonus.

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Old 03-14-2018, 06:34 PM   #5
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For GM I generally use the tag "gay romance" for stories with a "committed to each other" affirmation ending.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:53 PM   #6
JasonClearwater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
I think you can tag something as 'romance' or 'romantic' whenever building or fulfilling the characters' emotional relationship is a large part of the story. In romantic stories eroticism works as part of the emotional relationship, and not without it.
Something to think on 'Not without it'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoquiSordidaAdMe View Post
Thats a good question. I used the 'romance' tag in the story I just submitted. I see that I've used it in two others. I'm not sure off hand what these three have in common that motivated me to add that tag.

In one, the couple was already in love. In another, they have little chance of ever falling in love. In the new one, they have a very good chance to fall in love.

I'm going to have to give this some thought.
So you're not using a happy ending to define it. I know I'm not. I don't know if I can write a happy ending. I wonder if anyone uses the tag 'tragedy'. Or 'intimacy'?

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My most successful GM romances are heavy on the emotional bonding with the physical side of the relationship being the bonus.
That's good to know. It's something I'm exploring at the moment. I'm not sure my current characters will actually have full penetrative sex at any point. They might, but it'll depend on how this develops.

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For GM I generally use the tag "gay romance" for stories with a "committed to each other" affirmation ending.
Committed ONLY to each other?
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonClearwater View Post

Committed ONLY to each other?
Getting there eventually, yes. I don't limit it to HEA, though, because sometimes it's bitter sweet, and the protagonist doesn't get there until after the death of the other (which generally provide my highest-rated GM romances). I reject the view that there's a limiting connection between romance and HEA endings. I think the key point is that I use a "gay romance" tag rather than a "romance" tag. Since I have three times more GM stories here than the next most prolific GM writer and am perpetually at/near the top of the most read GM hub list (at least for now--I ended posting stories under this account at the turn of the year, so I'll surely drift down the "most read" list), I'm thinking that serious GM readers using tags can learn the more direct route to stories they want to read.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonClearwater View Post
So you're not using a happy ending to define it. I know I'm not. I don't know if I can write a happy ending. I wonder if anyone uses the tag 'tragedy'. Or 'intimacy'?
Tragedy has been used (you can check in the tags portal), but it isn't common enough to show up in the tags cloud. I didn't check on 'Intimacy.'

'Drama' is a common tag that Laurel seems fond of. She added it to my last story.
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My personal favorites are The Third Ring and Oscar's Place.
My Valentines Day contest entry was Her Bodyguard (and his Dirty Valentine). It's a little brother/sister love story.
My most recent story is The Third Ring -- Tamsin of Sky Village, a story inspired by the legendary character of Yellow Woman.
I was seduced by a ghost story, so the working title for my next story is "Two Whores and a Playwright." The name might stick. I don't know.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JasonClearwater View Post
I wonder if anyone uses the tag 'tragedy'. Or 'intimacy'?
I've used the "tragedy" tag six times on GM stories. I haven't used "intimacy" for a GM story.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:29 PM   #10
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Unhappy I've wondered that myself

I think my latest venture should be classified as Romance, because the principal theme is my two protagonists falling desperately in love, but because I have a ridiculous number of elements from many categories in my works, they seem to end up at other random locations. One of my other romantic couples in said story are an aunt and nephew, so the chapters ended up in I/T, even though they weren't the focus.

I guess I shouldn't squawk, since the series has a single name and they're all listed sequentially on my Author's page, regardless of category they're assigned to. But ideally, I WOULD like to see this particular outing in Romance, because that's how I think of it.

Grumbling aside, I have no idea how I'd land something squarely in Romance, given my style. Too many variables I write in.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Getting there eventually, yes.... / (at least for now--I ended posting stories under this account at the turn of the year, so I'll surely drift down the "most read" list)
Good to know. That helps give the tag some context. Can I ask why you're moving away from this profile? Too hard to search stories when the list gets that long?

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Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
Tragedy has been used (you can check in the tags portal), but it isn't common enough to show up in the tags cloud. I didn't check on 'Intimacy.'


'Drama' is a common tag that Laurel seems fond of. She added it to my last story.
I can't imagine many people would actively seek out tragedy. I was thinking more using it as a warning tag. I put my tags in the headers of my stories now, to try and let readers know what they're in for. Not sure if that's a good strategy though, as I think I'm getting more people clicking out (based on getting fewer votes).

Drama. That could be a useful one.


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Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
I've used the "tragedy" tag six times on GM stories. I haven't used "intimacy" for a GM story.
Any idea what effect using 'tragedy' had on your readership? Positive or negative?
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:40 PM   #12
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Good to know. That helps give the tag some context. Can I ask why you're moving away from this profile? Too hard to search stories when the list gets that long?
Yes. I set a goal of 1,001 for that account and reached it. Especially in the new look, a long list is hard to work with.


