Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Award-winning author DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn’s first book was published in 1998. She currently has more than fifty books published.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol Awards and Inspirational Reader’s Choice awards. DiAnn won the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011.
DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.
She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
For more information, visit her website.

Storytellers have used symbolism since they gathered around the campfire to thrill listeners with tales of courage. They used figurative language to create visuals that frightened and impressed the listener. We suspense writers haven’t changed. We’re still using a dark and stormy night to set stories that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Biting their fingernails. Reaching for the ball bat under their bed. And reading with one eye open.

Ever wonder how a suspense writer uses symbolism to create the perfect setting? I’m going to let you in on a few tricks of the trade.

We use hard consonants, like b, p, t, d, k, and g in which the consonant sound stops the flow of air. Sort of how we writers want to stop the reader’s breath. Think brisk, probe, terse, death, kill, or gun.

We use colors to move you into a suspenseful mode or pull you out.

Red is a warm color that causes strong emotions. From warm and comforting to anger and hostility.      

Blue carries a range of emotions from calmness to serenity. Blue can also mean sadness. 

Green symbolizes nature and growth. The color has a calming affect. It can mean wealth, greed, and jealousy.    

Yellow can be a color of frustration. More tempers are lost in yellow rooms, and babies tend to cry more in yellow rooms.

Purple is often associated with royalty, wealth, wisdom, and spirituality. Sometimes it symbolizes arrogance.
Brown is a natural color that invokes a down to earth feeling. However, for a person who is isolated on a farm and feels imprisoned, the color brown may be depressing.

Pink is a romance color. It suggests love, femininity, calmness.
Orange mixes red and yellow to create a warm affect. It means excitement and enthusiasm.
White signifies purity and innocence. It can also mean spaciousness or a sterile environment.

Black means evil, power, death, or mourning. In the fashion world, it’s used to create a slimming affect, even sophistication.

Gray is a mix of black and white, life and death—gray clouds, a gray matter.

We use numbers: One indicates wholeness. Three represents the Holy Trinity. Six means incompleteness, as in 666. Seven indicates completeness and twelve is the number of fulfilled judgment, as in twelve months in a year and twelve jurors deciding the fate of someone accused of breaking the law.

We writers also use details of the environment to build suspense: a ticking clock, a dripping faucet, nature’s fury, or other tangible items to create an edgy feeling. A horror writer employs the colors of red and black, shadows, repugnant smells, and clanging sounds.
Suspense writers use whatever we can find to create mood for our novels. All carefully placed to keep you turning pages and reaching for the next novel and the next. Happy on-the-edge-of-your-seat reading!    

If you'd like to win a copy of DiAnn's novel, THE CHASE, just leave a comment, along with your contact information!  


  1. Cool post, DiAnn. Some of these devices I knew, but I also learned something. Thanks so much!

  2. I agree that pink goes with romance and Valentine's Day. I like purple too.

  3. Thanks for the helpful information, DiAnn. I'll try to put it to good use. I'd love to win a copy of "The Chase." My email address is prompt[underscore]return[at]bellsouth[dot]net. Thanks again.

  4. This was a helpful post. I actually use some of these already, some I didn't know. My email address is

  5. DiAnn--excellent information, and some that writers (and I include myself in this category) sometimes neglect. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Forgot to leave my e-mail before.


  7. So glad to read this post, I didn't know any of this. Blessings and wishing you a wonderful 2013, Susan Fryman

  8. would love to win a book, didn't know about this before so would love the chance to win thank you for this chance, Karen S AT

  9. Hey DiAnn--I leaned a lot here!
    Thanks for this.


  10. Very interesting information...thanks for sharing! For several years, I've enjoyed learning about the feelings and emotions triggered by different colors, so I especially appreciated that part. Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Thanks for sharing such great information, DiAnn. I'm looking forward to reading more on this blog!