What messages do your books give your readers?
When I write books, I don’t start out thinking they’ll have a message. Honestly, it’s the character’s story. Any message that ends up in the book comes directly from the character/characters. And I’m usually just as surprised as the reader. Well, sort of. I mean, I know before the reader does, obviously, but it usually is surprising. One common trope I’m starting to recognize in a number of my books is the wounded heroine. It’s her journey to becoming whole, and it varies from story to story. Each heroine must face whatever trauma from her past and within her psyche and move through it in order to realize the life she wants. (All I can say is I’m grateful that I haven’t faced their obstacles. LOL) I could probably psycho-analyze myself, but that would be boring, and this is neither the time nor the place. LOL Then, again, these women are not me. They are characters with a story to tell.
This hasn’t been intentional. It’s just what has come out of these amazing women. They are strong, but don’t realize it. They have courage, determination, and intelligence. They are pushed to their limits, but they overcome and succeed despite everything I throw at them. They make for exciting stories.
For Eleanor in The Whispering House, she must learn to not only forgive her mother, but herself before she can fully access powers that will save her and all of humanity. And it’s not an easy ask. Personally, I think forgiving oneself is harder than forgiving others, and it’s definitely a process. The message? Forgiveness is powerful, and, often, to be able to move on with your life, you have to forgive. Not for them, but for you.
In Snow Spirits, Xuě has spent her childhood as an outcast. First, in the medical experimentation camp and then in the village where only her adopted parents accept her. She struggles with self-worth, accepting herself for who and what she is, and can’t seem to recognize her contributions to the group. The entire group is put through the wringer. She finds friends, discovers her value along the way, and escapes to freedom with a man she loves and can build a life with. It was all there; she just had to open her eyes to see it.
Naia isn’t wounded as much as the first two. She was burned by a college boyfriend, enough to keep her off men, but she focused her energy on creating her own successful business. A strong, independent woman, she learns that it’s okay to let loose. The message: you can’t let one bad egg keep you from sampling from the rest of the carton. Mr. Hotness is a short, hot read.
I do have one that will be released in a few months. She’s also a wounded heroine. I’ll share more about her at a later date.
What is it about wounded heroines that attract me to write about them? Again, who knows? Perhaps it’s all of the possibilities. Everyone has wounds to some degree, regardless of personalities. It also makes for a good character arc. If there are messages along the way, they are unintentional.
Be sure to visit the rest of the blogs to find out if they weave messages into their stories:
I’m glad I’m not the only one who learns from my characters what the theme of the story is. Each character has their own demons to overcome and we learn from them as they grow and succeed.
We do. It makes for an interesting process. At least, I think it does. 🙂
I had a read about Eleanor by following the link, and am full of admiration how you can build up an atmosphere of doom by focusing on a few little things without any objective indication of danger.
Wounded protagonist overcoming past adversity is always a powerful theme.
Thank you. I’ve revised that blurb a few times. LOL
Marci, I love how your characters have to learn and grow in order to reach their happy ending. I think this is the secret of a great story. (And if the character fails to learn and grow, the story becomes a tragedy.) I really enjoyed your post.
Thanks, Helena. I think every good story (assuming mine are good) requires the characters to learn and grow. And I agree about a character not growing results in a tragedy.
“Everyone has wounds to some degree, regardless of personality. It also makes for a good character arc.”
I agree. The wounds and the ability to overcome them are a teaching lesson.