Tag Archive - DiAnn Mills

Curiosity – The Writer’s Magic

Today’s guest post is by DiAnn Mills.

Curiosity is the magic ingredient that keeps readers turning pages. The reader’s mind nudges them with unanswered questions, concerns about the character, and the unexpected plot twist. The reader becomes part of the adventure, laughing, crying, celebrating, and sometimes running for their lives.

Recently, a writing client and I were editing a chapter of his book together. The reading ended and so did our time, but he’d successfully created curiosity in me. I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know what happened next!

His response still makes me laugh while encouraging me to ensure that the same magic drips into my stories. “Your enthusiasm for the story gives me the motivation to keep going. The curiosity is gold, just pure gold.”

Writer, think about mixing the charm and an allurement of curiosity with the interest and fascination of magic and you have the ingredients for a best-selling novel. Continue Reading…

Crafting Snowball Stakes for Your Fiction

Today’s post is by international best-selling author DiAnn Mills.

Creating high stakes is much like a snowball gaining strength as it rolls downhill. The story gains momentum, building throughout every scene.

Each scene has three critical elements: a goal, conflict, and high stakes. Without those components, the scene loses purpose and falls flat. Each proceeding scene must build on the previous scene’s urgency increasing the point of view character’s struggle. Scene two can’t happen before scene one, and scene sixty can’t happen without scenes one through fifty-nine. I’m not a math whiz, but I see the logic of this snowball effect of adding high stakes to a scene.

The high stakes must be worth the POV character’s effort and communicated to the reader.

“If it matters to the character, then the character must earn it.” —Roz Morris Continue Reading…

Raising the Stakes in Every Scene

Today’s guest post is by best-selling author DiAnn Mills.

In the art of story writing, high stakes keep the reader turning pages. The writer establishes an endearing character and quickly tosses him into a troublesome incident. Our adventure begins.

Spellbinding tension in every scene causes the reader to forget about time and space. The genre doesn’t matter, only what a beloved character must do as a hero. Opposition simmers and boils in every scene, elevating the stakes higher than the previous one.

When writers understand the purpose of high stakes, they see how an unexpected turn of events affects a character’s goal and ultimately the story’s climax. These are the competitive factors between the protagonist and the antagonist, laced with the protagonist’s high probability of failure. Incorporating stress, tension, and conflict in every scene ensures a story thrives. Continue Reading…

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