Friday, October 12, 2018


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a storyteller and 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 Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Mountainside Marketing Conference 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.

Connect with DiAnn here:

Creating Emotional Distance

Varying degrees of point of view (POV) allows the writer to
establish emotional distance between the reader and the character. The distance is set in direct relationship to the role the character plays in the story, the mood, and voice.

The POV character takes the spotlight and has the most to lose or the highest stakes. Every word in the scene and subsequent internal reaction is filtered through the characters sensory perception and life experiences.

The mood of the scene is the writer’s GPS. Adjusting the emotional distance creates a level of emotional tension that parallels the mode of the story.

The distance the writer chooses for the character to internalize what previously occurred varies per:

1. The action prompting the characters reaction.        
2. The traits assigned to the character guiding how the character            views life in a range of introversion to extroversion.
3. The characters fears and past wounds.
4. The characters goal or problem to solve.
5. The characters knowledge of the incident.
6. The ability of the character to honestly process information.
Some scenes require a close emotional distance, such as a characters revelation or facing a hard truth. Other scenes may have more impact with greater distances such as a character who doesnt have all the information. An unstable character, especially one who is insensitive, evil or selfish, can set the stage for a gripping scene.

First Person

Everything is told from the narrators viewpoint of “I.” The advantage is intimacy. Its easy to believe what the character says, thinks, does, and experiences—like a friend telling you about an event or reading someone elses diary. Multiple first-person POVs with varying degrees of emotional distance are powerful stories.

The following are examples of first person from distant to close. Note how each sentence brings the character closer to the reader.

I saw heavy traffic from my office window.
I saw more trucks than cars in the heavy traffic.
Julies BMW emerged from the heavy traffic like a silver bullet, and I held my breath until she exited safely.

I followed the woman through the mall.
I followed the young woman dressed in jeans through the mall.
I followed the young woman dressed in jeans and red stilettos through the mall and labeled her as my next victim.
Multiple first-person is becoming more prevalent.
Third Person

In third-person, the writer uses “he,” “she,” or the character’s name.
Third-person is the most prevalent among writers. Multiple third-person POVs gives the writer a variety of perspectives from which to show the story.

The following are examples of third person from distant to close. Again, note how each sentence brings the character closer to the reader.

He saw heavy traffic from his office window.
He saw more trucks than cars in the heavy traffic.
Julies BMW emerged from the heavy traffic like a silver bullet, and he held his breath until she exited safely.

Jean agreed to go to the baseball game.
Jean agreed to go to the baseball game although the opposing team was favored.      
Jean feared the home team might lose again since the opposing teams pitcher had pitched three straight shutouts.

Look at your own story. Do you see where varying the emotional distance can add dimension to your story?

 DiAnn is giving away a copy of her book, BURDEN OF PROOF, eBook or print. (Print copies in U.S. only, please!) Leave a comment, along with your contact information for your chance to win!


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.


  1. As a reader, I love getting behind-the-scenes glimpses of how writers work their magic in books! :-) Thanks for sharing how you create emotional distance in yours. Personally, I prefer multiple points of view in a story, it seems more well-rounded and gives me deeper connection to each character.

    Thanks also for the giveaway chance to win a copy of Burden of Proof, DiAnn!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. I do always expect an adventure when i read your books. Reading has always been part of my life. Thank you for some insights into the creation of those books that I enjoy reading!
    lhanberry1 at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Linda, thanks for posting and for reading my books!

  3. interesting info

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  4. Oh, I can't wait to read Burden of Proof! Does it ever sound good!

  5. Thanks for the refresher on POV and Creating Emotional Distance! Great information.

  6. It was so interesting to learn just a snippet of what goes into writing a novel! Thanks so much for all the hard work you put into your novels. I can't wait to read Burden of Proof!

  7. I always know your stories will be an adventure full of suspense that I can't put down, so I look forward to any books written by you! Thanks for the opportunity to enter a giveaway! Would love to win a print book of Burden of Proof! Thanks for your kindness! krautter12ATbresnanDOTnet

  8. These are really great tips for writers and I enjoyed, as a reader, seeing how the POV can really affect the story. Thanks for sharing with us today and thanks for a chance to win your book.

  9. Diann is a new author to me. Thank you for sharing. Blessings

    1. Hi Lucy, I appreciate your posting for the giveaway!

  10. Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing. I love Diann's books

  11. As a reader, I enjoy learning about the writing process. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of Burden of Proof.

  12. This is exceptionally good. Succinct, and very interesting. Thank you! :)