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The Harlemville Blog – Part 2

I’d like to inform you, Harlemville is not your typical Urban Lit novel, ie. The exotic car, big bootie scantily clad chicks and shirtless males with a glock stuck in a waist. Those book covers do sell, but the storylines always remain the same. I needed more substance, essentially I wanted a story readers could sink their teeth into, so the formula for Harlemville maintains the elements of the streets, in an earlier time frame.

My readers demographics remembers music out in the parks. Heard the stories and knew the names of the Hustlers the streets paid handsomely. British Walkers, Playboys and Sharkskin slacks. AJLester’s, need I go on? Time when police shot warning shots in the air, or tripped your running ass up with the night stick cause they wasn’t gonna chase you. That era. When a 32oz and a tray bag lit up a small crew. I think you get my drift, and if you don’t then read Harlemville to understand the era your parents or grandparents lived.

Had to reveal the cover art for Harlemville I’m too hype to shroud Harlemville in secrecy. Besides, I need my damn fan base, so another teaser will have to do. Out of the 15 or so cover designs in the mix, Including my first cover designed on the strength of my ppl, @roadie_empire (check it below).

The chosen design (top) was developed using a freelancer on the Fiverr App. The back drop is too dark to notice in the top image, but it is a cityscape, gritty and dark capturing the essence of Harlemville’s theme. The split screen was my idea, the stock photos of the journals are the objects that set off the conflict in the Harlemville novel.

The second image (top right) are mathematical formulas displaying the collegiate caliber of the journals containing chemical formulas used to create a variation of designer drugs.

Today I am granting a surprise that will sure to please. A hint was dropped a couple of blogs ago, about releasing a synopsis of sorts. I did have a theme for this week’s blog, but most of the time when writing your sub-conscious takes over an all sorts of amazing things happen, like a sneak peak into the world of Harlemville. Enjoy!

A synopsis of sorts:

Rawley Ballor, founder of the Black Republicans, an organization created to monopolize the Vice District, and surrounding drug zones of top sellers under one clique. Schooled in the way of old Italians as a youngin, now merging the knowledge of the street’s underworlds and academia after obtaining a Masters Degree in Chemistry, to monopolize drug production and distribution in Harlem.

Rules, regulations and formulas are described in three journals, nicknamed, The Drug Game Bible. Membership into the Black Republican’s is by invitation only every five years and all big time Harlem drug dealers want in.

Fatboy and Dee, founders of the Enterprise crew are nominated. A low-key crew raking in thousands a day selling tin-foiled dimes of coke in front a building. To become members all they have to do is raise half a million initiation fee.

A message from Big Cuban, a protege of Bolito, a former associate of Rawley’s when he ran the streets, hits up Fatboy. Steal the journals and your initiation fee is guaranteed in cash, amongst bonus and perks. Fatboy recruits, Squirrel, the Enterprise’s top earner with a penchant for coming up short on money. Deal accepted.

With the main journal in his possession, Big Cuban deciphers a formula creating an addictive, off the market narcotic. The pills sales are assigned to Squirrel. He recruits his smoke dealer Jitt Black, a young project kid with a need and want of a new pair of sneakers, anxious to work the pills out in Union Square Park, and leave the loose joint sales behind. Successful high sales for Jitt Black leads to a meeting with Fatboy. With a proposal for Jitt Black. (Set up Squirrel, and takeover the operations for self) testing his loyalties to pull him further into uncharted territory.

Rumors abound all lead back to one man. Did the order come from Rawley Ballor?

Jitt Black loyal to Squirrel or the Enterprise?

A sneak peak for ya ass. The tense plot drama don’t end there. More characters, more storylines support the main plot branching out to increase the tension.

Harlemville is a three book series, part of the Black Republicans Saga.

A must read, written by a new author, ten years in the making.

I think I said to much, don’t want to upset the publisher.

Writer’s Write…, Farewell til forever…

Ahmad C. Wakanda

The Harlemville Blog

Welcome new writers reading The Harlemville Blog for the first time, or if you’re a returning reader, thank you kindly. Everyone following The Harlemville Blog I hope we meet in the world so I can by you a drink at your favorite watering hole. Reader support is everything at this early stage of my writing experience. And for those skipping through browsing The Harlemville Blog content, follow and subscribe, no annual fees. Support your local writer. I will not forget any of Harlemville’s supporters. (Hint) Enough said on that topic, today.

