Aside from the obvious distraction and "ooh, that sounds interesting" uses, I use TV Tropes a bit for research. It often helps to know how something's been done elsewhere, so I can better figure out how I want to use it. So when I found the page for Coming Out Story, I started reading with Skyborne in mind. In my book, the two main characters are both women, and they end up together in the end. But reading through the page made me realize something.
The whole "coming out to someone" thing? It doesn't work for Skyborne at all.
The main character, Shiloh, only truly realizes what she feels for her companion, Alexi, toward the end. And seeing as how Alexi makes no attempt to hide either her sexuality or her attraction toward Shiloh, it wasn't like Shiloh could just say "Oh, by the way, it's all mutual now" or something equally ridiculous. I started really considering Shiloh's sexuality, and realized she had the same issue some of the people discussed on the TV Tropes page had:
Shiloh needed to come out to herself.
Where Shiloh grew up, there's an emphasis on getting married and having children, and people who don't have kids are seen as selfish. It takes meeting Alexi, who's from a much more open culture, to make Shiloh realize how restricted her home life was. It takes being around Alexi to make Shiloh realize she was never interested in the people her culture said she should be. And it takes their journey together to make Shiloh realize what she never felt for anyone else.
I've been writing these two in one form or another since 2002. In their stories, it's never a question of if they'll get together, only when. But Skyborne is the first of their stories I've truly tried to get published. So getting this right has become very, very important to me, and in the edit/polish I'm doing now, I think I've finally figured it out.
Another reason why I'm doing this entry now: another author with LGBT main characters, Adrien-Luc Sanders, is doing a promotion for his book, From the Ashes. He's trying to get it into Amazon's top 100, a worthy goal for any author. Drop by and take a look, won't you?
Win $500 or $250 Visa Gift Cards or a manuscript crit if From the Ashes reaches the Amazon top 100!
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