Working on my art: How I encourage myself as a writer.

I’ve had a hard time encouraging myself to write.

There are so many fantasy books out there. So many popular authors, so many really good books coming out at all times. At one time I just stopped, how can I even compare to my favorite authors?

How do I compete with them?

Even though there weren’t any Black fantasy books for me when I was growing up, there is so much more now. Nowhere near the amount needed. But how can a retelling of a fairytale ever compete with Children of Blood and Bone?

But then I realized something.

The only person I should be competing with is me from yesterday. Fighting to be a better person and a better author slowly but surely. And the fact is there is no such thing as too many options. There is room for everyone and their books at the table.

The best analogy is that of the bread aisle. There are so many kinds of bread, so many brands, cooking styles, and flavors. So that everyone can get what they want.Regardless of how specific it may be. Everyone can get the exact thing they want.

The one thing that no other person can ever offer is my perspective and my way of thinking because they’re only one of me.

Tropes we need: Black interethnic couples

Maybe I’m coining this, but by Black interethnic relationships, I mean people who are dating that may be the same “race” but different ethnicities or even tribal groups.

There are Nollywood movies on this subject, where people from different tribes meet and marry, but here in the States, we have very few stories about this.

In many stories, we’ll have an African American character and Jaimacan character dating or married the end. We never talk about the differences of those two cultures, we pretend that Blackness and we pretend as if Blackness is a monolith when it’s not.

 Everything’s good, their both Black, right?

You don’t see stories about an African American man meeting a Kenyan woman and then falling in love and the cultural differences that come with that. The stereotypes both West Africans and African Americans have about each other, the bullying by some Black children to 1st generation African children. The trauma that gives that lives on with some people as they grow up, about just being from somewhere else. And African Americans who didn’t grow up around anyone of immediate African descent, learning about the “African booty scratcher” taunts, and feeling ashamed, even though they weren’t involved. There are so many storylines to draw into a romance.

I need stories where a Caribbean woman falls for a man from a West African man. Or a Black Brazilian woman meets a man from Harlem and about their love story. Their language difference, their cultural differences.

There are many stories about interracial couples. 

But there are a lot of stories that we are just ignoring because we want to pretend that Black is Black regardless of culture, continent, and religion.

We are different, and that is ok.

For example, let’s have a Xhosa woman. She is working on her doctorate in the U.S., and she meets a man from Atlanta who works I.T. at her university. They meet at a party and they have a lot of mutual friends. She didn’t know much about Black American culture aside from what she sees on social media, and all he knows about South Africa is apartheid. They teach each other. He’s southern, his family loves greens and ox tales (there aren’t many African American families who cook them, but they exist, my family is one). She teaches him about umphokoqo and Inyama yenkomo, and how things were as she grew up. And they bond over stories of their lives. She sadly realizes what his grandparents and parents went through is eerily similar to her childhood and the life of her parents. She never imagined anyone outside of those back home would be able to relate. He grew up thinking Black is Black but loves how proud she is of who she is, and those differences make him love her more. And it makes him embrace what he is more than he ever had before.

Their parents grew up with negative stereotypes of the other, so they object. The story is just about our couple but two cultures exploring and coming together.

As a person who is in one of these relationships, I look for media that tells my story. But I can’t find anything.

My adventures in writing a book: Part 2 : Yay I’m rewriting half of everything

Even though I’m writing this right now, and I’ve written the drafts for two new tropes. When it comes to original content for my book, I’ve hit a roadblock.

The beginning chapter is FUEGO. I think it might push anyone to keep reading. And every chapter dealing with my main male character, also fire. He is a fully fleshed-out character with pure motives, and he’s an easily lovable empathetic character.

My female main character, I love her, but she seems boring. I’m working hard to make everyone else love her too. And it’s not going as well as I hoped. I have about eight chapters right now. And I’m unsatisfied with half of them so I have work to do.

I’m worried it’s me, can I not write women. Am I like the mangaka of Naruto, can I not write WOMEN? I’m not sure what to do with her chapters at all.

The problem is, I am having a hard time moving forward or rewriting the chapters. So I guess I’ll play some videos games until I can move forward.

My adventures in writing a book : Part 1: my mind is weird

So yes, I’m writing a book.

The hard part isn’t what you think it is. The hardest part is that the book is continuously running in my head like an unclosed tab on chrome. Along with like five to ten other books I haven’t started writing.

Although I’ve only written like 5-7 chapters. I’ve written about 10,000 words in, and my mind is literally at the end of the story. Not the true ending but the place right before it because I haven’t figured out how to get to the ending. You’re probably thinking, I should outline my story.

BUT I FREE WRITE.

So I’m stuck. I probably will be forced to make a skeleton timeline to help me write my story. Currently, I’m making character-charts, and a mini-dictionary of the terminology I will be using. Why a mini-dictionary, it’s a vibrant magical world that I’m creating, and I have a bad memory. For example, knights in my world hold different ranks, and rather than using anything existing. I’ve created a new system with multiple branches and rankings, each fun and unique to the service you offer the king.

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