Writing What You’re Not ~ Daniel Kaine: Outside the Margins

Join us as Daniel Kaine goes Outside the Margins.

Daniel_Kaine_OtMWriting What You’re Not

Everyone has those annoying conversation topics that they’re sick of hearing. And no matter what we do, it seems like we’ll never escape them. Recently, for me, it was 50 Shades, the movie. Everywhere I went I was hearing about it. It was all over my Twitter and Facebook feeds. It was on the streets. It was at work. Let me just say, I’m so glad the hype seems to have vanished.

Other such delightful subjects for me include (but are absolutely not limited to):

-Westboro Baptist Church deciding to picket another funeral

-Republicans on women’s rights, LGBT rights, or just the rights of anyone who isn’t a well-off Caucasian, Christian man

-Conspiracy theories

-The latest dumb thing that some celebrity did

As a community, the M/M genre has several of its own bugbears, and one in particular I’ve seen crop up time and time again. I was never under any illusion that I’d seen the last of it, but I was glad that the topic hadn’t reared its ugly head for a while, until I spotted it while scrolling through Facebook for inspiration for this post. I immediately face-palmed myself harder than I had intended.

What subject could this possibly be, you ask? Females writing male characters, and especially gay/bi male characters. Seriously? Since when did you, or me, or that person sitting next to you on the bus, or some douche on the Internet, get to decide what an author should or shouldn’t write based on what chromosomes they have?

I could understand if the situation was more like an author writing a book about BDSM when they know nothing about it. (Yeah, I know, I just can’t let that topic go.) Or, a writer publishing a book about genetic engineering when their knowledge of genes is limited to Levis and Wranglers. But all it would take to fix that is some research.

When it comes to writing people, how do we define what is right and wrong? There are almost 7.3 billion people on this planet right now. If you can dream up a person, chances are they probably exist somewhere in this world. When you start ridiculing an author’s portrayal of a gay man (or any character for that matter), as not being authentic, you’re also likely to be demeaning a real person.

And then there’s the argument that straight women just won’t understand the experiences a gay man has to live through. I mean, it’s not like there’s a wealth of information on the Internet detailing those things. They certainly couldn’t ask a male friend for advice. And I’m absolutely sure women have never had to face any form of discrimination before. Oh, wait… Damn, well there goes that argument.

At the end of the day, if you know one person, whatever their gender or sexual orientation, then you know one person. Not everyone has to conform to your beliefs or experiences of what they should be.

Also, I’d just like to point out that Ty Grady is the best male character ever, in my opinion, and written by a woman. So suck on that one. #TyFanboy

~ Daniel Kaine

About Daniel Kaine

Daniel was born and raised in the Land of Rain, aka England, where he now lives with his four lovable furballs; Mik, Ash, Spidey and Flash. Originally trained as a Biology teacher, Daniel was unsure what to do with his life until he came across fanfiction for his favourite anime and decided to have a go at writing his own. To this day, he still cringes at the memory of the cheesy terminology he used.

When not writing, Daniel enjoys a variety of activities, including running, going to the gym, bondage, watching anime, and the mass-slaying of virtual monsters in the hopes of receiving epic loot. One day, he hopes to become a werepanther and invent chocolate that can be eaten all day without making you fat.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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12 thoughts on “Writing What You’re Not ~ Daniel Kaine: Outside the Margins

  1. I’m just a reader, but I like what you wrote. I couldn’t care at all who writes the books I like. I look at the description, not the author’s name to see if I want to read.

    • Thanks. I’m also not looking forward to the last book. In fact, I’m still working my way through the earlier ones. I’ve made the decision to take them slowly because I want to prolong the experience, lol.

  2. Several of my favorite authors are women–and I refuse to separate m/m stuff from whatever else I’ve read in my life. M/M has given me more emotional solace and happiness than all the other books I’ve read in my nearly 60 years. And I’ve read a lot. Men (and several of my favorite authors are men, too) might (MIGHT) have an extra insight into what it is to be a man, or a gay man, but not necessarily. Women write straight male characters all the time in “mainstream” fiction (think: The Goldfinch). It’s all about the author’s skill.

  3. Thank you, Daniel! As a woman who writes about men, I figure I’m one step ahead of authors who write about death. Neither of us is writing about what we “know.”

    • On a similar note, you could say I’m only a step ahead of you when I, as a total bottom, start writing from the POV of a top. All I have to go on is secondhand experience and (funnily enough) fiction, which has mostly been written by women. I do hope they’re not all just making it up and have done some research, otherwise I’m gonna look very silly to all the tops who read my books.

    • Awesommmmmme post, Daniel. *hi5*
      Kind of amazing how this keeps coming up.
      I think your dream will come true lol.
      Any “new” (not really, but at this level of readership, one could argue) thing goes through growing pains, trying to work itself out, etc.
      we’ll git thar. *thumbs up*

  4. Thank you for weighing in on this stale subject with a positive opinion. I mean when peeps say straight women can’t write gay men, how angry would they be if we said gay men shouldn’t write women characters? It’s absurd, really. It’s not like either group has cornered the market on discrimination, feeling left out, wanting love or d*** sucking…am I right? Lol

    • Exactly! If we say straight women can’t write gay men, then where does the madness stop? I guess I’d have to go back and change all those bi men in my books to being gay, because they’re not authentic since I don’t have firsthand experience of being bi. I’ll have to make all my POV characters bottoms because I’ve never topped (while sober enough to remember it, I might add). Maybe I should make all the characters the same age as me, or under. I mean, I wouldn’t want to give older readers a non-authentic experience.

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