I read a lot of these gay romance+erotica stories published as ebooks, many from Dreamspinner and the like. They're often from authors that have editors and many titles behind them.
There seems to be this bizarre pattern that a main or major character will get shot, or stabbed, or face a violent act like a car crash, somewhere near the climax of the book. Said character rarely dies though.
I can't decide if this is a legit trope to bring characters together and deepen their love with a dose of angst/drama/excitement; or if it's a cop-out trope, because it's an easy way to advance the plot. It often shows up as part of the climax of the thin conflict that has propelled the story forward to that point, or when things get too boring and need a nudge. I also think that this might have something to do with the fact that in movies with gay themes, they often have sad endings, or somebody dies.
The reason I ask is, is that I was writing one of these m/m stories and somehow one of my characters ends up getting shot. And I can't decide if keeping the scene lowers the quality of writing. It was only when I went back to start rereading old stories that I like that I realized violent acts come up a lot.
So, what's your opinion on it? Do you think a story that is focused around romance and falling in love needs a violent act or severe illness it to make the character's get a happy ending? Does it make it better?
Source: reddit post