Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
DiAnn Mills | 10 Ways to Deepen the Craft of Writing
Author Guest / September 6, 2019

Writers search for ways to add professionalism to their writing. They explore technique, study the how-to guides, and invest in quality software that helps them create dynamic fiction and nonfiction. The following 10 guidelines are proven methods to deepen the craft of writing. Develop three sentences describing the writing project. As difficult as this may sound, the clarity and conciseness not only help the writer focus on the writing project but also serve as a great pitch to share with others. Incorporate the five senses. Today’s readers yearn for an adventure. If the project is fiction, the reader must experience the story. If the project is nonfiction, the reader needs to be rooted in the material. Instill proper grammar. Nothing is more frustrating or throws a reader out of the experience more than poor grammar and punctuation. With textbooks and websites available to teach and correct our errors, there isn’t an excuse. My go-to editing tool is prowritingaid.com. I also value the word frequency counter at http://www.writewords.org.uk/word_count.asp. Paste a document into the site and it lists the number of times every word is used. Network with other writers. Most creative types see life with a bit of quirkiness. The truth…

DiAnn Mills | Brainstorming Your Novel
Author Guest / July 9, 2014

Every novelist reaches a plateau in which the perfect story idea isn’t coming together. The plot germ is there, but the theme, setting, characters, and storyline seem to spin out of control. By using the acronym, BRAINSTORM, you can bring the whirling to a halt and anchor your writing onto a firm foundation. Believe in yourself. You’ve been given the gift of writing, and you’re pretty good at it. You understand the craft, and you’re continuously educating yourself to add more tools and techniques. Realistic writing is what sells. No matter the genre, your storyline must be credible with identifiable characters who react and respond according to the traits you’ve assigned them. Analyze your basic idea. How can you grow your characters by making their goals difficult, perhaps impossible to reach? Inspire your readers to attempt and achieve great things. Fiction is truth. Jesus spoke in parables and through His stories, people gleaned meaning and purpose for their lives. Don’t preach your message. Let the reader see who your characters are by the way they tackle life’s challenges. Name your book and your characters. Why is this important? Because the title of a book gives the writer passion for the…

DiAnn Mills | Historical Romance vs the Princess Stories
Author Guest / January 10, 2011

I have a theory about historical romance. Think about my conclusions to see if you agree. When we were little girls, we loved pretending we were a princess. Disney animation instilled in us that we were princesses, and fairy tales kept us entertained for hours. We dreamed about our prince, and we dressed in long flowing gowns complete with crowns and magic wands. When we were able to read, we imagined ourselves as the princess in distress or even the princess who saved the day. So what does our girlhood pastimes have to do with historical romance? We grew into our teen years and attempted to put the princess syndrome to rest. Some of you succeeded. Others of us couldn’t put aside the fantasy world. The color pink and the cute guy with dreamy eyes held our attention. We devoured romance novels. After all, the heroine always fell in love with the perfect hero, and we knew their love would last forever. We grew older and married our prince, or I hope you did. Then we began to expand our reading horizons. And this is when historical romance moved into our reading pleasure. Stepping back into time lifts the reader…

DiAnn Mills | Expect an Adventure
Author Guest / October 18, 2010

Writing is a tough profession. The competition in today’s publishing world makes the strongest writers think twice about their commitment to excellence. But those of us who are lured by the magnificence of story are committed to creating a world where our readers slip into the shoes of our characters and are whisked away to an amazing thrill filled with uncertainty. A writer has a gauge by which she measures her stories, the one she is currently writing and the future projects that are being shopped at publishing houses. My personal barometer is for each reader to Expect an Adventure. This aspiration is a two-way street. If I don’t have the adventure of a lifetime while I’m writing the story, then how can I expect a reader to feel the same exhilaration? When I laugh, cry, hate, love, argue, discover, run for my life and leap high mountains, I expect my readers to take the same plunge. Oh, the span of emotions that expands the human heart. What is my criteria? Simply stated, each book has to have deeper characterization than the previous novel, a more intricate plot, and a setting that challenges the storyline. No pressure there! My quest…

October Best Bets for Suspense…
Fresh Thrills / September 28, 2010

I love October. The summer heat is mostly gone. I no longer have to be up by 6:00am to take the dogs for a walk. The new TV season has started. I’ve been back at work for about 6 weeks, so everything has settled into a routine. I work in academia so I get to take some time off in the summer, something for which I am very appreciative. I must say, though, the transition back can be a little rough. “Meetings? I have to go to meetings? Really?” fades to “So, when’s the next meeting?” by October. The resentment I feel over the fact that work seriously cuts into my reading time has also eased by now. In the summer I like to beat the heat by lying in bed and reading. By October, I’ve relearned how to prioritize my reading, since I’m lucky to get time to read over lunch or before going to sleep. I made a point to take a sneak peak at two of this month’s new releases. THE 2nd LIE is the second book in The Chapman Files by Tara Taylor Quinn. The lynch pin of the series is psychologist Kelly Chapman, whose cases…

DiAnn Mills | Strong Women, Unlikely Roles
Author Guest / June 25, 2010

Women who accept nontraditional roles and succeed with dynamic outcomes are the heroines in my novels. These are Glock-totin‘ gals with southern charm who understand grits aren’t just for breakfast. These women embrace their femininity with an added boost–they aren’t afraid to go after the bad guys or say they love Jesus. This style of heroine understands her peace can be more about the caliber of the piece in her purse than the state of her spiritual life. What makes a contemporary woman choose a career that has the potential of ending her life? Experts often point to personality differences or a “risk-gene” as an explanation why some are risk takers and others are content in less stressful lifestyles. I prefer courageous heroines who’ve been wired with a few more endorphins to balance the adrenaline, and they thrive on it. If my heroine races down a dirt road on a Harley in the dead of night, or scales a cliff while someone is shooting at her, or stuffs a weapon into the waistband of her jeans, it’s to get the edge on the bad guys. My heroines are not satisfied unless they are placing their lives on the line to…