But, that’s why I’m here to help! It is normal to have jitters when startinga rewrite. If you don’t have them, I question you as a writer.
Rewrites, revisions can be nerve-wracking! They can be emotionally draining and you just may plain old don’t want to do them!
Yet, this is necessary.
Very rarely do you do write the exact thing you want in a rough draft. On the off chance that you have, you still need to take time to proofread for grammar and other small mistakes. A rough draft is just that—ROUGH!
The revision is the smoothing out, adding in, taking out, all the stuff that you wanted to do when you started but may not have seen that you could do! Take advantage of that! Instead of seeing the revision as a chore, see it as an opportunity! The process will go better when you do.
Follow the fabulous Magnolia C. Carter (The MCC to those in the know!) on Instagram at: @theemagnoliacarter.
Magnolia C. Carter is a passionate writer. She is present, dedicated and aware of how demanding writing can be! When asked about her writing journey, she will smile and say: “This is what happens with boredom and an overactive imagination.”
Her inspirations come from three things, “the three M’s” as she calls it: music, men, and mischief. Magnolia says that her mission with her writing is to ‘get everything out.’
When asked about her favorite thing to write? “Erotica…and hoetry.” When asked what hoetry is, she describes it thus: “Hoetry is the full expression of female sexuality…without regret.”
When asked how she defines success as a writer, Magnolia says she’s unsure. “Success is a weird term to me. I think the fact that I’m even writing is success! Successful writers are those that keep writing.”
So far, there is one book of poetry that Magnolia published under her mother’s maiden name, Read (like the color—RED)-Possession And The Nine-Tenths (available on Amazon and Kindle). With all the writing she’s doing, she’s starting her website, and two collections of poetry brewing—and a novel—Him, Her & Me. “I’m just getting it done.”
When asked about writing advice, Magnolia keeps it simple. “Best advice? Get it off your head. Then deal with it when it’s done.”
Character development: How are you going to develop them?
Just like you must have an idea for the structure of you story, the same goes for your characters, their settings and even the scenarios they find themselves in. The key thing to remember is watch out for troupes what will limit the growth of your characters; stereotypes that will stunt other characters and not give them depth; if you are writing cross-culturally (a white writer writing Black character for example), make sure that you have invested time and effort into seeking out someone from that culture/ethnicity/background to read your work!
Why? Blind spots.
You don’t want a work to be offensive to other people when it does not have to be! Having someone read for cultural sensitivity will allow for feedback in a safe space where you can ask questions, get feedback and revise as needed! Your characters are brought to life your imagination—and that imagination may represent a real person. Write wisely.
Note: For sensitivity read-throughs, contact Anette King through her site, The Blurb Diva.
One of the things about writing is the use of your imagination! Also, it grants you the freedom as a minority/BIPOC writer to make the world you want to see—one word at a time.
So, what do you want to see? Every story starts with you first, dear writer. From inception to publishing, it all begins with you. So, what is it that you want to see in the work you write? Remember the words of Mother Morrison: “If there is a book you want to read, you must write it.”
What idea have you been thinking of that your mind keep bringing you back to? What does it look like? What would it be like to write it? What tools would you need, do you need, in order to write it? This can also be likened to the Prewriting/Brainstorming phase of the writing process.
As you formulate what it is you want to write, remember it is you that must write it—only you can see what you want the world to see.
Remember to listen to The Writers Block Podcast found on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Spotify. This series started on the podcast in April 2019 and is my intellectual property. Thank you.
As a writer who identifies as Black, cisgender, heterosexual woman who writes, I am aware that most fiction is neither written for me or by those whom look like me.
The brilliant Walter Mosley said that in order for your characters to exist in the culture, they have to exist in the fiction. With that said, our jobs as writers is to write what is not there, what is not there, and even who should be there!
The writer-educator bell hooks said that no woman has ever written enough. I agree. I also submit that no minority person has written enough.
No Black person.
No Ingenious person.
No Latin/Latindad/Latinx person.
No Person of color.
No one that identifies as at the intersection of either of those identifies and any part of the LGBTQIA+ community has.
Over the next 5 weeks we will discuss the following topics, which I call the 5 I’s Of Representation. All these things, I believe, need to be considered when writing:
What do you see?
What do you want to show?
Identify (points to genre)-
What story do you want to write?
Who do you want to see?
How are you going to develop your characters?
Whether you realize it or not, you bring all your identities into every word you write, to every page you fill! You, as a writer, are still comprised of the some total of your two-fold experiences: those experiences in the world, and your experiences in the world as what you identify as. What you want to see in the world already exists in the form of YOU.
Put YOU in the world—this series will show you how.
With Love & Ink,
JBHarris, Founder Hesed Writing & Communication Services
What I want you to remember as Month 4 of this process ends, is that writing will require you to chase your imagination. It will require you honoring your intellectual curiosity, and be willing to have a certain amount of walking around (working) knowledge.
Now, what do I mean when I say walking around or working knowledge? This is a set of information that you have independent of other outside research or knowledge. These are just things you know because you have experience them, learned of them, or even went to school to learn. Since you know these things, research is not paramount to your writing–it is a back up!
Lydia King is a writer, and a doctor. When she wrote Opium and Absinthe, she had the medical knowledge to write about the pain her protag was experiencing and even the reason why. Yet, due to the setting of the story, she still had to research what would make the setting accurate! You cannot get away from research: it is only the amount that you must research!
Reading is the cheapest way to feed that working knowledge. Feed your head–keep reading. Your imagination will thank you.