Remembering Your Purpose

The second dimension of building stories that matter is discovering, and fully utilizing, why this story matters to you. What are the fundamental issues you want to raise for readers? Many well-written manuscripts fail to make that clear.

Go back and look at what drew you to the story in the first place. A character? An historic event? You undoubtedly made a point of putting certain things in your book because you have something valid and important to say, but chances are you’re still not coming out and saying it. At this stage many authors play it safe. They shy away from big conflicts and profound changes. They have in their hearts the material of great novels but they settle for an easily readable manuscript.

Have you captured on the page what’s important to you to say? What have you illuminated about this character or world that no one else can? How have you made that clear in the current draft? If you’re struggling to get that on the page, you still have work to do.

Great storytellers understand what their work is about and why it matters. That’s why it matters to readers.

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