Okay, so.

I write against tropes, a lot of the time.

I’m finishing up a paranormal women’s fiction series in which there’s:

no sex, no romance, lots of laundry and grocery shopping, a MC who’s An Actual Adult (she doesn’t jump to conclusions, she pays attention to what people are really saying, she can and does maintain a working life schedule, she’s not easily bamboozled), the magic is pretty limited, there’s only vampires and witches, my characters swear (they’re adults, they can say fuck).

It’s set in a real place (Portland Maine), it’s got an *ending point* (it’s not an endless series), the teenagers are written to be fallible and realistic (not movie sexy, not tv-show ‘sassy’), the teenagers are friends first (and the main teenager isn’t dating her male best friend, and the parents know their friends and treat them as such and there’s no weirdness about omg, we can’t have our teenagers near each other because maybe there will be spontaneous sexxorz: in other words, the parents know and trust their kids).

If I were going to attempt to be published traditionally, the places where I’d be asked to change things are:

Pretty much everywhere. What’s super hot selling right now is lots of sex, 20 year olds pretending to be 40+, ‘sassy’ MCs and teenagers, divorce (which comes with loss of most of their pre-divorce life), mid-life crises, the MC being ‘the last/only goddess, witch-something else hybrid, small-town ‘hijinx’. I don’t have any of these things. (I’ve got divorce, but it’s off-page and long in the past. I *do* have dealing with the shitty non-custodial parent, but that’s far less interesting/common than Cheating Husbando.)

I won’t add sex/romance into this series. I’m not going to write a series where the MC gets distracted by her ‘wet panties’. I won’t call them fucking PANTIES. I won’t make her the One True Hero. I won’t make her child/ren ‘sassy’. I *will* include having to live an actual life around whatever crazy shit is happening.

I’m about to start writing (go back to writing) queer romance. I don’t write ‘real world’ queer romance; I write in ‘fantasy’ homophobia-free worlds, because I want queer people to have the same fun romance reading experience that *I* get, which means… no one can tell them off for loving who they love.

These novels will have realistic sex (well, realistic romance-novel sex), none of the punchable one-normal-question-would-solve-it miscommunication, people who’re kind to each other, no evil exes coming to ruin things, generally mature people dealing with their lives in mature ways.

In order to be saleable, I’d need to change a lot of those things and I just… won’t.