A Fiction Writer’s Hardest Task

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Last week a reader asked about my hardest task as a writer. I had to think before answering. I’m in the midst of line edits before turning in my next story, so I’m totally emerged in every word, goal, voice, gesture, motive, plot line, romance, suspense, symbol, character(s), emotion, dialogue, narrative, transition, spiritual impact, as well as grammar and punctuation. I’m sure to have missed something!

I couldn’t think of an answer.

Honestly, if each step isn’t a challenge, then I’m bored and outta there. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I write romantic suspense. My personality leads me to accept the difficult tasks over the easy ones. That means weaving a slowly developing and realistic romance with the high stakes of a crime or potential crime that must have twists and turns.

My reader still wanted an answer. What is my hardest task? After much thought, I responded: Attempting to write a perfect story in an imperfect world.

I considered all the items I listed in the first paragraph:

  • Every word
  • Goal
  • Voice
  • Gesture
  • Motive
  • Plot line
  • Romance
  • Suspense
  • Symbol
  • Characterization
  • Emotion
  • Dialogue
  • Narrative
  • Transitions
  • Spiritual Impact
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • And every other literary technique

Creating story is like juggling balls. We writers have to keep our eyes on each one or the story will fall flat. And that is the hardest task of all, keeping our eyes on all the balls.

As a reader or a writer, what do you believe is a story’s hardest undertaking?



DiAnn’s Library Corner

Library Tip: Initiate a favorite fiction book of the month and display for all your patrons to see.