This week’s Listopia post is an interesting one. I asked the readers in my facebook group what clichés in gay romance they were most tired of. There were two definitive “winners”, but the comments was where things got interesting.
Let’s start with two two biggest clichés my readers voted for in gay romance:
1. The Big Misunderstanding
This is when one of the main characters (0r a friend) sees the other main character do something and then jumps to conclusions. Instead of asking for clarification, they make assumptions and their relationships suffers or temporarily derails.
We’ve all seen this in books, right? Examples are the MC kissing/hugging a friend (or a brother/relative), which is misinterpreted, or an ex. Overhearing parts of a conversation that are taken out of context is another one.
An overwhelming majority of readers voted for this one as the biggest cliché.
2. Drama That Could Have Been Solved With One Good Talk
The second cliché in gay romance one is actually closely related to the Big Misunderstanding. Again, it all comes down to communication, to sitting down and having a normal conversation. Misunderstandings, jumping to conclusions, frustrations over misunderstood intentions, they’re all part of this plot device.
But: Do Readers Really Mind Clichés?
As I said, it got interesting in the comments, because as it turns out, there are many, many more clichés in gay romance. There’s the evil ex, the anti-gay parents, and let’s not forget instalove…
But here’s the thing: most readers don’t mind the clichés, as long as authors present them in a fresh way, in a new and captivating story. While the two mentioned above do cause some irritation at times, they’re rarely a reason not to read a book…or even enjoy it.
As one of my readers out it: “You lose these and I lose 97.3% of all my favorite books!”
The good news then, is that while there are definitive clichés in gay romance, authors can still use them, as long as they fit the story and are used in a fresh way.