When i edited urban fiction, similar to new endeavors, I stumbled involved with it. But as a former social worker, I've always thought it was interesting how women of color cope to pull up quickly. As I read different manuscripts, I recognized the voices that I'd met over the years in my own life, in several foster homes or even in my inner city case work.
Although I'd recently completed my nonfiction book, Heal thy Soul, 12 months of Healing for ladies of Color, to be published by Urban Books in November 2008, I must address urban fiction.
As being a story editor of among the best selling urban fiction writers out there today, I've many userful stuff here along the way about urban fiction.
I can speak from both sides of the fence-both as a writer so when an editor.
As urban writers, we sometimes get bad press. I want to clarify something.
All urban writers aren't street fiction writers. This genre may also be referred to as ghetto lit or street lit, or hip hop fiction.
Some people say there's excessive drama, even in the women's line of Urban fiction, rather than enough literary literature.
Well, just as one editor, that depends how you look at it.
What is drama?
I remember when i read that drama is danger blended with opportunity.
To write about people of color who live in urban settings will probably be replete with danger.
Only to think of some of the dangers these urban characters face, it starts the minute the characters wake up. Any day your could find yourself homeless, a victim of violence, or foreclosed upon.
So, just how do we create these components in our stories?
By showing the (limited or missed) opportunities we have to obtain the American Dream along with the danger that is associated with trying to pursue it.
For a few people, they take the nine-to-five route. For some individuals they go the route of crime. But all characters, from the pursuit of the American Desire happiness, will go over a journey.
This journey involves subtext.
My concept of subtext is what is going on beneath the story.
The dictionary's definition is that this:
1. The implicit meaning or theme of your literary text.
2. The root personality of a dramatic character as implied or indicated by a script or text and interpreted by an actress in performance.
My story "Katrina Blues," a novella, in anthology, Didn't know Love Like This Before, (authored by Urban Books-Urban Soul in June 2007) relates to a cross section of society.
The protagonist, Deni Richards, can be a thirty-something Los Angeles attorney who finally ends up facing discrimination in a restaurant, racial profiling from the police department, and disparity of treatment for my child job.
Although she thinks she gets achieved the American dream because she drives a Mercedes, is regarded as the successful child in their own family and owns her condo in Santa Monica, California, after the story, she learns some harsh truths about being an African American citizen within this country.
She ends up getting an up-close and private taste of reality when she opens her home to a displaced saxophonist, Coleman Blue and his awesome family, after Hurricane Katrina.
I've found a lot of meaning in regards to the American Dream while i read urban literature and it's really not always found on the top of the story.