Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What’s in Your Character’s Closet?

by DiAnn Mills 

A creative writer grabs a reader by the heart and leads that reader into the character’s inner world. Consider that place a closet where life experiences are stored. There a character’s motivation comes alive. Secrets are revealed. Habits exposed. Fears emerge. Dreams surface.

If the writer successfully captures the reader’s imagination, the reader becomes the character, living the story vicariously from beginning to end.

What does the reader find inside the mysterious and always enlightening closet of your character’s world?

  • Are clothes hung, organized or tossed to the floor in a huge   mess?
  • What kind of shoes does she buy? Are they worn? Where will she never walk?
  • What’s her favorite color?
  • What is hidden away in boxes and never opened, only stored.
  • Where does dust gather?
  • What does she willingly allow the reader to see?

Here are a five ways to ensure your reader has an unforgettable experience by exploring the character’s secret closet.
  1. The writer creates a character whose motivation and resulting behavior fits backstory and temperament.
  2. The writer understands deep POV and slashes through distancing the reader from the character. Through sensory perception that is up close and personal, the separation between writer and character is eliminated.
  3. Body language, emotions, and dialogue subtexting fit the scene and are accepted as appropriate.
  4. Every word is weighed to assure the reader is personally involved with the character.
  5. The writer constantly searches for new ways to deepen the reader’s adventure.

My suggestion is to flip the light on in your character’s closet and invite in readers. Those special people who read your books will thank you for it!

How do you create a unique experience for your reader?

Shine the light in your character's closet & create a unique experience for your readers - @DiAnnMills (Click to Tweet)

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; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. 

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. 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. DiAnn, What a great question. As I plot and think about my characters for my first fiction book, I never thought to ask this question. A person's closet speaks volumes. Thank you for the insight.

  2. Thank you DiAnn for the food for thought. Excellent question to ask, even if it does not make the final edit.

  3. Thanks! This is great information.

  4. she's a housekeeper, there IS no dust..... tee hee hee