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This blog was featured on 06/18/2018
Katherine Center's Success on Writing Real Women
Written by
She Writes
June 2018
Written by
She Writes
June 2018

Katherine Center, author of the instant New York Times bestseller How to Walk Away, is a Houston native with a knack for writing stories about inspiring women who are up against something bigger than they could’ve ever imagined.

Katherine is paving the way for writers like her to explore the true depths of human emotion and sacrifice. Through six novels, she has learned the most crucial elements of writing a women’s fiction novel that will inspire women to get back up when life knocks them down. Center’s heartfelt writing style and attention to detail is something all writers can learn to emulate, no matter their preferred genre.

Why It’s OK to Write A Heartbreaking Story

Center isn’t afraid to deliver real stories with heartbreaking twists and she knows the value of a story that manages to find light even in the darkest of times. In a recent interview with Houston Chronicle, Katherine said this about why she writes books with difficult subjects:

“The theme I seem to come back to is how we pick ourselves back up after life has knocked us down. And it’s because I’m not really good at that. It’s very easy for me to be like, ‘Well, it’s hopeless’ and throw myself on the floor. So I am fascinated by how other people do it.”

Enhancing Your Writing Time by Unplugging

Center has a unique writing routine, sharing with USA Today’s Happy Ever After her best tips for getting the writing done:

“Total human isolation works well for me. I do my best, most focused, fastest writing when I spend four or five days completely alone. I really have to physically remove myself — for first drafts, at least, when I’m really shaping something out of nothing and laying down that first thread of the story. I also have an app that locks me out of Facebook.”

On Writing A Hopeful Story

Writers often take the gloom and doom approach when it comes to their writing because it oftentimes feels like the easier option. When asked by the Houston Chronicle about the difficulty of writing a story full of so much hope, Center had this to say:

“I think it is much, much harder. I think we are so jaded these days in life that it’s really, really easy to be suspect of anything that doesn’t make an argument that the world is terrible. This is especially true in literary fiction, which I grew up on and love. The world of literature has a lot on the topic of how things are bad. We English majors are very good at writing those stories!”

Writing A Captivating Story Within the Confines of a Limited Setting

Center’s main character in How to Walk Away spends a lot of her time in a hospital. When being interviewed by the Writing Fun Podcast, she talked about ways in which she made the story intriguing despite the drab setting:

“The trick was to make it exciting and thrilling even though she’s kind of confined for a portion of the book. The way that I tried to do that was to stay very close to the interior of her psyche and her heart as she’s facing all of these hard things.”

The Way Setting Affects Your Characters

Born and raised in Texas, Center can’t help but write about the women who have influenced her life. While talking to Houston Chronicle she had a few things to say about the way those closest to her inspire her work:

“I was raised around all really fantastic kinds of Texas women. There’s a special quality that women in Texas have. I think we all know what I’m talking about. But I write about Houston (or Texas) because it’s such a comforting place to me. I’ve lived here almost my entire life. I have so many rich layers of memory; it’s so evocative for me. So it creates this rich soil to plant the seed of these characters.”

Katherine Center has always been the type of writer who isn’t afraid to confront the doom and gloom that often comes with life, but with her knowledge of human emotion and the curveballs life throws at you, she finds a way to break through the darkness and bring a new light and deep sense of hope to her characters and the stories they tell. If her numerous interviews show anything about her as a writer, it is clear that her best advice is to stay true to your story and the heart behind it.

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