Title: Pretty Fierce
Author: Kieran Scott
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller & Mystery
Published Date: April 4, 2017
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
An action-packed, edge-of-your-seat novel about a teen who, when backed into a corner, fights back, from the author of What Waits in the Woods.
Kaia has been on the run her whole life. The daughter of professional assassins, she knows danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. After her parents vanished during a job gone bad, Kaia’s spent the last year in hiding, trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager, and there’s no one who makes her feel more normal, more special, than her boyfriend, Oliver.
But when she’s attacked by someone from her mother’s past and Oliver catches her fighting back, Kaia’s secret is exposed. In a split-second decision, she flees the small town, taking Oliver with her. Stalked at every turn, Oliver and Kaia must protect each other…or die trying.
How to create a character:
There are a lot of things to think about when you sit down and start to create a character. I usually like to start with the broad strokes—the things about the character that are going to drive the plot, because to me, plot is an extension of the character. The most important thing to figure out is What does my character want? What is his or her purpose in the story? In the case of Kaia in PRETTY FIERCE, she wants her family back, but she thinks that’s an impossibility, until some crazy man attacks her and implies her mom is still alive. Now, her truest desire is piqued. There may be a way to get her family back—at least part of it—and from that moment on, every move she makes, every decision she comes to, will be in service of fulfilling that desire. In every scene of Pretty Fierce, I had to come at Kaia from an angle of “How can she use this situation to get herself closer to an answer about her mom?” So there were moments when I had to wonder, Would she really stop to grab a burger if she was so close to another clue? Would she keep Oliver with her if she thought he might prevent her from getting what she wanted? What would her next logical move be in her mission to find her mother?
Now, this is not to say that she doesn’t have other wants and needs. She obviously does need to stop and eat once in a while, but someone on a mission like hers would probably grab something quick and not care much what it is. Whereas, someone whose mission is to become a better cook would eat all day, try different things, really think about the experience of tasting and savoring Someone whose mission was to impress a girl who liked spicy foods would seek out the most exotic restaurant he could find and eat the spiciest thing on the menu and try not to cry. Every decision a person makes says something about them, and that’s important to remember when writing a new character.
On a more practical level, one thing I like to do when I start out a story is answer a list of questions about my characters, from the most general, down to the most detailed. I have about fifty of them, and they’re questions I came up with myself., so you can feel free to make up your own list that suits the way you write. On my list, the first are things like name, age, parents, siblings, where they live and things like that. The more detailed are things like “What’s his/her favorite piece of clothing?” “What does he/she never leave the house without?” “What’s on the floor of his/her bedroom?” “Who was the last person he/she kissed?” Knowing these little things about a character helps you make them come alive for the reader and helps you understand the person you’re writing a bit better.
Every writer has their own way of doing things, but this is mine. I hope it helps spark some new ideas. Happy writing!
KIERAN SCOTT is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including the Non-Blonde Cheerleader trilogy, the He’s So/She’s So trilogy, and Geek Magnet. She also wrote the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Private and Privilege series under the pen name Kate Brian. She is a senior editor at Disney/Hyperion and resides in New Jersey with her family. Visit kieranscott.net.