The best advice I could give a writer is to read as much as you write. Not the same type of genre all of the time either, it’s ok to have a favorite genre but reading a variety will help expand your creativity when it comes to writing your own novel – trust me, I know this for a fact. It saddens me that African American writers of street lit doesn’t take heed to this advice. It is like it’s a crime if they read anything other than street lit. It’s sad because there is so much room for potential and growth. And because of their lack of wanting to try to make a decent street lit novel I have chose not to read their ish and these are 5 reasons why:
- Same Shit, Different Book. I get it, the hoods across the world don’t change too much but does that mean EVERY street lit novel have to be the same too? It’s the same setting book to book: Section 8 housing, mama cracked out, ballers living next door (when we all know that’s a lie. I’ve never lived next to a baller who never got robbed), every heifa on the block is light skinned and is thirsty. I can’t relate to none of that! And I hate repetitiveness. Which leads to reason #2.
- Virgins Can Put It Down From Jump! I’m sorry but it didn’t take me a week to learn how to throw it down on a man’s stick however all of the virgin heifas can suck a mean dick and ride it like they came out of their mama’s womb with one in their mouths! Yes it’s fiction but damn really? At least make it sound believable.
- Redbone, Coke Bottle Frame. Females always complain about all the video girls and wifeys are either light skinned or white however the same dark skin female authors have light skinned females on their covers and the main boss bitch in the story. Hmmm, isn’t that selling out or something? Contradicting? Fake, maybe? Growing up every chick in my hood was not the same color (light skinned). Make your characters similar to your fans, have them with an imperfection somewhere or something and weave that into the storyline somehow. Stop being so predictable in the character category.
- Lack of English or Education. Why is it that all of or just about all of street lit novels have the chick narrating and the female has no semblance of an education. The whole story is written in unintelligible English. I don’t want to read that! Everybody do not talk like they only completed the second grade. It’s too much, maybe have one character or two talk like that but all of them? Or the narrator?
- Captain Save A Hoe Mentalities.Not all females in the hood have the ‘captain save a hoe mentalities’ which is where they sit around and wait for a baller to come and take them out of the hood to a better life. However street lit seems to think that is what it is about; light skinned chick with green, purple or blue eyes hates her cracked out mama, determined to get out she finds a baller to lace her with as much money as she can handle then she gets controlled and beaten by the baller. The End.
I know I may sound bitter or whatever but I’m not nor am I bougie. There is more to the hood than sex, redbones, money and drugs. The thing I love about Sister Souljah’s tales is even though they are based in the hood the story does not revolve around the ‘stereotypical’ hood antics. Her stories have depth, that underground shit that have you thinking and saying damn after reading it.
No one believes in talent anymore. It’s like 98% of the writers took a city bus thru the hood one day and ass*umed they really know about the hood off of that one trip then go home and write some garbage. Understand the ghosts that lurk in the cracks on the sidewalks, why the drunks on the corners started to drink, the inner demons people fight with internally but of course that might be too much work uh?
I know what I like and it’s not the garbage I see on these shelves. They really shouldn’t be on the shelves if you ask me. Are you a lover of street lit? Non-lover? Or are you a writer of street lit? Conversate with me, let me know what is your formula for writing your stories.
Peace and luv!
- Breaking down street lit (slideshare.net)