Every story is trying to convey some sort of message. From the outset it is vital for you to determine the message you’d like your readers to take away once they’ve finished your book.
When I wrote, “Escape through the Wilderness” I decided the message I wanted to convey was this: “There are times we need the help of others to overcome life’s challenges and difficulties.” We live in a world where individual achievement is often encouraged and celebrated. That’s great and it should be acknowleged. However, I wanted to create a situation that demanded teamwork and the need for four teenagers to depend on one another and on the kindness of a stranger. I used the book to take five very different people and unite them together under the most difficult of circumstances. Then I created a situation where they had to work as a team to survive.
What is the primary message or goal of your story? Is it to challenge, encourage, help, defend, teach, etc. Almost everyone is familiar with “The Wizard of Oz.” Do you remember the primary message of that story? I’ll give you a minute to think. Okay, time’s up. What did you come up with for an answer? If you said, “there’s no place like home.” Congratulation! You are correct.
Think of your favorite stories. They all have some sort of message they are trying to get across. Spend some time pondering the message of your book. What is the primary idea that you want to convey to your readers? This will serve as a springboard for everything else you write.
Until next time, think about and try to answer the following questions:
What is the “primary idea” I’d like to convey to my readers in my book?
Why am I so passionate about this “primary idea?”
Next time we’ll talk about the “art of storytelling.”