Tips to Supercharge Your Story

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By DiAnn Mills

When our stories lack a certain edge, we’re back to the drawing board looking for what we’ve missed. Our novels are like well-oiled machines, each part has to be fine-tuned to work effectively. When are skills, methods, and storytelling abilities creak and moan, the whole novel comes to a grinding halt. Sometimes we’re able to reach into our craftsman belt to repair a slow-moving book and other times we need guidance.
Before you begin the revision process, here are five SUPER ways to supercharge your novel.

1. Sensitivity: Are we writers sensitive to what’s going on around us? Not just our family environment but community, state, country, and global matters. I can hear it! “I don’t want to be aware of the mess in our world. It’s too depressing. I’m a writer not a current event specialist.” No matter what genre, our characters are living through change and tragedy. Writing a credible character means being sensitive to the world around us.

2. Uniqueness: Take an honest look at the characters, plot, dialogue, setting, emotion, and symbolism used in your story. Mundane books are birthed from flat characters; goals with little or no motivation; dialogue that states what is being said and nothing more; setting without antagonistic traits; inappropriate or lack of emotions, and an absence of symbolism.

3. Professional Advice: Hire a recommended editor. Many times we box ourselves into our stories and our skills. A professional editor can point out our shortcomings and help us build on our strengths. The cost is an investment into your career because the learning process can be applied throughout every novel.
4. Emotion: Our readers don’t want to merely read about a character’s journey; they want to experience it. Readers desire a story where they can plant both feet in the character’s shoes. The ability to see, hear, touch, smell, taste, and live vicariously through the character’s viewpoint and body language is mandatory. The deeper the psychology of character, the deeper unique emotions will spill onto the page.

5. Read: Bestsellers soar to the top of popularity lists for a reason-readers found intrinsic value in their enjoyment of the story. Writers who are widely read, not only in their own genre but also expand their horizons, increase their ability to vary techniques whole adding credibility to their storylines.

By using SUPER strategies to fire up your novel’s engine, writers just might discover their stories speeding down the road of publication-and gathering new readers along the way.

DiAnn Mills OctDiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall. She is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at

Comments 0

  1. As an avid reader I find the way I read has changed since I started writing more fiction. I pause at excellent lines or scenes admiring their execution. Or I wrinkle my nose at on the nose writing, typos that made it to print or dumb dialogue. This helps me notice it in my own stuff. I have to admit though. When I am in the zone I miss a lot of what is on the news. I find myself relying on my hubby and son to keep me in the loop at those times.

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