The more I consider the “message of the story”, or as I am coming to see it, “the life’s blood”, the more I am compelled as a writer, who is also a Christian, to reveal the subtle truths that run through life almost unnoticed.
Would we care that the goose laid the golden egg, or that The Little Red Hen baked bread, if it wasn’t that the farmer learned that greed was bad, and that the farm animals learned that laziness had its own reward…lack.
My point? When I began writing N.H.I., I knew that the message that ran through the core of the story dealt with how we saw and treated people juxtaposed to how God commanded that we should. Then in D.R.T. came the question of the value of a human life and just who it is that gets to set that value. Of course, the real message there is: What will you do with the coming judgment between you and the Lord?
Then finally in I.A.I., while the message is ostensibly to police officers who’ve gone through an I.A.I. (Internal Affair Investigation), it is in the greater sense to anyone who has ever felt abandoned or cut off from a core group or family.
The message is what drives me as a writer and pulls you as a reader from page to page.
If we lose touch with the message, then we have, in effect, lost touch with our story. We’ll talk again later about discovering the true message within the heart of the manuscript. Until then, think about it.
You are absolutely right! When we lose touch with our message, we lose touch with our story. I discovered this happens in any book we write. When I first decided to publish my poetry, I wanted to put it all in one book. It just wouldn't work. The message was too convoluted. When I divided it into smaller books with a theme, I often wanted to include a poem just because I liked it and would have to reject it (save it for another book) because it really didn't fit the theme well enough. Even at that I worried that people wouldn't understand how some poems fit into the message the way I did. So, yes, staying on message is essential to a good read.ReplyDelete