What Kind of Writer Are You?

So, there has been a great discussion sparked by a post that I reblogged from Ja’da of quizoticmuses.  I highly recommend checking out her blog and she has a book that you can purchase on Amazon here (which I just purchased on Kindle 🙂 ).

So, I am going to copy my two comments, and expand on each one, because I think I was on to something good, but stopped before I got too winded lol.

I feel like there are many times when African American authors are put in the urban fiction category, even when their work is not necessarily considered urban.  I think people hear urban and link it directly to “Black” or “African American”.  I don’t agree with this, because I don’t feel like I am an urban fiction writer.  I am a fiction writer.

I also feel that a lot of people read novels, and they place their perception on the characters.  For example, I can be talking about an average american couple, but in your mind, you are already going to decide whether those characters are going to Black, White, Asian, Latino, etc. I also feel that just because I am Black, doesn’t mean my characters will always be Black.  I feel like little things like those, come with the territory of being labeled “urban”.

Today, I read the post in response to Ja’da’s post by Pearls Before Swine, which offered AMAZING perspective as well.

Her post went into more of a detailed discussion on writing style, which has a lot to do with how your work is portrayed as well.  Another aspect of that is reminding yourself that how you write, has a lot to do with what you read.  I will admit that my first taste in “urban” or “erotic” fiction came in middle school when I read “Flyy Girl” and “The Coldest Winter Ever”.  After that, I dove head first into Zane novels.  So as you can see, I was heavily involved in African American authors, and catering to more of the urban, erotic and street aspects of fiction.  It was not until I got older than I started to read what I feel is more general fiction (Eric J. Dickey-my fav) and what I consider mystery (Walter Mosley-my other favorite).

Both posts really resonated with me, because as I prepare to publish my first novel, I begin to wonder what type of audience will I attract; or how people will portray my work.  Will they see me as a fiction writer, or more of an “urban” fiction writer?  I didn’t write my novel with the intention of being categorized as urban; however, I understand my characters and the plot in my story could possibly suggest that it could fall in the urban genre.

I thoroughly enjoyed both posts, and they have definitely made me think of what type of writer I want to be and how I want my writing to be portrayed and represented.

So, I would like to hear from you; What Kind of Writer are You??

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6 thoughts on “What Kind of Writer Are You?

  1. 4everQuixotic says:

    This was my first “I have arrived!” moment & I thank you so much, Whitney. This might sound crazy but I feel so honored to have been mentioned on a fellow writer’s blog. I do hope you enjoy my book! Also, I think “Flyy Girl” and “The Coldest Winter Ever” were two books on everyone’s starter list. My nose was wide open! You and I practically mirror in our reading timelines. Because after them came Zane, E. Lynn Harris, Eric Jerome Dickey – I can really go on.

    What sparked this thought process for me was a conversation I had with my friend about what her coworker said to her about the preview of my upcoming novel “Hotter than 6°.” She was afraid that it would be “too urban” but the “polyamorous spin” made it different. I was stunned but that’s when I realized that having Black characters is what makes a book urban. But that’s not what I want. I just want the book to be an excellent read.

    In my first anthology, there are a lot of musical references whereas going forward I have tried not to use so many. Then I question that decision because removing the music makes my writing less authentic for me. I often use music to set the tone but in light of what I’ve been learning, I am trying to find other ways to do so.

    I think at the end of the day writing about Amy and her tryst with a drug lord will make a novel gritty whereas writing about Keyshawna and her love affair with anyone would make a novel urban. So then the question is “are my names ambiguous enough?” “am I selling out or am I thinking outside the box about my characters and their descriptions?”

    It’s just tew much!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Janice Wald says:

    Hi Whitney,
    That was nice you promoted Ja’da. I hope to be a published author with a book on Amazon kindle one day.
    I meant you on Jason Cushman’s site. Maybe you can check out my blog, especially if you could use a blogging tip or two. That’s what I blog about. Like Jason, I have regular networking opportunities.
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

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