I want you guys to dig deep into your nostalgia feels this time around…

You remember that moment, don’t you? You were just minding your own business…living a simple, carefree, life…and then that one beautiful stranger comes walking into the same room…you catch sight of them…and it’s like everything begins to glow with the most beautiful array of colors that you’ve ever been witness to. Time slows down to a crawl…and yet, your heart begins to beat faster. Because, despite everything that you knew about life and beauty has suddenly been enchanted by this brand new presence that has totally taken you by surprise. And for the first time, you feel truly infatuated beyond your ability to really get control of it.

Take a moment and think about the very first boy/girl you ever truly fell head over heels for, and then take inventory of everything that made them ‘the one’ in your eyes.

For me? I’m a big romantic at heart. Always have been, and always will be. So, love and infatuation hits me just as hard now as it did back when I was ten years old. But there’s just something overwhelming about that very first time when you lay eyes on someone, and feel as though all of your wishes and prayers have been answered all at once. I believe that a huge part of writing a gay romance story is creating a certain chemistry between the protagonist and his love interest. And that has to go far and beyond the idea of, “Omigod! He’s so cute!” I mean, it works for a very (very) short story where you aren’t really given a whole lot of room for extra details and character development. But if you’re intending to spawn a close and meaningful relationship for your audience to invest in and dive into without question…chemistry is the key.

And that comes from creating the perfect dream boy. And RE-creating that very first experience that you had the first time that you, yourself, fell hard for someone that you thought was beautiful beyond words. Someone who truly took your breath away, and left you with a bad case of the ‘wiggles’ when you had to talk to them for the first time.

THAT’S the kind of magic you want your romance story to have! Even if it’s a subplot to everything else that’s going on…you need that gooey little spark to make it work. And it always pays off if you do it right.

Now, before we even begin…it’s always important to remember that ‘beauty’ is always in the eye of the beholder. Not everybody is going to be attracted to the same kind of preferences that you are. But that’s ok! You write YOUR story, and you tell your fantasy the way you want to tell it. Period. If your heart’s not in it…why should your readers’ hearts be in it? Some readers like women, some like men, some like blonds, some like brunettes, some like redheads. Some want stories about younger twinks, and some want stories about older bears. But don’t let that make you feel as though you’re not going to be able to connect to them just the same, simply because you don’t share their exact attraction or they don’t share yours. That shouldn’t be the only goal of your story. The ‘romance’ is the goal of your story. Right? So why wouldn’t people be able to connect to the emotions being expressed, despite their preferences?

A quick story. I remember when I was really little, and I saw “E.T.” for the first time. I was too young to say that I had a crush on ‘Elliott’ at the time, but I knew that something was happening to me when there was a scene where he was in school and had released all of these frogs and creating chaos. Hehehe, and he took this girl by the hand, and pulled her to him (he had to stand on somebody, because he was shorter than her), and he kissed her on the lips. Right away, my tiny little heart began to flutter! Hahaha! I guess my body knew that I liked boys long before my brain did.

Now, when I was growing up…there were no gay movies. None that I really knew about or had any access to. There were straight, ‘boy meets girl’, movies…and then there was like…hardcore porn lying around in a dumpster somewhere. Nothing in between. So imagination was my escape. I think I was in college before shows like “Queer As Folk” or “Will And Grace” or anything even remotely like that had come along. But that still didn’t stop me from enjoying the romantic movies (or parts of movies) that I watched during my teen and tween years. If Fred Savage or Doogie Howser or Jonathan Brandis got to kiss the girl at the end of the movie…I got all flustered and happy, just the same. And it was awesome!

I mention these things because I think the key to creating an effective love interest doesn’t come from physical descriptions or poetic ramblings about how cute they are alone. There’s more than that. And, as usual…I like to break m process down into three parts, to make them easy to remember. Hopefully, they’ll be easy for you to remember while you’re writing as well.

