Tag Archive - DiAnn Mills

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…

15 Ways to Strengthen Writer Courage

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

While talent and a willingness to work hard are essential for a professional writer, the #1 requirement is courage to face the world of publishing.

The word courage can be confusing. A soldier enlists courage by saving fellow soldiers’ lives. A teacher possesses courage when choosing to teach in an inner-city school where gangs run the streets. A law enforcement officer shows courage when refusing to take a bribe. A teen grasps courage to say no to drugs. A person grips courage and accepts a beating instead of following a religion or political policy. A man or woman garners courage to walk away from an abusive relationship. A person embraces courage to walk away from a high-paying job to serve humanity.

We open the dictionary and find descriptors like bravery, daring, grit boldness, spunk, and a huge list of other words. We hold tight to what we believe is courageous. Continue Reading…

Page 1 of 212»