Thinking a lot about Kristen Lamb’s recent article about micro-trends. In a lot of ways, M/M fiction is one such trend, and while it is growing in popularity it is still, well, niche.
But it’s not the only niche out there with potential, IMHO.
I love writing M/M fiction, and I don’t plan on leaving it behind. But a real passion of mine is to bring complex, character driven poly, M/F/M stories to life. Most of my long-time fandom pals know my love of “OT3” stories and back in the LJ era my nickname was “Three-Way Spice” (some reference to the Spice Girls, which was after my time, but anyway, it made the rounds for a while).
There are definitely M/F/M stories already out there, and I’m not trying to offend any authors of them by saying that they are mostly erotica-only. That’s great stuff, really, and I’ve enjoyed a few of those stories a lot. Most of the stories I’ve run across so far are more about one-time “let’s invite someone to share out bed!” fantasies, which again, are lots of fun. But as a polyamorous person myself, I know that long-term poly relationships, especially triads, are not easily constructed and even less easily maintained.
I definitely see a lot of potential for angst in the stories I want to write, but I also want to present positive role models who get happy endings. Just not a lot of that out there, to be honest.
I’ve held back from moving forward with those stories out of a fear that the audience for it is too small. After all, I’m hardly even much of a name in the M/M world, and now I want to divide my attention? Divide my readership? I even thought of creating another pseud just for the M/F/M stories, but OMG, I don’t have the energy for that. But lately I’ve been reading Guy Kawasaki’s APE and then Lamb’s article and I realized that I may be right, the market might be too small to make any kind of living off of (which is why I’m in this business, apart from my love of writing), but I won’t know until I try.
There’s the rub: it’s easy to jump on a bandwagon, which is honestly what I’ve done with M/M fiction. It’s exploded over the last five years and I’m lucky I got a foot in the door, I know that. But jumping into a pool when the depth and temperature is unknown is a much greater risk. And that’s scary.
But I’m finally convinced I just need to do it. I love my M/F/M stories, some of which have languished for years while I work on other stuff (including a master’s degree, I mean I haven’t been slacking here, okay? LOL!). I have a lot of story ideas I’ve only ever thought about, always shoving the M/F/M ones to the back of my “to do” list.
The first on the list is the werebear story I’ve talked about before here. Titled “Homecoming” it’s actually the first of a series with at least two, possibly three novellas. The female protag, Sula, is a werebear and a loner who falls in with a pack of werewolves. The two men who form the love interests are werewolves who have been together and in love for years. So my story is really about how Sula and these two guys manage to find room for each other in their lives and hearts. It’s a rocky start.
Well, this is romance: isn’t it usually? 😀