My hope is the writing references displayed in last week’s blog were useful to anyone stepping their writing game up. The particular references I’m certain you noticed were element specific, and were some of my earliest purchases to improve on my writing weaknesses with scene development. Meaning, I didn’t have a clue what to buy, I was cover hunting and the titles fit what my weaknesses were (are). If you missed the reference cover push, back track to last week’s blog post. I’ll be posting more of my writing references shortly all depends when I get around to snap the images.

Just a mention since most writing references include writing exercises, truth be told I don’t work the exercises by the letter. Exercises are included in reference books to reinforce related topics and are useful and helpful, but I normally substitute an equivalent item from a troubling sentence, paragraph or narrative I may have experienced while I crafting Harlemville.

Harlemville is ten years in the making. A multitude of drafts filed in a bankers box for prosperity. Multi-plot twist, keeping track of who what & where and how it concludes is a daunting task. Currently I’ve been reviewing each chapter for events summarizing scene by scene so no conflict is left unresolved, unless it will carry over into my second volume due in 2021. This process creates a map of your story development. During this phase edits take place, you get to see story in a new light. New avenues are created, inspiration comes alive again, and it makes sense so issues are resolved.

As the writing process for Harlemville winds down, a new phase of involvement begins, securing copyright and ISBN bar codes. Not my forte, this is a legal procedure pertaining to dividends, and if it’s my just deserves to be paid, I want it. Better than letting someone else profit off your efforts while you’re in the rain without and umbrella.

The cover art is completed for Harlemville, As I conclude Harlemville manuscript I am on track for a December 2019 release. Promotions for Harlemville instinctively feels right at this current time in its production. In the back of my head are simmering thoughts of launch locations, not to mention launch protocols. At some time I will have to get professionals involved in various aspects of Harlemville editing and marketing. A huge step because now budgets are involved. Professional editing will happen late September, early October after I exhausted my efforts. At some point I have to let it go, hence deadlines are a must to forward the process.

Intersection of Edgecombe & Bradhurst in the Sugar Hill section of Harlem. A key scene in Chapter 2 of Harlemville takes place.

An artist rendering of Harlemville, N.Y. The significance reveals itself in the latter Chapters of Harlemville. No spoiler alert here.

Next Sunday 1pm est, like clockwork The Harlemville blog publishes. Topics I’d like to discuss will be judging a book by its cover, when we we taught since first grade not too.

Writers write…, Farewell till forever…

Ahmad C. Wakanda

New writers welcome…

New writers are welcome to Harlemville blog for numerous reasons and today I’d like to spell the significance of shared knowledge.

As a new writer penning my first novel titled, Harlemville, I sometimes find myself lost along the journey. With the Big Six publishing houses there are ready teams of genre, and editor specific individuals to guide you through your entire novel. I have no team. There are individuals I can call, for questions that need answering but I always feel I’m imposing on their personal or creative time. There are blogs I subscribe to that will answer my questions, but there is no one providing step by step instructions from blank paper to a polished product listing of Harlemville on Amazon. I am concluding writing of Harlemville this month of August.

Next step is marketing, which consists of cover design, copyrights. ISBN’s and probably a few other necessities pertinent to ready Harlemville for sale, online and the streets. Intuitive knowledge is my method. Is it correct, and in an orderly fashion? I don’t know. More likely I’ll forget something, a step that should have been taken already. This is the reason for the blog. As well as building a damn fan base. I’m raw, with life I’m still living, I have yet to commit more than fifty percent of my daily life or nightly life to writing. That’s honesty for your ass. Constantly on my mind, is Harlemville. The marketing, the storylines for the 2nd & 3rd volume. Am I spinning a character off for their own ventures. How to sell Harlemville to the masses. Writing other genres. Deep down, this is a good problem. A description of passion in motion to follow through on a promise to self. I don’t want to be a writer with stories that sit in boxes, never to be completed. I write a story at a time, now I do have plenty of titles with story ideas, at the ready. But until Harlemville is complete, I will not be writing them. A couple of blogs back I promised some writing references, below I inserted a few that are more story element specific, take a look below:

The books above were purchased when I was beginning to get my feet wet in the world of writing. Again these are references that should be used often when your tackling a particular problem during the writing process. Next week, a reveal of sorts, stay tuned.

