As I’ve been working on my novel rewrite, I’m paying a lot of attention to theme. In doing so, I’ve been trying to pinpoint not only what my story is about on a deeper level but also what I believe a reader will be looking for when he/she picks up my book if and when it gets published. Coming up with that answer means looking at human nature. What do people want right now?
What I’ve found so far? People are looking for HOPE. A glimmer of light at the end of what has been a long and dark tunnel for far too long.
Even though my story deals with a traumatic event (the violent death of teenage girl), as I approach the ending, I’m finding that my story is not just about catching the bad guy. It sends a strong message (at least I hope it does) about achieving inner peace. What I want the reader to feel after reading my book is that even though bad things happen to all of us, some of them so bad we think we will never recover from them, there is always an opportunity to find redemption. It may not come in the way we want, but it will come. We just need to keep the faith.
It is very important to me to end this story on a positive note. With all the bad news being thrown at us on a daily basis about the economy and state of the world, I think we all need a little bit of positive reassurance that life is still good. We can all get through whatever life throws at us if we stick together.
When I first started out writing, I was a hard-core fiction writer. I’ve dabbed in everything from amateur sleuth cozies to serial killer thrillers. I’ve written scenes so gory they gave me nightmares. I’ve read them in books, too. The more chills, the better.
Now, not so much. My reading tastes have changed dramatically lately. I want lighter, more meaningful stories. Not necessarily all-happy endings, but endings that leave me feeling, yes, hopeful.
There is a lot I can’t control in this world, and even though I’d love to do it, I can’t change the turmoil and uncertainty we all feel right now. But what I can do is entertain in a way that brings some light to someone who may be seeing nothing but darkness ahead. That is my mission and what I hope to accomplish in writing this book.
So I ask you, what do you look for when you open a book?