Alright everyone, prepare yourself because I think this one might be a bit of a doozy. So I've been writing a novel for the better part of 2 years. Over that time I've re-written and done all the things a good aspiring author should do, but there has always been one thing that it's missing; a plot. I'm not saying that nothing happens, just that it isn't really a plot in the conventional sense. At the end of the day the one thing that it always seemed to be to me has been a "slice-of-life" but the issue is, the setting is post-apocalyptic, so that pretty well left me with an unsaleable novel. Nobody wants to read Napoleon dynamite, post-apocalyptic addition, now with 100% more seriousness.
So, this evening while doing my usual post-writing depression decompression, I have decided what I can do to make everything a whole lot better, I'm going to change up one of my deuteragonists into a female (originally male) and leave all the other aspects of her (his) character unchanged. This includes two main things that I cannot change; one, the fact that he was in a relationship with another main character who is a female. I have no issue with either of them becoming lesbians as, you know, there's nothing wrong with that. But the other issue, which makes the first one into a slight issue, the central arc for this character comes to an end with a unpleasant death.
The problem that I am having here, is as I thought through my idea, I realized one thing, the story is made 1000% more tragic, interesting, and plot filled if it actually becomes a romance story. As it previously didn't particularly have a plot of any type of meaning and was mainly a character focused drama, this doesn't spoil the broth at all it just makes it all the better in my opinion. But now, I'm conflicted on two fronts, and these are my main questions;
- Is it cliche for the "lesbian" character to enter enter into a quasi-relationship with the straight male POV character, even if the novel's society doesn't have the same hetero-normative standards as our real world? For example, it is not weird, nor would it even specifically brought up as a "thing" that the characters are homosexual. As it had previously been written as a male/female coupling, and there is very little in the way of specific relationship drama that would be needed to be changed. Originally they were a heterosexual couple in love, now they are a homosexual couple in love, the only added issue is that I want to steer into the turn that I have been feeling which is that these two deuteragonists were meant for each other. The way that I see it, is because of the main character's sexual preference the previous male character would not be a viable candidate, but now, as a female she could be. I just worry that that is very cliche and really gross for me to do.
- Is it a case of the "Bury your gays" trope (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BuryYourGays) if I had already planned to kill this character before her transformation? As this death is thematically extremely essential to the main character's growth and was long before I made he a she, I think this is just me being a worry wart, but I just don't really feel like stepping on anyone's toes when I'm writing a character.
I would really love to hear anyone's thoughts on my dilemmas and if you have any advice I will take it.
Additional information: for anyone worrying that I'm going to write a very flat relationship between the deuteragonists just because they are now sexual compatible ie: https://imgur.com/K9VHQJw trust me, I don't plan on making it immediately apparent to even the characters, this is a slow burn and doesn't progress much, by the time the figure it out, all the "death flags" have been raised for the soon-to-be dearly departed. I think that this relationship adds an actual interesting plot to the novel. It also gives the characters significantly more interesting motivation for certain things and spices things up in ways that weren't there before.