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Any idea what effect using 'tragedy' had on your readership? Positive or negative?
Not off hand, no. With a list of 1,001, you don't really have time to dwell on how individual stories are doing.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiscuitHammer View Post

Grumbling aside, I have no idea how I'd land something squarely in Romance, given my style. Too many variables I write in.
No trump categories. Make them straight, both white, similar age, vanilla and not related. I guess?
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Yes. I set a goal of 1,001 for that account and reached it. Especially in the new look, a long list is hard to work with.

Not off hand, no. With a list of 1,001, you don't really have time to dwell on how individual stories are doing.
Where's the fun in that? If you can't dwell on the success of an individual story, how can you obsess over your numbers?
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:46 PM   #15
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Where's the fun in that? If you can't dwell on the success of an individual story, how can you obsess over your numbers?
You can't. Which enables you to write more stories more quickly.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
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So you're not using a happy ending to define it. I know I'm not. I don't know if I can write a happy ending. I wonder if anyone uses the tag 'tragedy'. Or 'intimacy'?
There is definitely intimacy in all three of my romance tags, but there is all my other stories as well. I've never written a tragedy. Happy ending? Yes, my stories all have a happy ending, at least for the protagonists. But in one of the romance stories the two don't end up together - its more of a two-ship's-passing-in-the-night sort of story.

You know it's entirely possible I've been tagging my stories capriciously without a lot of thought or consistency.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by LoquiSordidaAdMe View Post

You know it's entirely possible I've been tagging my stories capriciously without a lot of thought or consistency.
Surely not?

I'm still trying to work out what counts as 'intimacy'. I understand it has something to do with eye contact, and possibly undoing buttons. But I'm open to clarification.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:25 PM   #18
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I'm still trying to work out what counts as 'intimacy'. I understand it has something to do with eye contact, and possibly undoing buttons. But I'm open to clarification.
I guess I'd say that any story where the participants make some kind of emotional connection involves 'intimacy'. Sure, you've got your swinger parties and your glory holes and your non-consent stories - anything where sex is just an act of physical gratification or recreation. But I think any story where the characters feel something for their partner(s) probably counts as 'intimate'.
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:26 PM   #19
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Surely not?

I'm still trying to work out what counts as 'intimacy'. I understand it has something to do with eye contact, and possibly undoing buttons. But I'm open to clarification.
Two people exchange thoughts they would not share with anyone else.
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My most recent story is The Third Ring -- Tamsin of Sky Village, a story inspired by the legendary character of Yellow Woman.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
Two people exchange thoughts they would not share with anyone else.
Does intimacy always have to be verbal, then?
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If you were to read two, try this one: Unleashed [GM]

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Old 03-14-2018, 11:03 PM   #21
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Does intimacy always have to be verbal, then?
Communication distinguishes it from an 'intimate' physical act that could be bought from any whore on the street.
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My personal favorites are The Third Ring and Oscar's Place.
My Valentines Day contest entry was Her Bodyguard (and his Dirty Valentine). It's a little brother/sister love story.
My most recent story is The Third Ring -- Tamsin of Sky Village, a story inspired by the legendary character of Yellow Woman.
I was seduced by a ghost story, so the working title for my next story is "Two Whores and a Playwright." The name might stick. I don't know.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:13 PM   #22
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:26 PM   #23
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Surely not?

I'm still trying to work out what counts as 'intimacy'. I understand it has something to do with eye contact, and possibly undoing buttons. But I'm open to clarification.
Fuckor. With an O.

Or, three boys on a Ferris wheel.

Carry on, Mr Clearwater.

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Old 03-15-2018, 12:18 AM   #24
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They meet. Love grows. Forces intervene but are overcome. Ride into the glowing sunset...
Or they die. Right?
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If you were to read one thing I'd written, I'd recommend this one: Six Dead Poets [GM]
If you were to read two, try this one: Unleashed [GM]

My book (just the one so far) lives here: Shameless
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Old 03-15-2018, 12:31 AM   #25
JasonClearwater
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Fuckor. With an O.
Have you read the Urban Dictionary definition of 'fuckor'?

Because, LOLZ.

.
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My Lit stories live here: Submissions

Latest Submission: A Committed Boy [13 pages, GM, Non-con, Luuurve story]

If you were to read one thing I'd written, I'd recommend this one: Six Dead Poets [GM]
If you were to read two, try this one: Unleashed [GM]

My book (just the one so far) lives here: Shameless
[GM/Bi Fiction, Non-Con, supernatural]
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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