Weaving Stories Readers Want

LWL Blog Banner - Widescreen (1)#openbook

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Authors frequently discuss notions of originality and fulfilling reader expectations. I have read posts all over social media and on blogs, all with writers seeking to draft texts that pristine from anything else written under the sun and that will satisfy a mass of readers worthy of their artistry. Both are exercises in futility.

Defeatist? No. A powerful storyteller resolves to the realities that neither is their story completely untold nor will it enchant every pair of eyes (ears hearing, fingertips touching) gracing it.  At the crux of any good story is the distinctive style and voice of the weaver of the tale, which is the primary way an author can create something that is theirs to share for people to connect with and respond.

Mis Quince Años (11)

Continue reading “Weaving Stories Readers Want”

Dry Those Writer Tears: Dealing with Reviews

LWL Blog Banner - Widescreen (9)#OpenBook

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Ah, book reviews. They can send an author’s heart soaring or sink it like a stone into a deep abyss of despair.  Because a writer is often intimately connected to their works, reviews can have a substantial impact on the creative process.

I have warned new authors to be mindful of the effects reviews have on them, particularly negative ones:

All authors get negative reviews. Reading is subjective. There will always be at least one reader who doesn’t like something about a book, and some will express it in reviews. A lot of new authors are simply not ready for people to express any level of dislike.

Mis Quince Años (13) Continue reading “Dry Those Writer Tears: Dealing with Reviews”

I Don’t See No Stinkin’ Writer’s Block

LWL Blog Banner - Widescreen#openbook

How do you move past writer's block?

I never get writer’s block. I may say I do but not really. What I usually experience is more like a hurdle to clear and keep things moving. A basic definition of writer’s block is, “the condition of being unable to create a piece of written work because something in your mind prevents you from doing it.” Other definitions describe it as an inability to write—as if there a mystical wall keeping words stuck in the mind or a force imprisoning creativity. There are reasons why a writer can’t write, and it is not always psychological or due to “having something on your mind.”

Through years of academic, professional, teaching and coaching writing, I learned a few things about the ominous “writer’s block” and the external and internal factors that drive writers to fall back on what is ultimately an excuse, a justification, for a blank screen.  Covering everything in one post is not possible. So, I will highlight some prevalent ones.

SLBF - FB Promo

Internal Factors

Continue reading “I Don’t See No Stinkin’ Writer’s Block”

Character Building: I Made This

LWL Widescreen (18)#open book

What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

I may (or may not—I admit to nothing) base a character on someone I respect or despise, so I will have to be salty and sweet with the response to this week’s OpenBook blog hop post. Let’s start with the people I like.

Sweet

I’ve explained in a Black Glue Podcast interview how the Prophet Muhammad served as inspiration for the male characters featured in the Brothers in Law series.

I reflected on the Prophet (Muhammad’s) life and how he was as a husband … lover … someone out in the community and how he transitioned between those things. What he did when his women were mad at him, and what he did when his women were acting out. [The brothers in law] don’t act exactly like the Prophet, but there are characteristics each one of them has.

Simon is the one who keeps things at a level where it doesn’t get too bad. He doesn’t allow things to get to him as much.  Marcus is the alpha, alpha. He’s the leader. He expects things to happen the way he needs for them to happen because he’s progressing the nation. Adam is that inner reflection.

Continue reading “Character Building: I Made This”

3 Books, 1 Author: Eclectic Reading that Feeds the Mind

OPEN BOOK (15)#openbook

What are the best two or three books you've read this year?

This was supposed to be an easy question but not so much for me. I read a ton of different things over the course of the year. In addition to reading novels, I am always looking for books that will help me improve my writing skills as an author and writer.

I also am constantly gathering titles to read and analyze with my colleagues at the Muslim Anti-racism Collaborative. I am a strong proponent for life-long learning inside and outside of one’s professional spheres. My collection of books that help me develop as an anti-racism trainer, instructor, managing editor, and self-published author grew quite a bit this year. A few of them gripped me, so it is difficult not to mention any of them.

As usual, I will take the convoluted way to answer the blog hop prompt and include a shortlist of three of the best books I have read so far this year in fiction and nonfiction, connecting each to my life’s work. Continue reading “3 Books, 1 Author: Eclectic Reading that Feeds the Mind”

Why Seasons Matter in Fiction

OPEN BOOK (2)

#openbook

Do your stories and worlds reference seasons and do they play into the plots of your books?

Seasons provide important time elements to a story’s plot. The environment in which characters interact is significant in setting the tone and helping readers keep track of how much time has passed between plot points.

Time passage within a novel can be large (days, months, and years) or small (a few moments or minutes), and all of it can affect the story’s pacing, grabbing readers’ attention or losing it. A lot of my novels involve events requiring longs periods of time to pass from the book’s beginning to the end.

Anchoring Time

Continue reading “Why Seasons Matter in Fiction”

BOOK REVIEW REBOOT: Her Justice – When Everyone is Playing Head Games

51fnxfxsarl

Review by Lyndell Williams
HER JUSTICE
By Nasheed Jaxson
$9.99, pp 162, paper
$4.99, pp 228, Kindle (Free, KU)

I can’t believe it’s been over three years since I began uploading book reviews on YouTube.  I loved getting in front of my cell phone and letting my teeny tiny audience of watchers know about the great Muslim fiction that authors were releasing to the world.

Unfortunately, life shifted, and I haven’t been able to do a review for a while, but I think I’ll start again. So, I’ve decided to share one of my favorites this week.

Her Justice by Nasheed Jaxson is unique because it is the first romance I’ve read written by an African American Muslim man. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW REBOOT: Her Justice – When Everyone is Playing Head Games”

BOOK REVIEW Doctor’s Desire-Learning to “Swallow” One’s Medicine

51iehjxwosl

Review by Lyndell Williams
DOCTOR’S DESIRE
By Love Journey
$8.99, pp 162, paper
$2.99, pp 107, Kindle (Free, KU)

Have you ever loved someone so much and been so happy that you felt like Okoye at the beginning of Black Panther? You’re in Wakanda, chillin’ with W’Kabi, then he gotta go and screw it up by siding with friggin’ Killmonger! I mean, WTF, W’Kabi?!

Now you have to put your bliss on hold and significant other in his place because he insists on being a…man.

tenor1

***SPOILERS ALERT***  Now, Let’s do this. That’s precisely what Chyna had to do to Jimin in Love Journey’s Doctor’s Desire. The couple meets at their medical school, and each of them is immediately struck. They have a whirlwind courtship full of passion. Things progress very quickly. Jimin is totally down with making Chyna his permanently and she completely plays off of his confidence and her own desires.

Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW Doctor’s Desire-Learning to “Swallow” One’s Medicine”

BOOK REVIEW The Minotaur’s Kiss – Some Nice Bull

51lxocmppjlReview by Lyndell Williams
THE MINOTAUR’S KISS
By Erin St. Charles
$3.99, pp 287, Kindle

A lot of people have had that one night stand that won’t go away. Who? Me? Man, this juice is good.

giphy7

BTW, ***SPOILERS ALERT***  Now, Let’s do this.  Feeling a little down, Diana Miller decides to have some fun with a hot guy she met at a party. Not bothered by the fact that he’s obviously a shifter, she invites him back to her place for a private party.

After all of the sexual frolicking, she unceremoniously bounces her bed buddy out of her house.  All set, Diana goes to work, ready to focus on her career.

Well, guess who she runs smack into at the office? Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW The Minotaur’s Kiss – Some Nice Bull”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