What’s your message

Involving “messages” in my writing is definitely something I’ve considered lately. As I’ve been working on a story that’s about a particular point in my life, I do sense there’s a message in there. Hopefully, it’s one of encouragement to those who are going through the same thing. I suppose that’s why I’m bothering to write it in the first place.

Then I read K.M. Weiland’s recent blog post titled, ‘Should Stories Be Soapboxes?‘ At first, my answer was an emphatic, “No!” But as I read her post, I started to consider that everyone has a message in their story. Whatever your personal point of view is becomes part of your message. You have a story to tell, and I think – if it’s a well-written story – it’s going to have a message of some sort.

What do you think about this topic? Have you given it much thought?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Parrot Writes
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 14:39:16

    I agree! Each story we share should contain some message – I think that is why we are compelled to tell it, whether it is via humor or dialogue or story line.


    • Kathan Lewis
      Jul 05, 2010 @ 21:34:40

      Yes, if we have no message to share with the reader, what’s the point? I think it’s our job as the writer to convey it in an interesting way, through story.


  2. darksculptures
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 13:21:43

    Every story has a message, because every good story is bound to a theme. As writers, we are to use our skill to tell that story and get that message across with subtlety. No one likes to be told what to think, or how to live. If they do not agree, it puts them in an immediate position of opposition. Therefore, the skilled writer knows to allow the message to float through the story and not to cram it down the reader’s throat. But to show how the MC changes/or not and allow the reader to decide for themselves.

    I recently put down a novel because the first three chapters consisted of the character’s view of right from wrong through internal dialogue. I felt as if the author of the book was speaking to me as if I were a little child. Like I was not intelligent enough to develop or perceive the characters personality by their actions, mannerisms and decisions. It kind of ticked me off.

    A well-written story will always have an underlying message. Good trumps evil, patience is a virtue, or even a tragedy where the good guy finishes last are all messages. Any writer who says there is absolutely NO message in their work just doesn’t want to admit that there is for fear of angering some reader who may not agree with their opinion.

    The best way I can explain it would be to reference a cliché. Lead by example. I feel it is important to allow the character to lead you through the story and show through action and decision their challenges, faults, and the resulting personal growth.

    Ok, now I’ve said too much, again.


    • Kathan Lewis
      Jul 05, 2010 @ 21:33:55

      I loved your response! Actually, I completely agree. It’s interesting, however, that this way of writing has changed in the last hundred years. It used to be that writing pages of internal or external dialogue was completely acceptable (read Austen). I find it fine to read, but it has to go somewhere, though I confess, it does get a little long sometime.

      I just think it’s intriguing that this was once acceptable, and now is not…


  3. Shaddy
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 12:24:47

    I agree with you. Preaching may be an unwelcome and aggressive way of getting a message across but the whisperings of our beliefs and opinions in our writing seems a natural result of putting our words down.


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