How to Write an Urban Fiction: Step by Step

step by step

Thinking about writing an Urban Fiction but not sure how to start? Good urban fiction writing has a few necessary elements to make it great. Sure anyone can conjure up a good tale but urban fiction is a bit different. I have studied urban fiction and know what I like to read and I’m also writing a juicy urban fiction tale titled “Platinum Dust” I will attempt to share a few tips that I’ve learned on creating a page turning urban tale.

Urban Fiction Background

When thinking about creating an urban fiction novel you must remember “urban” literally refers to the streets or the background for your story. Though I have not lived in housing projects or the ghetto I have friends who have and my neighborhood was lurking in the near distance. Street life is its own sub-culture so getting a feel for the streets is essential in this style of writing. You should know city blocks and which areas are the most dangerous if you want to capture the essence of urban fiction. Not that you need to visit the mean city streets for an in your face lesson but simply being open minded enough to hear the experiences of others who live it.

Urban Fiction Characters

Urban fiction characters are those that the reader loves to hate. They must appeal to both my interest and my disdain. A cliché character is the one that is a “good guy” trying to run from  a bad situation or the bad guy provoking bad situations. Either way your characters must reflect realism. Readers of this genre can pick up on a fake. Learn your character, I do this by writing a bit about them on a separate sheet of paper. Include who they are, where they come from and what their struggles are. This gives them a bit of reality that readers enjoy.

Urban Fiction Dialogue

This element can make or break a good story. Dialogue is important and using it correctly is vital to the tone of your story. Slang words, ebonics and bad grammar is all apart of the streets and it is welcome. Unlike traditional editing urban fiction falls under a different ball game. You can use aint and for sho (for sure) because it reads like it sounds and provides authenticity to your urban fiction writing. Readers will quickly put down your work if you use proper english in your dialogue. Crazy I know!

Urban Fiction Drama

Urban Fiction Drama is a bit more over the top than traditional tales. It is filled with he said she said, gossip, long prison sentences, baby mama drama, theft, murder and lots of adultery and cheating but these twists and turns is what the readers long to hear. Readers want the most outrageous tale, they want it to jump out at them and give them the juicy tidbits they will share with friends and family. A good writer will engage their reading audience enough to get them talking. Your book should read like “All my Children” or “As the World Turns” only in book form.

Urban Fiction Sex

Writing about sex can be very tricky especially if you’re submitting your book to a traditional publisher. You have to be more expressive with flowery words that are typically not used in an urban setting. The beauty of urban fiction sex is that you get the raw, passionate truth written explicitly. Writers must be careful though, You have to provide the reader with what they want but you must also keep your reading audience in mind. Not all readers like the juicy pornographic details and its your job to learn about your target audience. Ask readers of the genre what they want and then create your love scenes accordingly.

Urban Fiction Storyline

Now that we’ve gone over the details of what makes up an urban fiction tale the most important part of the story is its storyline. You have to tell a story it should have a clear beginning, middle and an ending. Ending  should be juicy but also provide closure not a cliffhanger unless it’s apart of a trilogy. Please avoid writing all over the place (meaning) don’t start on one scene and midway change it with no warnings. It causes confusion for your reader and if you are changing characters, use indicators.

Hope this was helpful and that you all enjoy writing your stories and getting them to your target audience!.

Urban Fiction writer based in Philadelphia. Looking to connect with my audience and other urban fiction writers. I have tons of valuable information on the world of publishing, self-publishing and promoting urban fiction and fiction in general. Keeping the writing public informed and most importantly Paid!!!

8 Comments

  • Reply January 30, 2013

    Sam

    Some great points. I must admit, when I first started writing I’d never even read urban fiction but that was the genre for the story I had to tell. It was a steep learning curve.

    I think the most difficult part has to be dialogue. Some authors try too hard to sound out the dialogue exactly as they hear it on the street. This can become difficult to read when it is done to the point that you feel you’re reading patois rather than English. I say throw in the slang, bad grammar (of the speaker), contractions, double negatives and plenty of foul language – where needed. But keep it short and punchy.

    Most of all, your own grammar and use of language should be good so it’s clear your characters speak a certain way, rather than it just being the case that the whole book is like that. The only exception to this is when writing in the first person – because that is the voice of the character – but even then I would try to differentiate between the character’s mental voice and speaking voice.

    Thanks for the article and I look forward to hearing more about ‘Platinum Dust’!

    • Reply January 30, 2013

      kcbaylor

      I completely agree with your comment. When writing the tale it should not be riddled with slang unless the characters are speaking. A good writers is a reader and reading what others are doing is a good way to guage how your story should look. I generally prefer writing in first person. “Platinum Dust” will be published in a few months and I’m really excited to share it with everyone. Thanks for your interest

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  • Reply March 17, 2013

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    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Taking the time
    and actual effort to create a very good article… but what can I say…
    I put things off a lot and don’t manage to get anything done.

  • Reply September 12, 2013

    Nisha

    Hello I wanted to know if you had tips on starting your own publishing company for your self-published books

    • Reply September 12, 2013

      kcbaylor

      Hello and thank you for visiting Urban Fiction News. To answer your question, I will be posting an article on starting a publishing company. Stay tuned it should be posted by Monday. Thanks!!!1

  • Reply December 29, 2013

    Elena Washington

    Great post, really loved it. You may be interested in this novel about witches

  • Reply May 12, 2014

    Tee Mack

    Thanks, this was real helpful.

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