Writers write…., Farewell til forever…..

Harlemville blog: What is your optimal write time?

Heart of the summer, do you feel the heat outside? Writing under central air conditioning drinking a tall glass of lemonade enjoying a breath-taking mountainous view is my zone.

If you’ve been following the Harlemville blog regularly you should be getting a sense of thought patterns a new writer experience’s writing a first time novel. I’m working hard to refrain from the term trial and tribulations, because it’s not. Writing is a process, and like any process errors can occur, and when errors are corrected that’s when learning takes place.

One key mention I’d like to touch base with is finding an optimal time to write. I talked of portability which enables you get ideas out ur head while on the go. But more importantly, a new writer needs a program. Setting a time to write, a schedule of an uninterrupted block. A comfortable quiet place to let your creative juices flow uninhibited. I believe more content will be produced as well as a pre-conditioning of ur sub-conscious to perform creatively by consistently writing at a set time and place. Unfortunately, three days a week in my zone is what I can afford out life’s schedule. My loft space is perfect, provides an eye pleasing vista when I’m contemplating my next sentence or word, and a semi-private disconnect from the household particularly, between midnight and dusk, my optimal writing hours.

Another theme I’d like to reiterate for our new readers is why the Harlemville blog? Several reasons propelled me to start. First, writing is my go to, my something to do that does not require a kit that must be purchased before you start. All you need is a pen and some paper and whatever comes to mind, just write. You will be so surprised of the hodgepodge of ideas twirling around in our heads. After a page or two, stop. Read. Guarantee a theme will reveal itself. That’s the sub-conscious working. Writing a story is an outlet, a hobby, a career and a legacy to leave behind when ur gone.

Secondly, with an indie release approaching of my new novel, Harlemville, is set for December, I need a damn fan base. Who are my demographics ? It’s the Hip Hop generation. Those ages between 45 and 60 years old that remember hearing and watching the biggest musical genre in the world get its start out in the parks. I’m proud to be a part of that culture, it’s who I am, that era where my learning curve was formed. The Sixth Element.

Next week’s blog, a Harlemville synopsis of sorts. If your still trying to get your head wrapped around what is Harlemville, definitely tune in next week.

Writers write.., Farewell till forever….

The Sixth Element of Hip Hop inspired Harlemville…

A blog scribed by a new writer chronicling his journey writing a first novel. And along the way sharing helpful tips, referrals and ideas or suggestions which improves writing for myself and others.

Release of my first novel, titled, Harlemville is tentatively set for December 2019.

When it comes to ideas for storylines inspiration can be drawn from everyplace imaginable. Most times life’s experiences are a basis for stories, or a weird daydream starts you plotting a tale with, ‘what if’? Maybe a conversation you ear hustled while standing in line at the shopping center caused you to laugh, and you figured others may find it comical as well. There is absolutely no restrictions limited to the imagination for inspiration in crafting a story.

I want to be specific with the inspiration that prompted me to write Harlemville. It touches close to a synopsis, but no cigar.

Growing up in a NYC housing projects in the ’70’s offered me a full social existence, as compared to a suburban upbringing. My closest neighbor was next door, not the next house over. My best friends lived in the same building as opposed to the next block, or three houses over. And if that wasn’t enough, there were eight other buildings where our friends lived, so my choice of acquaintances was wide.

Growing up poor wasn’t unique to my situation. The projects geographic location placed me in one of the poorest areas or sections of the Bronx. At a young age, I didn’t know poor. The neighborhood center provided opportunities to travel on trips, I participated in day and summer camps, and a selected few, like myself went to Disney World when it opened in 1971.

Always with a label attached –disadvantaged youth. Now my mom worked, everyday, but there never seemed to be enough. As a young male teen, hormones raging and eyes open gaining a perspective to my surroundings, I recognized my role models.

In hindsight most young men in the 1960s that were drafted into the Vietnam War, most all came back hooked on drugs, or experienced mental issues. That situation placed a limit on men in my neighborhood that would be positive role models. In that era a generation was literally taken away. Who remained were the number runners, drug dealers and hustlers, which were impressive with their dress, money and overall swag.

