A part of my inspiration for my novel (or what is hopefully going to become one) is the effects of religion, their personal beliefs or organisations, societal norms and values on individuals. So when I create a character I begin with looking at what kind of society he or she lives in and their status within it. Obviously I then go deeper in individual personality, family situation. Do they conform or deviate (always a little of both). When I create the society one of the things I consider is sexuality and how it is handled basically. It actually came as a complete surprise to me that when I had the inspiration for a side character (haven´t decided how big he will be or how long he will stay) who is gay I realised there is no way that my main character is going to be able to tolerate that. What makes my main character interesting to me is her fanatic religious beliefs and the reasons behind them. I am having fun putting her in situations which challenge them, I did consider whether to have her have a homosexual love affair herself but Im not sure. Personally I really dislike it in a story where the character has that one enlightening moment and then its personality takes a U turn. I think personal change or growth is usually very gradual. Especially when it comes to some of your core beliefs. Im not really sure how to approach it. She is getting closer to meeting the other character. I could have him reveal his secret right away but then you have this huge unlike-able aspect of the main character within the first 15 000 words that the reader had been previously rooting for. On the other hand if I leave it for later, its a bigger betrayal for the main character. I think reasonably the MC´s response would be more extreme if she is allowed to form a close friendship with this man and then feels betrayed when the secret is out. I feel this could provide a very interesting conflict. It could also steer the story away from the situation where the main source of interpersonal conflict is a love affair (which is an option). While I personally find this a very interesting topic I don´t want the reader to get to that point and just not being able to get over that character flaw. Being completely unable to get passed the fact that the character they are meant to care for and root for is homophobic. what do you guys think?