Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Don't Be a Turkey Writer!

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Tis the season of the turkey. If you enjoy eating the Thanksgiving bird, then you love the season. If you’re the turkey, well not so much. You’ve probably spent the past year hatching ways to disguise yourself. For the turkey, I commend his ingenuity. For the turkey-writer, well not so much again. Covering up poor writing habits doesn’t make a good story.

So how can you avoid falling into the category of a turkey-writer and not falling prey to an editor’s ax?

  1. Fossils indicate turkeys have been around for around 10 million years. A turkey-writer refuses to change with the times and techniques necessary to be successful in the publishing world.
  2. Not choosing to be a wild turkey-writer. These beautifully colored birds can fly. Who wants a ho-hum story that is predictable and lacking in conflict?
  3. A turkey’s eyes are located on opposite sides of its head. While this allows the bird to see two objects at once and have wide vision, for the writer that means plot lines that go nowhere.
  4. A turkey doesn’t have ears. Instead it has holes behind their eyes. While they have impeccable hearing, a turkey-writer hears everything and can’t focus.
  5. A turkey doesn’t have a keen sense of smell or taste. In short they can only discern whether something is sweet, sour, bitter, salty, or acidic. Turkey writers are a bit lazy. They fail to use all the senses so the reader can experience the story. 
  6. Turkeys are an excellent source of protein and taste good, but what about a full meal? A turkey-writer doesn’t deviate characterization and story lines from one book to the next.
  7. Turkeys are highly sensitive to touch in areas of their beak and feet. Do I need to say more? A turkey-writer can’t take criticism and interprets suggestions as being stepped on. 
  8. Turkeys eat during most of the daylight hours. Turkey-writers refuse to keep their bodies and minds at peak performance.
  9. Although only the male turkeys gobble, it is a common problem with turkey-writers. These people complain about the industry and make excuses for their non-published work.
  10. The “turkey trot” was created by observing the short jerky steps of a turkey. Don’t be a turkey-writer and not have a plan and a purpose for your craft.
When the story is complete, the manuscript needs to be carved or edited to ensure the best flavor for your readers. Have you decided you’ll be eaten in the publishing world, or are you a smart writer who’s looking forward to eating a turkey?


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

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.

DiAnn 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


  1. What a fun and educational post. I gobbled it up!

    1. LOL Thanks - and don't forget the dressing and gravy!

    2. DiAnn thanks for the great post. You have given us great ideas for polishing our writing. I'm going to follow your suggestion to have a plan and purpose for your craft.

    3. Hi Therese, thanks so much! Glad to help.

  2. And to think, Ben Franklin wanted this bird to be the national symbol. Glad we have eagles that soar to give us the opposite analogy! Thank you, again, DiAnn.

    1. I've never heard that about old Ben. Yeah, glad we have an eagle for a national symbol.