MachoBlackCrud. I’ve reached a sort of crossroads in my story. I’ve gotten to the point where my main character fully realizes the depth of his feelings for his love interest. The problem? I’m so worried about how he comes across, I can barely write the scene. I’ve got most of it down, but the issue is this: is it possible for any admission of feelings or declaration to come across as “too feminine” in a romance novel?

Okay, sure, social constructs are what tell most of us what is supposed to be acceptable gender specific behavior. And in a gay erotic romance, social contructs of masculine and feminine should take a flying leap when it comes to having the character do and say honest things in the context of the story. Still, I can’t help wondering if I’ll turn my masculine main character into a fangless girl with a boy name just to get the point across that he’s in love and wants it reciprocated.

I’m not sure how common this issue is. I’ve come across numerous articles and postings (here and here, among others) discussing how female writers tend to write at least one character in a m/m story as being more overtly feminine. I’m trying (perhaps too hard) to avoid being lumped into that category. Really, some are going to think that anyway. I would just like the assurance that the majority of readers don’t feel like my main character has undergone a personality transplant the minute he has strong feelings for someone else.

I would love to ask the opinion of my reliable sounding board person, but I feel like I need to write this without her reaction coloring how I write the rest of the book. Not that her opinion is a bad thing. She’s been fantastic and all kinds of helpful, actually. I’m hoping I can figure out a solution to this without asking another person’s input. At least, not a female person. I need to make one of my male friends read the chapter and tell me if it all goes over-the-top at some point. Then maybe I’ll add in some cursing for good measure. ;-)