Thursday, September 27, 2018

Character Motivation and Believability -- Writing Tip

One of the biggest challenges a writer will face is creating a believable character. To be believable, the reader has to understand the character's motives, and, if we want an interesting story, those motives are likely to be complex.

Complex motives are what creates interesting characters because these lead to interesting actions.

BUT. . . .

The motives still need to be believable. 

Make sure you know why your characters are doing what they're doing, and make sure there's a pattern of behavior. 

If Sam is going to steal a car, we need to know she knows how to hotwire a car or where to find the keys. We need to know she's pissed at the car's owner. We need to know that this behavior is exactly in line with who she is. 

Little seeds, planted throughout your narrative, bear big fruit.

Okay. That was corny. But you get the point. :D

Be Brilliant!


Thursday, September 20, 2018

On Villains -- Writing Tip

It's so easy to create a stock "villain" who wreaks havoc on the world (or maybe just your protagonist)--evil for the sake of being evil or just a tool to advance the plot. . . . 

It's harder to create a well-rounded villain with his own beliefs and motivations and justifications for what he does. A believable villain should always have his own "why."

If you can make the reader understand this "why" and feel for your villain (i.e. they can identify with him)? Well, that deserves bonus points.

Be Brilliant!


Monday, September 17, 2018

Ideas vs. Action

It's so much easier to think about what we want to write than it is to actually write it.
It's so much easier to fantasize about the creation than it is to create it.
It's so much easier to talk about all the great things we could do than it is to actually do them. 
It's so much easier to ignore that pull than it is to step up and admit we might actually have something important to share with the world.

Do you see the pattern here?

Everything we have in this world was once an idea that was acted upon.

The idea alone isn't enough. 

The action--the follow-up--is what matters.

Because the book in your hands is worth way more than the book in your head.

Be Brilliant!


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Characters and Change

To be interesting, our characters need to learn from their experiences. They need to grow and change over the course of the narrative. 

As a people, though, we're not really fans of change. In fact, we're pretty resistant to it. A lot of us are firmly rooted in our opinions and beliefs. Sometimes we'll go through something that makes us question and adapt, but most of the time we are who we are and we don't really veer off course.  

But for a character, it's not that simple. Your reader wants to see progress, and in order for a big change to be believable, we need to see a pattern of smaller (but still believable) changes. 

In Cross My Heart, we accept Jaden's choice (in Parker) because she's spent most of the story shedding that "good girl" image. Each chapter she does something that pulls her closer to him and away from who she was. They're little things, but they add up, and, by the end, it's easier to believe she's a different person because of Parker. 

Use those seemingly small, insignificant changes and insights to your advantage. They prepare us for the bigger change to come.

Be Brilliant!


Friday, September 7, 2018

Happy Release Day! RISE is LIVE!

First, a huge THANK YOU!

Thank you for your comments and kind words, your enthusiasm, for everyone who pre-ordered RISE. . . . I have the BEST readers in the world. Truly.

I also appreciate everyone who's reached out in recent days: Danielle, who called RISE "hold your breath amazing," and Sonia, who said it was "tragically and devastatingly beautiful."

Be still my heart, you guys.

Ana at The Book Hookup also posted a fantastic (5-star!!!) review. You can read it here.

In fact, I may adopt a new tagline.

Katie Klein: making readers swoon, cry, and sigh since 2011. :P

She has great taste, so make sure you're following her on Twitter, too.

So . . . Release Day!

That means RISE is officially live.

Here are the ebook links: 

The paperback version is Coming Soon. I'm still waiting on the proof (delayed due to Labor Day holiday). Keep an eye on the blog for that announcement.

In honor of Release Day, I'm putting both CROSS MY HEART AND COLLATERAL DAMAGE ON SALE for the weekend. 

If you'd like to help promote, feel free to steal this tweet:
It’s #HappyReleaseDay (RISE) and CROSS MY HEART and COLLATERAL DAMAGE are BOTH on sale! @katiekleinbooks #YA #Romance

If you'd like to help promote RISE, feel free to post the link and info anywhere you can. You can link to the store or my blog, or even share/retweet the posts I send out. Every effort (no matter how small it may seem) matters.

These early weeks are *so* important for new books. If you do happen to read (and enjoy! *fingers crossed*) RISE, I hope you'll consider leaving a rating/review. It doesn't have to be long, but these help point other potential readers my way.

And finally, thank you again for your enthusiasm and support over the years. I'm so excited to have a new book out in the world, and I'm looking forward to releasing many more.

(And I promise it won't take five years next time!!) ;)


Monday, September 3, 2018

On Masterpieces

I love going to art museums and taking in the different works on display. From ancient civilizations to the modern era, it's fascinating to me what society has determined are the pieces that best represent the time or genre--the "masters."

Here's the thing about art museums and galleries, though: what we're seeing, quite often, is the best of that artist's best.

Their masterpiece.

If you're a struggling artist, still searching for your proverbial "voice," a museum can be equal parts inspiring and disheartening.

As creators, it would be infinitely more encouraging if we could see what's sometimes UNDER that masterpiece because it's most likely a failed attempt. It would be better if we could see the dozens of sketches the artist completed BEFORE he reached that apex, creating the one drawing he would be remembered for.  

Because in a museum we see the masterpiece, but we don't always have a firm grasp on the years it took for the artist to reach that point. Because for every painting that commands attention, there are dozens (or hundreds or thousands) of attempts that ended up in the trash (or were painted over). We see the final product, but we aren't privy to the process.   

We read a book that both amazes us and leaves us feeling like we'll never write something so great, but we don't consider the number of drafts and amount of editorial feedback it took to pull everything together. We don't consider the number of manuscripts that didn't work and were tucked away. 

The point is: 

Don't compare your first attempts to someone else's masterpiece.

Know the masterpieces when you see them, appreciate them, but don't forget the training, the years of practice, and the failures weathered to bring that one work to fruition.

Keep the story behind the creation in mind, and keep working on yours.

Be Brilliant!