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serious slash? Writers seem to want to distance themselves from the notion that slash is gay porn, because gay porn, of course, is cheap and bad and dirty. These people are serious writers and deserve (demand) to be treated as such.
They insist on two points: drama and trauma. The drama centers around the main character's terrifying new secret: he's gay. Not only that, he has feelings for someone (usually his best friend/partner/worst enemy). There is great tension and angst and suspense. Then there is an overwrought coming-out scene, after which the main character is faced with the emotional reactions of the love interest, his friends, his family, his dog, and his second grade teacher, who doesn't even care. By this point, neither do I.
The trauma consists of rape, kidnapping, rape, death, rape, assault, and rape. This is serious writing, remember, which deals with serious issues.
Stop torturing these people! Try to build a plot out of your characters, instead of conceiving a plot and then smashing the characters into it. Regular, daily human interaction is traumatic enough. Work on character interaction and reaction, and your plot will be stronger and more realistic than the latest assault on your favorite character.
(Side note: the young, cute characters seem to be the ones most often traumatized.)
What serious writers leave out is sex. Writing a sex scene would degrade their characters. This isn't porn, you know.
No, it's not porn. It's not erotica. It's nothing but stale and boring. Don't tell me that X wants Z. Tell me why X wants Z. Let me feel it, too. As things stand, I don't know why X wants Z. I don't want X or Z. I don't even want to keep reading.
You don't have to write a big sweaty sex scene. No one says that you do.
But I would like to feel and understand why your characters want each other.
You can be erotic without talking about penises.
The serious writers seem to have a mental (or even physical) checklist of Tips for Good Writing. They know that good writers use big words and metaphors and other literary techniques. They use all of those things, too. Then their stories read as though they're trying to write.
You don't have to try that hard. Let it come as it comes. Use a natural vocabulary, and don't use figurative language like it's going out of style. It's not.
When your writing sounds as though you're trying too hard, maybe you are.
In writing, serious and good are not synonymous.