Writing an urban fiction can be fun and exciting but also a bit intimidating. You have to create larger than life drama, likeable characters and a true to life urban back drop. Many new authors with a story to tell usually feel the most excited about getting started. However, seasoned writers know that the first novel may be your best novel, it’s the second and third that is the most challenging. There are a few key steps needed to start the writing process. Many steps you may have already heard of while others may be a bit new. Either way you can put them into practice and get excellent results each time.
STEP ONE: WATCH YOUR COMPETITION
Every urban fiction author out today is your competition. They are writing to your potential readers and warming up your audience. Knowing your competition is always the beginning of any real writing journey. You need to know what your up against and who is getting the most attention. Not only is this useful later in the writing journey but also for marketing purposes as well. (I’ll explain later) competitors offer an excellent opportunity for you to see how their books are laid out including chapters, headings and general writing structure. You can also get a feel for what you like, what’s missing and what is needed. You fill the void by knowing what’s missing and then providing it.
STEP TWO: RESEARCH
Your story is already in your head so doing a little research before you actually put it to paper is mandatory. Research your target audience because they can make or break you. The other day I was talking to a woman who spotted me reading a novel and she asked me if I thought it was good. I gave my honest opinion and told her that so far it was confusing and I felt like I needed to read the same pages over and over before getting its point. She started giving me the low down on what books were hot and what was not. Being a reader and a writer I took mental notes. She wanted the juicy and most graphic details, she wanted to fall in love with the main characters and she wanted a good storyline. I took that information to heart because I was in the character development stage of my own novel. Knowing your target audience will free you from your own writing inhibitions and allow you to write what paying customers want.
STEP THREE: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
Who are your characters? Are they based on real people? what is their voice? what is their story? Those are some of the questions you should ask yourself when developing any fiction but especially urban fiction. Many urban fiction writers think up the storyline (concept and drama) before they really have an idea who their main characters are. If you are writing from a hustlers point of view you need to know his back story. This helps you write his story from an authentic place. It also helps relaying who he is to your reader and makes them want to follow his story from start to finish. The beauty of street-lit is that anything goes. There are no worries about using slang words, explicit sex scenes, and criminal activity. The more over the top the better however, it must be over the top with a purpose.
STEP FOUR: TIME MANAGEMENT
Every writer knows that its best to write when the mood hits you. When you get that first stroke of writing genius go with it. That usually happens because a character wants to be introduced to the world. Write until you have nothing left to say. That is generally around four chapters for me. I am often inspired and take pen to paper until the mood fades. Reread what you’ve written and then really hear your characters voice. It is the beginning chapters when your true character has revealed themselves to you that you can go on to complete your novel. Not all writers are able to spend long hours writing in a local library or for hours at home on their laptops. There is a little thing called the real world that pulls most of us away for roughly 40 hours a week. However, set aside at least one hour each day to work on your novel and it will be done before you know it. Take inspiration from every day events that often clouds most of your day. Before you know it you will not only have started your urban fiction but finished it too!!!!