How Much is Considered, Too Much, When it Comes to Profanity is an Urban Novel?

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Street life is not pretty. It is not glamorous nor is it romantic. A writers job is to find the beauty of the inner city within the ashes. We find the glamour in a jobless-drug ridden ghetto. We find the romance between a drug lord and a lawyer. It is what keeps the story interesting. I find that some people get offended by the curse words or Urban vernacular.

I understand, being offended by some of the language used, but it’s street life. People in the ghettos of Baltimore, Queens, Chicago, Detroit, D.C., or Long Beach, do not speak eloquent or proper English. They also do not talk without cursing. If you lived below the poverty level where jobs are scarce, drugs are prevalent, and your home is owned by a slumlord, YOU would curse too. If there were no youth programs or mentors in your hood and the only superstars you knew growing up sold drugs, you may end up doing that too.

The reason for my rant is because someone told me that people could get offended by what I had in my book. These are words that this person probably did not grow up hearing. These are words that this person was taught not to say or shall I say, say out loud.

If you have never read an Urban romance, thriller, mystery, fantasy, or young adult novel, with POC, do not be offended by what you read.

These are the lives that some of us have lived. These are the people that some of us know. This is us. Love it or leave it; Just enjoy reading it!

Finding The Characters For Your Novel

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In writing any book that will become a trilogy or epic novel, you need a couple of regular and complex characters.  It would be nice to write a book about only two people but can you imagine how boring that would be.  What are they going to do? Drink coffee and watch movies for the next 350 pages?

In a mystery novel, you need to develop characters with backgrounds, hobbies, glitches, and etc.

My character Natalie has a past.  Her past has no part in the murder of her husband but it gives you insight as to who she is.  If you understand her, you can relate to her.  Even though, how she was raised or where she was raised had nothing to do with why her husband was murdered, it challenges the reader to toggle with the fact that she may have done it.

In order to deflect the obvious, more people needed to be involved.  Surely if she was to claim her innocence, other characters had to come into play.  Someone needed a motive or a reason to murder her husband but where do they come from and how do they look?

To invoke inspiration, I searched different images of people.  Once I decided the type of people I wanted to use, I did an exercise.  I  used the web searched images to help build characters.  The images allowed me to add depth to my story.

Here is an exercise for you.  Listed below are three images.  

  • Who are these people?
  • How can you relate them to your story?
  • What type of descriptive words can you use to describe them?
  • What is their story and how do they affect your main character?

No matter your writing genre, a good/evil character, can make or break your story.

Character roles can be small or enormous, it doesn’t matter as long as they correlate with the main person in some form or fashion.

Happy writing to all my new novelist and bloggers!


*Important: #1 Rule for Writing a Successful Novel*


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Rule # 1


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I work a 9 hour work day.  I get up at 4:15 am every morning, get dressed, drink coffee, and be out the door by 5:20 am.  I stand most of the day on my feet.  When my shift is over, I spend another 45 minutes fighting traffic before making it home.  My 18-year-old daughter lives with me and so does my 2-year-old grand-daughter.  My daughter is a young mother.  She does not have her license and depends on me to get back and forth to work.  She has to be at work by 4 pm.  I pick her and the baby up from my house and drop her off at her job.

I get home and try to clean, finish laundry, and feed the baby at the same time.  My fiance gets off of work around 5:30 pm.  He insist on telling me how his day went and questions me about my day.  I listen to him vent while chasing the baby, cooking, and washing clothes.  I give her a bath around 7 pm and she is asleep by 8:30 pm.  By the time I get the chance to take a bath and relax, it is 10:00 pm.  I have just enough time to get to bed and hopefully be asleep by 11:00 pm to get at least 5 hours of sleep….If I am lucky.

Only one issue, I chose to become a writer of a great mystery novel!  The one caveat that I am learning as a novelist is how to carve time out of my day to actually write.

Like most people, I am a creature of habit.  The humdrum of my routine has become…. routine.   And if I want to become a great writer, I have to break out of this cycle of nothingness.  Don’t get me wrong.  Working is productive, helping my daughter gain independence is important, spending time with my grandchild and fiance is important but it is not going to get me where I need to be if I do not change.