Rule number one? Remember that the love interest in your story doesn’t have to be a super model. Seriously. It doesn’t matter if they’re insanely beautiful! What matters is if your protagonist thinks they’re insanely beautiful. That could mean a super cute boy on TV or a pop star…or it could mean a best friend or the boy next door. I’ve always been asked in emails over the years, “Comsie, why is it that your boys must always be the most beautiful boys walking the planet?” Hehehe, but they’re not. My readers are seeing them through the eyes of the main character. That is what THAT person sees as perfection, and it works. I write in the first person ninety percent of the time, but I hope that people understand that to that particular character…this love interest is gorgeous beyond belief. And whether readers share that attraction or not…they can relate to the emotion that comes from finding their own dream boy and drooling over them in the same way. So find ways to use that easily relatable connection to get your audience deeply involved in the story that you’re trying to tell. Everybody does a double take when it comes to crossing paths with someone they find fascinating! Tap into that. And make it a visceral part of your narrative. It touches people. Trust me.

Rule number two? If you want to create a real sweetheart in your fiction…take one character, and split them in half. This is something that I do with almost all of my stories, and always have from the very beginning. Think of the protagonist and the love interest as two pieces of a puzzle that fit together perfectly. What is your main character lacking? What is his love interest lacking? How do they ‘fit’ together? That’s what creates the emotional bond that I want my characters to have. Maybe one of my characters is getting abused at home by his father, and feels worthless. BUT…there’s a love interest that is willing to simply love him for who he is, and wants to give him the sense of self love and value that he’s been searching for. So there’s a ‘supply and demand’ element that bonds both characters, and eventually weaves its way into becoming a romance. There are many ways to pull this off in your writing. Maybe you have an introvert that stays at home all the time, and he meets a free spirit who inspires him to get out a bit more and enjoy life. Maybe you have someone who’s depressed and thinks love is hopeless, being approached by someone who has the ability to flirt and charm him into seeing the light. The idea is to find out what each character needs and desires from their point of view, and then introducing someone that can help them achieve that goal, if only they find the courage to pursue it with any amount of determination. It creates a sense of ‘momentum’ in your writing, and readers will cling to that.

And rule number three? Get the love interest involved in this relationship! Listen, and listen closely…there is nothing more boring than reading a simple fantasy by an author who just thought a boy was cute and perfect and wanted to get him naked. Seriously…it’s a snoozefest. If you put a love interest in your story, don’t just have him blush and smile and talk about how cute he is for 150 paragraphs while readers wait for them to go upstairs and bang each other crazy. Always ask yourself, WHY is this character so lovable? Why are we, as readers, pursuing him? Give your love interest some clever or flirtatious dialogue. Give him a sense of humor. Don’t just push him off to the side in your writing and have inner thoughts about how cute he is. Again…not everybody is going to share your physical attractions. BUT…if you can give him a personality…make him sweet, make him shy, make him tough, make him damaged…whatever you want…THEN you can connect to your audience. And he’ll be just the dream boy that your readers were looking for. But put his personality on center stage. Make them remember what it was like to find that first boy that got them all shaken up and nervous whenever they were near. My stories were designed to re-ignite those feelings of nostalgia for everyone who reads them, so they can think to themselves, “Omigod! Yeah…I remember that feeling!” And that’s something that I believe will help all of you writers out there to reach out and touch those memories and feelings in people, and keep them glued to the stuff you write, no matter what.

Anyway, I hope this helps you guys out! Give some of the things I said some thought. Use whatever you want to use, and toss the rest to the side! Hehehe! And I wish you the best! Take care! And I’ll seezya soon!

And if you’re looking for any dreamboys of your very own for your stories, or to get any ideas to keep you going, feel free to drop by Imagine Magazine’s ‘Inner Visions’ forum, where new galleries of very cute boys are posted and updated at least four or five times a week! Enjoy! 🙂

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