What Do You Want to Say and Where Are You Going?

by | Writing | 11 comments



My guest today is Linda Rondeau. To learn more about Linda and her book, Hosea’s Heart, be sure to read her bio and book blurb after her post.


Linda: Trying to weed out all those typos, punctuation errors, and formatting foibles can drive a person nuts. Rest easy. Copy editing will come much later.

Perhaps the two most important aspects to work on during your early revisions is defining your message and knowing your key plot events to keep your story clear and purposeful.   

Remember your message

Often, a story falters because the author forgets why he/she has written the work in the first place. Sometimes the author is carried away by the brilliance of their own writing and fails to realize that said beautiful passage has nothing to do with the story’s main idea. In order to stay focused, an author needs to have a clear understanding of their manuscript’s purpose. Ask yourself, “What do I want my reader to take away after spending time in my book?”

Perhaps your intent is to entertain. That is perfectly acceptable. Everyone needs diversion or a good laugh. Perhaps your purpose is to bring a thought or ideation regarding a social issue. At the turn of the century, The Jungle, brought attention to the inhumanity of the meat-packing industry. Uncle Tom’s Cabin inflamed the growing abolitionist movement. My book, Hosea’s Heart, will hopefully bring sympathy toward those who are caught in addiction’s grip.

Knowing the why you are writing this book will help you develop your manuscript in a way that keeps a reader engaged.

Know where your story is going

A second reason a manuscript wanders is because the author has failed to develop a cohesive plot that is consistent with his/her purpose.  There are many books that offer guidance on plot development. Whether using a skeleton format, a three-act or five-act format, or a train concept of plotting, I have found that these five key plot points keep my story moving forward at a good pace.  

  1. Initiating Event: where we are introduced to the character(s). (Katniss gets ready for her day and sings to her sister, establishing their all-important relationship.)
  2. Inciting Event: something happens to propel your character out of his/her normal world and begins his/her internal or external conflict. (Katniss volunteers as tribute to save her sister.)
  3. Crisis Event: the critical event that cements the character’s further decisions and actions. There is no going back and your character can only move forward. (Rose gets out of the last lifeboat and rejoins Jack in the doomed Titanic.)
  4. Climactic Event: the event that causes your character’s final battle with internal or external conflict. (Prince Charming slays the dragon. Luke uses the force to destroy the Death Star.)
  5. Denouement (or Resolution): tying up all the loose ends in a satisfying conclusion. (Luke and Hans are awarded medals by Princess Leia.)

Once you’ve established your message and your plot, other elements (dialogue, characterization, setting, and point of view) will be developed to support your message and be consistent with your story development.

Consider your story’s purpose, message, and plot points.  Click to tweet.

Questions? Comment below.

“Heartwarming stories that keep you reading from the first to last page,” say critics regarding award winning author, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU’s novels. A veteran social worker, Linda now resides in Hagerstown, Maryland. Hosea’s Heart is her eighth novel and fifth with Elk Lake Publishing. Readers may visit her website at www.lindarondeau.com. Contact the author on Facebook, Twitter, PinterestGoogle Plus, and Goodreads.  


Buy Link

How much should a wronged husband forgive?

Aubrey Beaumont has spent the last fifteen years in search of his runaway, drug-addicted wife. Now a respected Silver Spring pastor and chaplain, ready to give up and move on, his life takes unexpected turns when she suddenly contacts him. Terminally ill and having found faith, she begs Aubrey’s forgiveness. How can he overlook her past prostitution and liaison with one of Washington’s most vicious drug lords?”

Grateful for a chance at reconciliation, Joanna Beaumont prays that her seemingly wasted life might serve some purpose in her final days. Perhaps her testimony against her former lover’s cartel will bring her the peace she craves.  

Joanna and Aubrey’s paths will crisscross the Capital District’s underworld where they discover how God weaves threads of failure into tapestries of hope. 

“This gripping story will pull at your heartstrings. Linda Wood Rondeau weaves a poignant tale of tragedy, triumph, forgiveness and love in a moving novel full of suspense, romance and redemption.”

View a trailer on Linda’s website.

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  1. Gail Kittleson

    Linda, thanks for the reminder about where our stories are headed. I needed that, and your plot sounds SO intriguing, even though I don’t often read contemporary fiction. Glad to see you here w/ Zoe.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Hi Gail, Linda does give up good reminders. I especially like the one about purpose.

    • Linda Wood Rondeau

      Thank you, Gail for stopping by and the compliment on my book. Keep the faith and keep on writing.

  2. Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D

    Great job, Linda. Your comments remind me of The Hero’s Journey. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    BTW folks, I had the opportunity to read Hosea’s Heart and thought it was superb. Linda has written a book that I literally couldn’t put down (except that I was reading it on my computer!). That said, it is really superb. I hope you will all read it.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Hi Sheri, I’ve used the Hero’s Journey on every book. It helps me have a good idea where my story’s going.

  3. Sally Jo Pitts

    Good pointers. I just started reading Hosea’s Heart today while sitting in the doctor’s office! I sympathize with the hero already.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Hi Sally, we’re getting good reports on Hosea’s Heart.

    • Linda Wood Rondeau

      Thanks Sally. I do hope you enjoy the book.

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