As my teenage years came about, drugs were prevalent, Hip-Hop hit the scene along with DJ’s, Mc’s, B-boy’s, Graffiti & Fashion The five elements that are widely recognized as making up that scene.

My characters make up the Sixth Element. The least talked about or associated with Hip Hop. The focus was always money. The parties weren’t free. The Sixth Element provided the substances for an enhanced enjoyment of that new scene in our lives.

We were the ones posted up on the wall by the bathroom — fresh cut, two finger rings, chains hanging wearing brand new everything head to toe. The ones that provided the all white powder, the smoke and whatever else was needed to stay in the groove. On the scene for the new music, fly girls, but most of all to make money.

The background I revealed is the basis of the era and situations my characters represent.

We represented the Sixth Element in Hip Hop. The Hustlers. You heard right. How can one forget they we were part of that scene. DJ, MC, Graffiti, BBoys, Fashion and yes, Hustlers. It leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, and is not the most popular aspect, yet it is just as prevalent as the music itself. Without it, that bass would not have the super thump, most boys probably wouldn’t have the courage to speak to a chick without it.

I grew up without shit, but the basic necessities. I wanted more, and saw much especially during my escapades downtown to Harlem. Individuals in my age group, wore designer clothes, were well groomed and something small as buying food from outside to eat was a regular. That was my reality.

And in real life, like in Harlemville, a main character, Jitt Black is motivated to enter the life simply because he wanted a pair of premium sneakers that his mom was unable to afford to impress a Harlem fly girl he fell in lust with.

The means leads him on a path and deepens his involvement in an organization that plays the game for keeps.

I’ll end the tease there.

Harlemville will be going to full edit in October. Currently the work taking place is patching any holes, if you will. This is my first novel. I’m proud of my progress.

More writing references next week., until then…

Writers Write…., Farewell til Forever…

Taking Harlemville portable…, and Writing References…

Good afternoon readers, hope all is well and if not, look for a positive, grab that energy and let good vibe offset ur burden til things turn around.

Glad you guys have been following, for new readers, I’m a new writer and this blog is highlighting my journey learning to craft my first novel. And it is a craft, a process filled with writes and rewrites, not to mention the frustrations. No one I know crafts a story correctly on the first take, although there are a few masters that can achieve that euphoria. For the remaining 99% every version is a draft waiting on a rewrite, so have patience, don’t quit on the process.

Diving right in to the main topic–

As I look back on my writing journey, I’ve been building Harlemville in layers. Let me explain what I mean. When I’m working on which direction I’m taking a sentence, paragraph or story line idea, I’ll start off with a basic sentence and allow my instincts to take my fingers on a ride along the keyboard. Whether it’s a narrative, exposition or dialogue, not necessarily in that order, I’ll get the idea out my head, then elaborate when I know which direction I’m taking. My point, when writing you don’t have to write a creative or elaborate sentence on the first write. If that’s your method, by all means continue. Im a stickler for getting ideas out even if it doesn’t make sense yet, I’ll clean it up later. Keep it simple, simply to get the idea on paper and out ur head.

I mentioned in a previous blog using Word for my writing platform in creating the manuscript for Harlemville. It works, with shortcomings. When I’m out and about and the perfect line pops in my head, now I’m writing notes on napkins, which gets thrown away cause I wiped my nose with it, forgetting that the best line in the novel was just tossed. It happens.

I’ll continue searching for a writing platform compatible and with relative ease for converting to ebook. At the current time, I use Google Docs. Its flexibility allows me to read, update and share Harlemville from my smart phone. Online or offline. Whenever an idea pops up, I write and the updates are saved automatically across my writing peripherals. The flexibility of writing from anywhere you are, waiting for your beautician or barber, on a bus or train, and doctor or dentist office is great. Turn downtime into write time, and there will be no idea that got away.

Below is a list of references to assist writers of all levels and have helped tremendously boosting my knowledge of the technical aspect of writing:

A must have for any writer…

Technical to say the least, but helpful in all writing situations.

Introduces an overview for writing novels…

A fantastic read of the principles involved to craft a memorable story. One of my favs…

Let me put it this way. If you are going to self-publish, this reference book is for you. Beth Hill explains the process like an old friend. This is a new addition to my reference library. Covers all aspects of writing a novel, and more. This is my favorite reference and it goes where I go.

Disclaimer: I do not get paid to endorse the above mentioned titles.

