Lies characters believe... Burden of Proof by DiAnn Mills (Guest Post)

I'm welcoming DiAnn Mills to my blog today! Find out
about her newest release and check out her guest post below...

Burden of Proof
(FBI: Rapid Response #1)
By DiAnn Mills
Christian Romantic Suspense
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 416 Pages
October 9th 2018 by Tyndale House Publishers


Reeling from a negotiation gone wrong, FBI Special Agent April Ramos is caught off guard when a frazzled young woman shoves a crying baby into her arms, then disappears. Worry for the child’s safety quickly turns to fear when a man claiming to be the girl’s father abducts them at gunpoint. April puts her hostage negotiation skills to use to learn more about who she’s dealing with: Jason Snyder, a fugitive accused of murder.

As Jason spins a tall tale about being framed for the killing of his business partner, April must sort through his claims to find the truth. A truth that becomes all the more evident after April overhears a conversation between Jason and the local sheriff and realizes something more sinister may be happening in their small town of Sweet Briar, Texas. But aligning herself with a known fugitive to uncover the burden of proof could cost April her job . . . or worse, her life and the lives of other innocent people.

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Guest Post: The Lies Our Characters Believe
By DiAnn Mills

Our characters can be stubborn. Just when we think we know them inside and out, they toss us a wrench. We struggle to push them into a storyline that forces them to change and grow—or slide downhill in the case of antagonists—and then they behave contrary to how we sketched them.

We work hard at shaking them inside out to ensure they are unique, memorable, and fit the plot and genre. Our goal is to achieve the proper balance of complexity in an unpredictable story.

What causes characters to spin in the opposite direction?

Sometimes the problem with our characters is not what we believe about them, but what they believe about themselves.

Lies, big and little, influence the characters’ dialogue, behavior, goals, wants, careers, how they journey through our story, and a host of other attributes.

These pesky confidence-destroyers, distorted truths, and killers of relationships, careers, and views of God stop our characters from reaching their full potential. These lies began when our characters were children and life experiences and role models tainted their personalities.

Our characters have rich backstories that molded and motivated them into who they are in chapter one, line one of the story. Every moment has the potential to create misconceptions about their lives.

For example, a character may believe:

I have no choice but to be perfect.
Life isn’t fair.
I’ll never be happy unless I have lots of money.
Everyone is out to get me.
God’s love must be earned.
Morals are a personal preference.
Relationships are 50/50. Any less and I’m outta here.
The only way for someone to love me is for me to take care of them.

See what I mean?

How characters respond and initiate action shows who they are. You can use these additional internal issues to add stress, tension, and conflict to the story. Create situations that force characters to face their lies head-on and the story will demonstrate powerful crafting.

How does a writer find the resources to help characters out of their psychological mess? I use psychology books, consult psychologists, and research quality websites that focus on human behavior and counseling techniques.

Writers may need to stick their characters into a chair and find out how and why they are misbehaving. When we discover what prompted the lies a character believes, we can establish means to get rid of them. The result will be an unforgettable novel that entertains and inspires readers.

What lies do your characters believe?

About the Author

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. 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 Reader's 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. Connect with DiAnn here:

Have you read any of Mills' books? What do you think about her guest post?

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