Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Fiction Writing From A to Z

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Reminders about our craft burst our imaginations into creative mode. From A to Z, we find sources of inspiration to keep us writing. I’ve chosen the first word that entered my mind as a means to keep my imagination in full gear.

26 Reminders for Fiction Writers
A - Adventure
Penning our stories is an exciting journey for the writer and the reader. 

B - Bestseller
We all want to have bestseller after our name, so now is the time to commit to learning as a lifelong project.

C - Character
All great fiction includes superbly crafted personalities. Without these life-like people, our stories fall flat.

D - Dialogue
Readers are excited to read what our characters have to say and how they say it. This includes body language and gestures.

E - Edit
An award-winning story needs rounds of editing to ensure the writer’s best is presented to the world.

F - Foreshadow
How a writer hints of what’s to come is a talent, one that great stories incorporate for success. 

G - Genre
A writer determines a particular literary category for two reasons: 1. To brand the writer’s style and 2) To meet the reader’s expectations of the story’s contents.

H - Habit
Writers develop their routines according to their personality and methods of approaching life.

I - Inspiration
We all need to feel the urge to create a stellar writing project.

J - Jump-start
Establish different ways to energize your writing day.

K - Keep
Writers must backup their projects regularly to avoid loss.

L - Love
If a writer doesn’t have passion for a story, neither will the reader.

M - Magical
We strive to make our stories enchanting and incredible, no matter the genre.

N - Narrative
The narrative of our stories is written to bridge time by giving valuable information in a concise and engaging manner by using sensory perception.

O - Organic
Many writers choose to write organically by allowing the essential parts of the story to rise out of character and thus eliminating an outline.

P - Plot
This is a novel’s storyline, the main events of a fiction work. 

Q - Quirky
We writers hold this as a description of ourselves, and we’re proud of it.

R - Romance
Writers never forget the majority of book buyers are women who enjoy a thread of love and affection.

S - Setting
Bestselling writers establish settings that are antagonistic. A scene’s environment may look charming and alluring, but it has a deceptive motive.

T - Theme
The one idea that relates to the character’s life and appears subtly throughout a story. 

U - Unique
Each story contains a one-of-a-kind happening or concept that is distinct and remarkable.

V - Viewpoint
Writers choose two considerations for point of view: 1) First, second, or third person and a variation and 2) Who is the point of view character in a particular scene? What character has the most to lose?

W - Wrench
Writers toss an unexpected event or change into each scene to raise the stakes for the point of view character.

X - X Factor 
Writers long for the significant, note-worthy quality about their writing style. This drive keeps them involved in the whole writing process.

Y - You
A writer’s voice determines the you feature in a story. Only you can do the work involved. Only you can string words together in a special fashion that sends a reader on a magic carpet ride.

Z - Zany
Writers are known for their idiosyncratic manner of experiencing life. Humor is a part of our remarkable traits. Use it. Embrace it.

Fiction writing from A to Z. Other defining attributes of writing came to mind while writing this. What are some of yours?


DiAnn 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. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian Fiction books of 2014.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Suspense Sister, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson. She teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook:, Twitter: or any of the social media platforms listed at


  1. Love this, DiAnn!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you! A fun post to explore each letter and word.

  2. While not yet a fiction writer, I'm saving this for future reference Ms. DiAnn. I'm also applying many of them to my nonfiction efforts now. Thank you for such an encouraging post ma'am. God's blessings...

    1. Thanks, Jim, keep working on the craft - and thank you for your kind words.

  3. Love the post, DiAnn! Thanks for my morning kick-off.

    1. You are so welcome. Some of the letters had multiples and hard to nail down the most important.

  4. This applies to writing, not just fiction writing... ;)