Saturday, February 24, 2007

Black Women Need Love Too

What does it take to love a black woman? A black woman is the backbone of the African-American community. A black woman will take care of her children with or without support. A black woman will cry privately but not publicly. Being a black woman signifies strength. For so long, black women have been misunderstood. The media portrays black women as loud talking, rubber necking, bad attitude having, with little or no regard for their bodies. Well, black women need love, too. So, what does it take to love a black woman?

Make love to her mind and her body will follow. Make a sistah feel secure and she’ll cook your dinner and clean your house. Make a sistah feel loved and she’ll romance you. Make a sistah feel appreciated and she’ll support your dreams.

Many men have complained that black women are too independent. Most black women are independent by necessity, not by choice. Given the opportunity to stay at home, most women would. Not because she’s lazy. Absolutely not. It’s just nice to have options. Having a man who can provide and pay the bills, that’s a turn on.

Again, I ask…what does it take to love a black woman? A man who is strong without being controlling. Loving without being mushy. Communicative without nagging. Mature but not boring. Intelligent but not corny. Humorous and not silly. Ambitious and determined. A hard worker and still a family man. Faithful. Honest. Trustworthy. Must not be abusive…verbally, physically, mentally or spiritually. No addictions. No psychotic or stalker tendencies. Generous. Romantic. Most importantly…straight.

Loving a black woman is simple. Treat her with respect. Listen without trying to solve her problems. Be strong when she is weak. Don’t lie or cheat. And never, ever, sit back and watch her suffer.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Writing Tip #1

Recently, I've been receiving manuscripts to edit from aspiring writers. Although the manuscripts are from different writers with different storylines, the areas for improvement are similar. Initially, I found myself practically re-writing the material trying to fill in the gaps. The first manuscript that I edited took eight solid hours on just the first chapter. By the time I finished, I had added several pages and felt as though I was re-writing the novel. Then I stopped myself and stepped back from the manuscript. Rather than redo another writer's work, I decided to take off my writer's hat and become an editor. That's when I realized that the role of a writer is clearly different than an editor's role. As a writer, I wanted to write. As an editor, I needed to edit. That's it. Leave the writing to the writer.

For aspiring writers, I recommend showing rather than telling. As tempting as it may be to throw in a bunch of narratives to explain particular actions or events, it's far more compelling to show the reader. Allow the story to unfold. One of my favorites is progressing the story through dialogue. It gives you insight into the character without making it seem like an afterthought. If dialogue doesn't move the story along, it needs to be changed or omitted. Another thing, conversations between the characters should flow naturally. Dialogue shouldn't seem forced or disjointed. Last, give your characters distinct voices. They shouldn't all "sound" the same. Give each character their own personality and allow it to come to "life" when they speak.