When I started writing, I wasn’t surprised that love stories became my first instinct. Relationships fascinated me and still do today. That connection that makes you more than friends, that desire for affection and the dream of finding your soulmate. What I didn’t expect were all these subplots that would reveal themselves as I wrote. Arrests, cover-ups, Bonnie and Clyde type runarounds, illegal desires, suspect motives—it was all pouring onto my pages with feverish abandon (thanks, Dad. I blame him for my love of thrillers). But I didn’t mind, because the whole time I was thinking HELL YES as a new twist unfurled, but it did not take me long to realize that the more moving parts I had, the harder it was to keep them all in line. And that’s the major difficulty: keeping track of every intricacy and maintaining a believable love story at the same time.
I finished my draft and—well, crap. Mystery was at an all-time high, my characters were running around trying to catch a killer or cover their tracks, but it became clear that my main plot, my love story, had a great burden to carry. It almost disappeared under the weight of crime-solving. Looking at my first draft, I was discouraged. Despairing. Disappointed. All sad words beginning with “D.” Man, I was over my head. I wanted to give up altogether because all I could think of was every mistake, no matter how small, would be discovered by the reader. One thing I try not to do is rip a reader out of an intense scene and say, “wait, what?” at some unpredicted misfire of mine. Of course not everything is avoidable, but it helps if I catch most of these doozies!
But see, all writers feel this way after their first draft , and this is the best advice I’ve ever encountered. Your first draft is practically crap. It doesn’t make sense, your ideas are meshed together as gobbledygook, your characters are out of their damn minds… combining romance and suspense is no different. The point of a first draft is to get it all down, pour out your creativityand pen down all the things you want to make happen. It takes time to unravel, to understand that oh yes, this part belongs here, not there. I’m okay with my mistakes because it makes me go deeper into the plot to really make things sing. It also makes my characters believable. I decide to keep some mistakes for the simple fact that it makes sense for a character (i.e. a human just like me) to think that way. Taking a breather and coming back with fresh eyes, analyzing your manuscript critically instead of dreamily…you might see where I’m going here…
REVISIONS! Every additional draft looks better. Plot holes are found and filled, lovebirds are given more scenes together to make their story more believable at the same time a unknown killer is lurking (another difficult intricacy—not revealing my killer until the very end).
It may seem daunting (ha), but I’ve found, with revisions and advice and downright stubborn determination, you can be successful at any plot you want. So you envision dragons owning a coffee shop in Manhattan? Do it! You want a business man who turns into a hummingbird at night and goes around saving ladies from walking into traffic by beaning them in the neck with his beak? Fine! Just know that it’s no cakewalk, frustration abounds, but always, ALWAYS keep the end product in mind.
Because with all the effort you’ve put in, you will never be prouder to achieve your dream. You wrote a freaking book!
Ketley Allison began her career by writing books as birthday presents for her friends (with her friend as the main character and opposite a super sexy lead, of course) before ending it in order to walk down a path she thought she was supposed to follow.
The writing bug never left her–and, in fact, would often bleed into the official papers she was supposed to write–so now Ketley’s putting down her suit and finally following her dream. While her friends are no longer the stars o
f her books, she still throws in bits and pieces of them into each and every one of her characters.
As a result, her books tend to focus a lot on friendships as well as love, because let’s be honest, friends are what really get you through–especially when your epic love turns into epic heartbreak.
Learn more about Ketley by visiting her at www.ketleyallison.com
Snapped Series by Ketley Allison
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
WHO WILL SNAP?
Snapped is Ketley’s New Adult Contemporary series with all the romance you’d expect, but the killer—and lovers—that you don’t.
“We have someone who saw you struggling with the deceased before using that knife. Your best friend, and our eye witness.”
In nine weeks Charlie Miller’s life goes from high-rolling perfection to a crypt of sin. All it takes is one night, one blade, and her boyfriend, best friend and new friends all either end up as suspects or dead.
Nate Westcott, a pierced, tattooed, charismatic lawyer, is a man she can’t have—but a seductive danger she can’t ignore. He’s cocky, infuriating, brilliant and wrong, yet he makes her question whether she really is the good girl she wants to be or more like the selfish killer everyone thinks she is.
And her body wants him in ways she’s not supposed to crave.
As the weeks close in, cracks start forming in her everyday world of pro football golden boys, law school domination and New York City nightlife. Everyone she cares about is at risk because one of them doesn’t love Charlie back. In fact, they want her out of the way. Disposed of. Set up.
One more step, and all Charlie has to do is fall through.
Week 1 starts now.