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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: (Fiction from the Street)

Ever hear the saying, "Where the rubber meets the road,"? Well it usually refers to where everything comes down to the bottom line, brass tacks, or end of the road. Don't you just hate the overuse of cliché'?
 Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I suggested in my last post that the best root for Urban Fiction was the truth we find about the nature of man as recorded in the Bible. I know, I know, some of you may be saying what in the world does the Bible have to do with street-life. But think about it, what is street life other life where you live.

In this vein called Urban Fiction we see all around us the seeds and roots of good fiction in everyday life. I mentioned how one set of brothers, moved by jealousy, sold their younger brother into Egyptian slavery. Pride, fear, lust, and hatred all act as parts of the baser human nature. When we read the papers or watch the newscast, then we can look around us and see those same elements reflected within the sphere of your own culture. That is the beginnings of good fiction, good Urban Fiction.

Someone once said, sorry I can't remember the man's name, "Fiction is just truth that hasn't happened yet." So as you search your soul for the seeds of your next storyline, take a moment and look around you and see life happen. Then recreate those stories as reflected in your own cultural norm.

Now take a minute and make a note of three dynamic things you observed today. Now imagine that roadside accident you saw earlier happened because a desperate15 year-old stole her step-dad's car because she was trying to escape an atmosphere a child sexual abuse. Wow! What a story lead. Now find your own thread and create the next great piece of Urban Fiction.


  1. Wow! Interesting take on what you think "Urban Fiction" really is. The definition that you give is actually almost identical to other definitions of this genre of writing; however, if you look at the books being categorized as "Urban Fiction" they are often erotic and pornographic novels. I love how you challenge this, and try to get readers and writers to see that urban fiction does not have to be what it is currently believed to be.

  2. Very insightful read, and good advice for writers pondering on what storyline to develop. This is Author, G. D. Grace. Keep up the good work! Ray!

  3. Ray,
    That last paragraph gave me chills. I always say we shouldn't be so quick to judge others because we really can't know their story! We never know what goes on in someone's life even if they tell us. The depths of each person's reality that affect that person's perspective are so incredibly hard to reach! It sure gives the writer's imagination room to work though! Great post!