Man, Oh Man, Writing M/M for Cash & Kinks Paperback – 22 Mar 2008
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It can be more than just a dream...To write the kind of stories that you love to read - that's what you really want. If only you knew how to get started. *Help from someone who knows...* What you need is professional advice, help from someone who's been there, who can support you through the creative process, with the goal of writing for publication. What you need is Man, Oh Man. So, why this book...Why not one of the other "How to Write..." titles? Because everything in Man, Oh Man is geared to the M/M market and the M/M writer, to you and the genre that you love, whether you're an aspiring writer or you're already published. Lambda Award finalist Josh Lanyon takes you step-by-step through the writing process: from how to find fresh ideas and strong hooks, to how to submit your carefully edited manuscript. With help from the genre's top publishers, editors, reviewers, and writers - experts in the field of M/M and gay romantic fiction - Lanyon offers insight and experience in everything from creating believable masculine characters to writing erotic and emotionally gratifying M/M sex scenes. Indulge yourself and your dreams...It's within your grasp to be a published author in a growing market.Man, Oh Man shows you exactly how to do it.
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This is packed full of sound writing advice, with plenty of examples from Lanyon's own work (along with a select few others), and fascinating quotes from writers, readers, reviewers and editors. You get a thorough overview of the genre, and there is useful advice about the business of writing and promoting as well as all the technical tips.
Lanyon treats the subject with humour and respect, although I do pity whoever the writer was whose dreadful prose he picks apart in the chapter on action scenes!
I'm definitely keeping this book handy, and will be dipping into it again and again when I feel the need.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The process would have been more easier if I had had "Man, Oh Man..." for inspiration and advice.
Lanyon is a terrific writer - clear, intelligent and generous with his knowledge and humor. "Man, Oh Man..." is a practical book that will walk you through finding your genre, shaping your plot, and understanding the market. Lanyon helps you focus on the core of your plot, while reminding you of the importance of the subtleties and subplots that make your book stand out,
Lanyon's instruction benefits from being very specific. For example, he recommends you develop an outline for your novel, but he also includes advice from authors who don't. In his discussion of point of view, he offers ""If you're finding it difficult to nail your main character's voice, or find the focus of the story, try writing from a different POV." He stresses the importance of pacing, and illustrates his advice with examples from his and other author's works.
While that kind of writing instruction is available in innumerable books from the good people at Writer's Digest and others, Lanyon offers wisdom you're not likely to find in more mainstream publications. He gives explicit examples of what makes M/M sex scenes work, and what makes them fail. While much of that is too graphic to include in this review, let's see if Amazon.com lets this pass..."I caressed his velvety rod" is WRONG, "I pumped his d***" is RIGHT. BTW, Lanyon writes, "He pumped MY d***" is "WAY more right."
Lanyon goes on to walk you through the entire construction of your story, the revising and editing phase, and he even provides a list of publishers who might buy your work. He includes examples of his own development and marketing materials, including original notes, outlines, synopses and query letters for his novels. "Man, Oh Man..." works not just as an instructional manual, but as a fascinating study of how a novelist in this genre conceptualizes, creates and sells his work.
Throughout "Man, Oh Man..." Lanyon includes advice and feedback from editors, other authors and some of his fans. While this gives the book some very interesting three-dimensionality, I often skimmed these parts, anxious to get back to Lanyon's words. While the book would have been successful without these other voices, they certainly add some value, and you're free to read or skip that at your pleasure. (Or, as I did, fast forward through them the first time through and then read them more thoroughly on a second pass).
Lanyon offers an editing and consultation service for authors on his website (Amazon won't let me include a link here, but that's what Google is for, right?). I might have to reach out to him as I work on my novel's sequel, but till then, I have "Man, Oh Man..." on hand to keep me on track. I couldn't have asked for a better writing companion.
Scott Sherman, author, First You Fall: A Kevin Connor Mystery
I'm glad I plunked down the cash.
I have bought books on writing erotica and been vastly disappointed, as they almost always have nothing helpful to say--or anything that I hadn't already figured out on my own. Most of these books, in fact, are just the authors' way of plugging their own, less-than-spectacular, works.
This book, however, is the exact opposite. I was extraordinarily pleased to see that the book is not some slim tome, or printed in 14-16 point font--at 300+ pages, it is printed in the same font size as any good reference book available in a brick and mortar store. Considering I had just received a book on writing erotica that was under 100 pages and looked like it was suitable for my grandmother's less-than-stellar vision...well, I was disappointed, and had been expecting something along the same lines for Mr. Lanyon's book.
The author addresses his subject with humor, taste, and a very down-to-earth voice that engages the reader immediately. The TOC alone had me thankful I had purchased this book; not only does the book address the mechanics of writing M/M, it breaks it down into chapters that address aspects of ALL fiction writing: characterization, setting, conflict, etc. And while Mr. Lanyon does use his own works as examples, his is not the only voice being heard in this book. Authors and publishers in the genre weigh in in each chapter, which makes me, as the reader, feel like I'm truly getting good advice, and not just having to take Mr. Lanyon's word for it.
I love this book, and could go on and on and on as to why, but I highly suggest that you check it out (it does allow one to 'Look Inside', a feature I love here on Amazon). Seriously, if you have any kind of interest in writing M/M (or even writing in general, as the advice given can be easily applied to any type of fiction writing), buy out this book.
But the best thing I liked about the book was the humor. Josh Lanyon takes you through the process like he was a friend trying to teach you something with fun and excitement. I don't think you could do better than this book for getting all of the information with fun, intelligence and great information.