As I near completion of I.A.I., book three in the Nate Richards series, I have been musing on the realization that what is really important about any story is its message. I don't mean the simple storyline, but rather what is the deeper truth that the story itself is trying to convey.
Consider the parable Jesus told of the vineyard. Remember how the owner of the vineyard hired a group of men to care for his property? And they, being the crooks that they were, began to plot how they could steal the land for their own. They even killed the property owner's son in a mad dash for power.
Well, ultimately the owner of the land returned and killed them all; it would have made a great movie. Enter voice over guy, "A grieving father returns to take revenge on the men who killed his only son.... And this time there won't be any peace in the valley."
But I digress.
The point is that when we are creating our manuscripts, we have to fight to first discover then keep that message alive. In the case of the parable of Jesus, the story may have been about greed, but the message was much larger: salvation and the price of redemption. Think about it.