Every good book has so many different parts to it. Characters, plot, setting, dialogue, and many other things. These are skills that we learn over time, and knowing how to properly write using those skills will help you to create a phenominal work of fiction.
But it is all lost, every last semicolon, if there isn't a reason.
A reason. A message. What you're trying to say, what you're trying to share, and what your story is all about.
Fiction itself holds a wonderful kind of power that no other form of reading possesses. The stories and characters carry the reader to a world they never would have otherwise visited. Your message, your reason, is there, in the midst of the plot and the action, and it is delivered in a unique and unforgettable way.
When writing nonfiction, (an equally wonderful art), the message is told. Whether it's a 'how to' book or a book on any given topic, the message is simply given to the reader. But fiction shows them. It doesn't give the answer away, it shows the struggle of characters who live the problem, and discover the answer. And it takes the reader along for the ride.
In order to write something so powerful, you must have a reason, a message, a purpose. You're not writing a how-to book. You're writing a story. You're writing an adventure.
Even if you consider your book to be a simple story, there is a reason behind it. You believe in something, and you believe in it enough to write a whole story about it. The center, the very core of that story is your belief. Your reason.
It is what the story was formed from, and it is what controls it.
We forget that. I know, I've done it. We can get so caught up in crafting dialogue and forming plot twists, researching settings and creating characters, that we sometimes forget just why we started writing it in the first place. It's such a long, complicated process, that it brings us down rabbit trails that leave us staring at our half-finished manuscripts and wondering why did I start this in the first place?
But deep down, somewhere, you know exactly why you started it. You may have strayed far from it, but that fire is still inside you – the fire that comes from having a passion. And that passion comes from having a purpose. A reason.
Right now, only you know that reason. But if you succeed, if you find the perfect balance of characters, plot, dialogue, setting, words, punctuation, grammar, and purpose, then you will achieve what every writer dreams of:
That anyone who picks up that book will know your purpose, too. And maybe, just maybe, those words will change someone's life. And it all will have centered on one thing. Because if you take away all of the fluff and the proper tense and the description, all your book is left with is your purpose, and your belief.
And that's what makes it a story.
Now it's turned over to you. I want to hear about your books, your characters, setting, plot, dialogue, and especially your purpose. Let us know!