As  women, we often neglect ourselves to take of others.  It is ordained in our DNA.  But how can we take care of others if we do not take care of ourselves?  Starting this novel has caused me to reflect on some things and become more active in progressing my goals.  If I can take the time to write, I can take the time to exercise and meditate.

In my early morning routine, I am learning to write while I am drinking my coffee at 4 in the morning.  As I drive to work, I daydream about my characters sitting through stifling bottle-neck traffic.  On my lunch break, I write.  Even if I misspell words or there are fragments in my sentences and grammar mistakes in my paragraphs.  I still write.  After I put the baby to bed, I shower and then I write.


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A dream is only a dream until it is acted upon.  Success does not come easy.  You have to be willing to sacrifice time, sleep, and other pleasures to reach your destiny.  Rome was not built-in a day and a great novel will not happen overnight.

Key Point:  FIND THE TIME TO WRITE… All good things take time but you have to start NOW.

God forbid the day comes and you are 90 years old and never finished your book.  Do you really want to reflect on how you could of, should of, or would of?











I Have Decided To Write a Mystery….So What On Earth Is The Plot About?  

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The good thing about writing a mystery is that murder is not the only key to a plot.  I could be an art curator assisting a detective about a stolen Picasso in a famed museum in Paris.  I could be a private detective hired by a family searching for a loved one.  I could be part of a FBI task force on the hunt for a bank robber.  The best thing about being a writer is an avid imagination.  I can be anyone in the world I choose to be!

Only one problem.  I have never been to Paris and know very little about Picasso’s work.  I have never experienced having a loved one disappear and the only thing I know about the FBI is what I have seen on TV.  In other words, great ideas but no platform of experience to build on.

Once again, I struggled with this.  My mystery would have to hit home with familiarity  and of course a huge imagination to make it appeasing.  After much thought, it hit me.  The heroine or villan of the story would be an amplified version of me.  After a  day of tearing up rough drafts, plots and outlines, Natalie Dupree is born.

Eagerly, I began to create her world.  5’3 caramel complexion with hazel green eyes.  A rich husband, who is a successful lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Baltimore, Maryland.  Two children and a life that any woman would die for.  I have birthed a woman whose life I would have envied.  But of course in a mystery novel, nothing is ever as it seems.

The joy in creating this novel will be the chaos that ensues.  Scenarios and visions began to flood my mind so fast, I could not type fast enough.

The bliss and artistry of writing is euphoric and daunting.  A task that I am more than eager to carry out.

God Bless my fellow authors and bloggers….Our world of imagination is the true art of our creativity!

The First Step In Writing A Great Novel

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I sat at the computer watching the cursor blink.  A white space glaring at me awaiting a key stroke of a letter, a word, a sentence, or a paragraph.  My mind circled with questions.  Who do I write about? What do I write about?  What am I trying to convey to my reader?

In my pursuit to write a novel, I became flustered.  Too many questions and nowhere to start.

I searched the web and found my impeding answer, What is my novel’s genre?

Bloggers, poets, and authors all have something in common, we are gifted and can write with great ease.  Horror, mystery, romance, sci-fi, or biographies, it doesn’t matter.  To a talented writer, this is a fun playing field.

I pondered all day about what genre to showcase my novel.  I like romance but sometimes get bored with it.  I love being in love but often times feel it is overrated.  My boredom would eventually convey in my writing and lead to a disaster. Horror is great, but it was 2 am in a dimly lit quiet room and I was alone.  My brain was not ready to write about ghost, demons, or deities.

After two cups of coffee and a cold slice of pizza in the wee hours of the morning,  I decided to go with a mystery.  There is a certain joy in trying to figure out who done it.  The reader takes on the persona of the detective.  Interviewing potential witnesses and looking for clues at the crime scene. I poured through books by James Patterson, Walter Mosely, Steven King,  Chester Himes, and Attica Locke.

I needed inspiration from best.

So with a third cup of coffee brewing, I sat at my kitchen table and began to type the first page of my great mystery novel.





