Every Monday through the end of April 2018, MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR focuses on the art and craft of writing, from Shannon’s perspective or that of guest authors.  To catch up on all posts, check out the MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR portion of the website!

This week welcomes a guest post from author Kailyn McFerrin, on writing believable characters.

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Guest Post from the Author

Writing a Believable Character


How do I handle character in my stories? I think about all the interesting people I’ve met and what makes one person stand out from another. It might be their looks, their voice, their clothing, their triumphs and tragedies, or the way they view life. I take these unique characteristics and find ways to make them even more interesting.


Just as in real life, characters on a page should change and develop throughout your story. This is a natural process and should happen to make them a more believable or likeable character. As an author, you can write without this type of development, but those stories are usually noted just for that reason – a character’s refusal or inability to learn or respond to the events surrounding them.


To develop a memorable story, don’t let your characters drift around in this arc. Plan their growth and reactions with events, interaction with other characters, and from inner turmoil or deep-seeded conflicts. Often characters are at war with themselves or their beliefs, and this can affect their growth or change for the better or worse.


Here are some things you might consider when attempting to create a multi-dimensional character in your story.


  • Do they have resentments, anger issues or grudges against someone in particular? You might call this their inner demons that haunt or distract them from moving forward in their life.


  • How do they feel about themselves? Often a character’s self-image is their greatest determent and what they preserve as a fault may not exist at all. For example, they might believe they’re ugly, insignificant, or inept. If any of these are the case, the changes they experience may not be recognized until the very end of your story.


  • Does something happen to cause immediate change? If your story involves a catastrophe, a rescue attempt by a mild mannered character could boost his moral and help him recognize his true potential or capabilities.


  • It could be your characters are resistance to change, which could stall their progression. Denial, rebellion, shock or disbelief would hold them back, but when realization takes hold and they open themselves up to possibilities, the change could be dramatic.


  • Most importantly…don’t force your characters to change through unnatural contrived situations. The change they undergo needs to feel natural and reactive to what’s going on around them. Admitting they’re wrong can be expected but shouldn’t be instantaneous or it’s simply not believable.


  • Your character’s choices, refusal to make decisions, and changes will affect other characters in your story too. This will set off other character developments, agendas, and reactions. Most people don’t live in a void and your character shouldn’t either. –Kaylin McFarren


From the Featured Author

From award winning author Kaylin McFarren
Twisted Threads Tour Graphic
Kaylin McFarren
Series: Threads Book 4
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Creative Edge Publishing LLC
Publication Date: November 20, 2017
The only thing sweeter than a secret is revenge
Twisted Threads
A family becomes an assassin’s target after a crime lord’s sister is brutally murdered in Kaylin McFarren’s latest erotic, psychological thriller, Twisted Threads.
Akira Hamada, a beautiful Japanese geisha, failed at killing Kaito Mitsui two years ago – the same yakuza gang leader who destroyed her lover and forced her to become an assassin. Now, with his sister’s murderer traveling to the Caribbean on a cruise ship, Akira has ten days at sea to identify her target and complete her assignment as her penance, or face her own death.
Devon Lyons, unaware that his aunt and uncle could be singled out and murdered, brings Akira into their lives. In searching for evidence to justify Mitsui’s revenge, she soon discovers that no one is who they seem to be. All the while, Devon is drawn into the mystery of mounting deaths on board the ship, putting his own life at risk.
With killers on the loose and no avenue for escape, tension is ratcheted to a breaking point, forcing everyone to choose between love and loyalty – or deeply held honor – in order to survive.

Purchase Links

Praise for Twisted Threads

Twisted Threads is a titillating page-turner that captivates from start to finish, and never fails to stimulate the senses.
– Brittney Decker, Foreword Reviews/Clarion Review

A tantalizing glimpse into a secret world of desire. Dive deep into the layers of this intoxicating blend of twisted pleasure and intricate mystery. Edgy, fierce, and undeniably stimulating.
– Alicia Tomelloso, San Francisco Book Review

Twisted Threads delivers a story full of suspense, lively, complex characters, and a sexy, fun-filled adventure. Followers of McFarren’s Threads series will be thrilled, and readers of this divertingly different, first-class murder mystery will be too.
– Angela Fox, Publisher, Clackamas Review/Oregon City News

An intelligent crime thriller infused with thwarted love and desperate desires, Twisted Threads makes a worthy new companion to McFarren’s earlier creations – Severed Threads, Buried Thread, Banished Threads.
– Barbara Bamberger Scott, Editor, A Women’s Write

A sexy mystery that brings the timeless themes of murder, revenge and family loyalty to the high seas. A great series for fans of romantic suspense.
– Bella Wright,

Book Tour Schedule

Ongoing now! Follow the book tour from November 30 – December 20, 2017.
Visit each tour stop daily and discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more!
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Twisted Threads Book Page at Book Unleashed.

Other Books by Kaylin McFarren

Be sure to check out the other books in the Threads series.
Severed Threads
Severed Threads (Book One)
A deep-sea diving expedition turns deadly, leaving bodies in the wake of this page-turning treasure hunting adventure
Buy Link:
“With plenty at stake, erotic chemistry, dastardly villains, a lost relic, an unusual setting, and a touch of the supernatural, this indie novel could stand on any romance publisher’s shelf. The full package of thrills and romance.”
– Kirkus Reviews
Buried Threads
Buried Threads (Book Two)
Overcoming death threats by the Japanese mafia is only the beginning in this heart-racing, action-packed thriller
Buy Link:
“If you’re a fan of murder mysteries but eschew the usual genre-formatted adventures that offer too-predictable protagonists and not enough depth, it’s time to take a look at Buried Threads: a horse of another color. More than a murder mystery, this mingles a treasure hunt, an international race against time, a dark prophecy, Japanese culture, erotic encounters and a clever killer’s modus operandi into a story that just won’t quit.”
– Diane Donovan, Senior Editor, Midwest Book Review
Banished Threads
Banished Threads (Book Three)
A romantic escape to England is far from restful when the lives of family members hang in the balance
Buy Link:
” Readers will get quite a thrill from McFarren’s latest Threads novel! Chase and Rachel are back in this fast-paced romantic suspense, based in an art gallery in England. It’s full of family drama, stolen art, kidnapping, and even more exciting sex between the globetrotting couple. The story moves along at a brisk pace with plenty of peripheral characters to keep things interesting.”
– Romantic Times


Twisted Threads Giveaway Graphic
5 Prizes up for grabs:
$50 Amazon Gift Card
Severed Threads (eBook)
Buried Threads (eBook)
Banished Threads (eBook)
Twisted Threads (eBook)
Hurry! Join now!
Contest runs from November 27 – December 20, 2017.

About Kaylin McFarren

Kaylin McFarren

Kaylin McFarren has received more than forty national literary awards, in addition to a prestigious Golden Heart Award nomination for Flaherty’s Crossing – a book she and her oldest daughter, Kristina McMorris, co-authored in 2008. Prior to embarking on her writing journey and developing the popular Threads action/adventure romance series, she poured her passion for creativity into her work as the director of a fine art gallery in the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon; she also served as a governor-appointed member of the Oregon Arts Commission. When she’s not traveling or spoiling her pups and three grandsons, she enjoys giving back to her community through participation and support of various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest, and is currently the president of the Soulful Giving Foundation – a non-profit focused on cancer research, care and treatment at hospitals throughout Oregon.
Connect with Kaylin McFarren on social media:

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