by DiAnn Mills
How can a writer expect readers to be excited about a novel unless the writer feels the same passion? Does enthusiasm for story mean having passion for every word?
Absolutely! Every grueling step of the process must be met with a committed spirit. Passion for The Chase kept me spellbound, as though the world around me had stopped while I wrote the novel.
Research captured me with intrigue and emotion. The Chase is based on a solved, cold case from the files of Houston’s FBI. I viewed DVD press conferences, studied reports, interviewed a man who’d been in a cartel, and forced myself to look at the victim board. I shed buckets of tears for a child who was at the mercy of his mother’s cruelty. And I learned much about cartels and how they operate.
Passion for my characters motivated me to deepen characterization and establish backstory to support their actions. The thrill of story meant discovering the strengths, weaknesses, triumphs, failures and challenges of every point of view character. Some of the psychological aspects forced me to venture into dark areas of the villain’s life, in places I didn’t want to be.
Passion for my home city Houston helped me choose settings that were antagonistic to the hero and heroine. Those challenges helped my characters grow and change into better people while solving problems.
Passion for each scene stretched me to write realistic dialogue. The goal of what my characters said used body language, specific word choices, and appropriate emotion unique to the character.
Passion for the story urged me to make unpredictable twists and turns in a plot that showed a woman writer who’d been haunted by the death of a child, an FBI agent who refused to call the case “cold,” and a story line that plunged them into a boiling vat of conflict.
Passion for The Chase kept me awake at night, wording and rewording scenes while striving to make this the best novel I’d ever written.
What about you? If your passion is not within the pages of your current writing project, perhaps you aren’t writing the right book. Look inside your heart for the story and characters that won’t leave you alone. When you find that fire, don’t stop until the book is written. That’s when the reader will feel your zeal for every word.
Award-winning author DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn currently has more than fifty books published.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol Awards and Inspirational Reader’s Choice awards. DiAnn won the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011.
DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.
This is a great post and wonderful reminder to those of us who suffer from Even Tempered Syndrome.
Thank you so much for giving us permission to evaluate our current works based on the passion we may or may not feel for it.