Where Are Our Black Novelist?

wirting your book

A sweet white lady writes an ebook about fantasy.  Sells over a million copies.  A white guy writes a book about Tesla ( What the hell is that?)  earns millions.  The stories they have written seems interesting enough but where are our talented African American writers and why is there no buzz about them.

I took a break from blogging because on top of working full time and creating a business, I was becoming overwhelmed and thought I was going to lose my mind.  In the process, I decided to read a good book.

I go into my local bookstore.  I love all books but this time I wanted to read something pertaining to the trials of my own culture.  Sadly, I was bombarded with books that concentrated on hooker, hoes, drug dealers, and black mafia…. What the hell is this shit?  Not saying none of the books are good.  They are probably juicy and full of surprises.  But it angered me.

As African Americans, our culture has written some of the greatest books of all time!

The Color Purple

I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings

The Darkest Child

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

The Bluest Eye

And I hate to say this but the books they displayed gave a ratchet type of vibe.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am sure these are great books but what is going on?  Anger permitted me to speak to the book store manager.  He stated those were his top selling books and there was not a specific genre for African American writing.  Meaning, lets just group them all here and hope they (African Americans) buy them.  What an Idiot!

We write mysteries, romances, science fiction, history, biographies, in essence, we are the shit in this game!  I just do not know what happened to our culture of books.  It seems as though Love and Hip Hop has delegated a whole new set of boundaries and voice to the African American culture.

Forgive my rant, but I have decided to write a book and help other black authors along the way.  We are so talented in many things.

I pray this a journey we can take together!

Jet Blue Loses A Kid!

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This is so stupid.  Why the hell is a 5 year old child flying by himself? So not only is Jet Blue supposed to be an airline, they are also mandated babysitters?

I understand there are certain situations in which mom, dad, or a legal guardian cannot be present for a child but by no means should we allow a corporate business to take on that responsibility.

And now the mom is suing…Really?

Today’s parents are crazy. They allow the school system, the television, the internet, and major companies to raise their children.  God forbid something happens to that child then the responsibility falls on everyone except the parent…

The child was 5 years old.  The workers at Jet Blue deal with hundreds of people a day and now they have to send a baby off to another country or state?


Gimme A Break!!!


Kaepernick Takes A Stand, Is it really that big of a deal?

Last Wednesday, as I checked through my general emails and occasional Face Book notifications, I am bombarded by a quote my loving sister displayed on her page.  “Leave Colin Alone! My first instinct was to question who the hell “Colin” was. Secondly, who is bothering this Colin person.  As I read deeper into her sporadic vent, I realized she was expressing her feelings about the new patriotic, or unpatriotic issue surrounding Colin Kaepernick.  I carefully surfed the internet to see what all the commotion was about.

Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem due to his belief of unfairness towards minorities.  I am not saying Colin is right but I am also not saying Colin is wrong.  As an American, I have my own issues with this country.  I also have issues with my business, my family, and my job.  I often times voice those opinions when I am frustrated with either of those issues.  But my opinion does not mean I hate America, I hate my business, and it surely doesn’t mean that I hate my family.  The country that we live in protects his right to say or do as he feels as long as there is no malice involved.  It also protects those that disagree with him.  Colin was reacting to something that was bothering him at the time. If that is how he felt, that is just how he felt.  It doesn’t mean that he should be bombarded with hate and insults.

On the other hand, you have veterans and currently active military personnel, who have and continue to serve this country.  I understand their anger.  But the same law that protects their freedom of speech, protects Kaepernick’s as well.  There is no right or wrong in this case.  Each side has a valid point.  We cannot change how Colin feels but what we, as a nation, can do is try to understand the root of WHY he feels that way.  If a happy child that cannot talk starts screaming bloody murder out of nowhere, do we not do what we can to find out why the child is suddenly irritated or in pain?

We The People

We The People

Some Americans love to argue with the surface of an issue.  The surface is always safe.  It means I can say what I want without any ramifications because I choose not to know the ache behind the pain.  He did and said what he did “Big Fucking Deal”.  One person’s idea or opinion does not speak for everybody.

It does not stop me from doing what I have to do everyday and it doesn’t make me hate America.  So in the words of my disgruntled sister “LEAVE COLIN ALONE”.