I’m merely introducing, I suggest you read specifics for yourself to determine if the above mentioned references supports your writing needs. I will introduce five additional references in next week’s blog, so please visit. Also I’m going to delve into what inspired me to write Harlemville, and provide tips on how to draw inspiration for your writings.

Writers write…, Farewell until forever…

Harlemville in progress… was

Thank you for anyone that visited the page. And for those that are following Harlemville a big kudos, may this ride be enjoyable for you as it is for me. Sharing the writing process displaying my journey crafting my first novel, is my way of paying it forward. I have reached out to others when I began the task and If you’re a beginning writer like myself, I hope at least a sliver of information will be beneficial.

I am by no means an expert of the English language, pronunciation, grammar, sentence structure, character or story arc, rising conflict resolution, dialogue or any other aspect regarding crafting a story. I am, and will always be a student of writing and will continue sharing what Im learning during the process of crafting Harlemville.

A disclaimer to avoid any misunderstandings of my blog’s intent.

In addition, I am working on building a fan base, and urge readers to follow the Harlemville blog.

I’m shooting for a deadline of Oct. 15, 2019 to complete the Harlemville manuscript. With editing and final prep, I expect to bring Harlemville to market, Dec. 15, 2019, my target release date.

Self publishing is the route I will pursue.

This is my second blog post and I will let loose a few excerpts to whet my readers appetites. I’m contemplating discussing the synopsis, that aspect I need to consider, dependent upon if it’ll serve as a positive or negative. But before that happens I once again urge new writers, and readers to follow Harlemville blog posts, Your actions informs me, that readers are listening. so I truly welcome comments and thoughts.

My publishing schedule for new blog entries is weekly, 1pm on Sundays.

To continue the Harlemville novel writing process, I blogged of last week, the story is out my head, and a light outline has been set. I’m sitting with about 40 pages of a first draft printed out from an email. Reading pages of email, particularly a story typed freehand, single space and not formatted, is not appealing to read, hard on the eyes. I found Word, the first writing platform I formatted. I selected Times Roman, 12 point font, double spaced. After digesting writing books, that is the suggested format if you plan on submitting a manuscript. I would suggest checking with the publisher you plan on submitting too, for their requirements. Once format was set, I cranked out about 450 words for the second draft. More scenes, new plot line opened. This happened once I opened up. I kept reminding myself, this is my story, I can take it wherever I want it to go, it was an unconscious writing procedure. I truly let my instincts go on the second draft. After some clean up, to the best of my abilities at the time, I submitted for critique.

My initial critique, from Robert L Bacon, his blog site, A Perfect Write, forced me to rethink my introduction and the first Three chapters. Keeping in mind, a slogan from a from a very good friend, ‘Typos be damned,’ during that stage.

First Three Chapters must grab the readers attention. The first sentence needs to be powerful. He provided examples from best sellers but I wasn’t there yet. My introduction many times, to the point I left it alone., and proceeded to building and tightening the body. I let my introduction remain idle for years, while I worked on creating my story arcs, character arcs and reading writing material on such subjects.

It wasn’t till last month, and I started in 2010, that I’m now comfortable with the beginning of my story. Growth happened, learning took place. I recognize weaknesses now, most important research had to take place. I needed to know how writers wrote. Books on writing, filled my cart on Amazon. As each was delivered, each was read. Over the months, then years I grew my knowledge. On rewriting, I was learning the questions to ask myself. Mind you this was not full time. I have a family, I have to live and be sociable. I did not isolate myself. I found time in between living, I made time, I was thinking about my characters development, and I have multiple characters to consider, Harlemville is my daydreams.

I have people telling me Harlemville should be finished, it doesn’t take 10 years to write a novel. Not in my mind, Harlemville was not ready. I am crafting a novel. As my knowledge of writing increased, Harlemville’s story got better. I educated my self on the writing process. That meant selecting writers blogs, that I felt comfortable with. Beth Hill, The Editors Blog by far had the best blog on every aspect of writing. Each time I read her blogs a question I did not ask is answered.

In summary, research, read blogs, invest in books on writing. By doing your research, you will get an idea of what books writer’s read as great references on writing. Next week, I’ll inform of my favorite writing reference, work on breaking down my writing references and provide titles.

Writers write…, until forever…