Friday, May 17, 2019

The Purpose of Your Novel


I love our group blog and the questions Rhobin manages to come up with. This month it’s ‘what would you like to tell your readers to take from your novels and their purpose?’
It would be so easy to say the purpose is to entertain the reader, take them out of their world and into mine. And that is actually one of the things I do want to do.
I started writing because I have all the stories in my head and I wanted to share them. I wanted to tell stories people would want to read, but I also wanted readers to learn something from my writing. I hope my readers learn about life and death situations they might not otherwise think about. Or have them learn about people and things they might not otherwise consider, like what makes a serial killer. It would be nice if a reader learned something from each book. And if a reader, or maybe someone they know, is ever involved in one of those situations maybe they’ll consider how they might escape from that situation.

In The Foundation series women help to save other women. While you might not be trained in ways the heroines are, if you’re aware of some of the situations maybe you can help by telling someone your concerns or offering to help someone.  Women being physically or mentally abuse is a theme that often occurs in my stories. Here’s an excerpt from Gabe’s Story in the Hawkins Ranch series.
The front door closed.
Amy checked the clock. She had an hour, maybe more.
She perched motionless on the edge of the bed focused on the clock.
 
Don’t come back to check on me today, please.

The clocked ticked slowly. Amy continued to sit, not moving a muscle. 
An hour passed.
He hadn’t come back. With luck, she had a few hours at least until he checked on her.
Amy hurried away from the bed, pulled a bag from under a board at the back of the closet. She opened her bag to make sure she had what she needed, at least for a few days. In the kitchen she shoved the small bag through the medium-sized dog door. Her heart rate hit mega points. She kept listening for the front door to open.
He might suspect something and come back early.
She took a couple of deep breaths - still no sign of his return.
Amy scrunched down and started to wriggle through the pet door. Her hips stalled her process. Even with her weight loss she had to twist sideways and back wiggle back a little and change direction before she suddenly slipped through the door. Outside she stood up and took a deep breath.
This was what freedom smelled like.

Don’t waste time, Amy. Get moving. He’ll be after you in a few hours. This time he’ll kill you.

She grabbed her bag and started to run. She had four to five hours max before he checked on her and found her missing. She couldn’t go back. She’d rather die and probably would if he found her.

She ran, and kept running.

In Gabe’s Story an abused woman has finally escaped, but many abused wives return home or their husbands/partners find them and may even kill them. Readers may not be aware of this.

I look forwards to reading what the other authors have to say about their books and their purpose. Please check them out for their thoughts.

15 comments:

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  2. Abuse is certainly a dark theme, but exposing it brings light. I found all your purposes in writing topics that trigger my interest in reading.
    P.S. deleted previous comment; hate misspelling words.

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    1. Thanks, Rhobin - and as a writer don't you hate it when you make a spelling mistake.

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  3. I'm not sure I could write that kind of book. I read Room and found it really disturbing but kudos to you, Beverley, for addressing what is a serious issue.

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    1. I think I was drawn into that theme because I worked as a public health nurse and saw many abused women. They stayed because they were afraid of the unknown if they left.

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  4. If your stories touch even one woman and inspire enough courage to step out into freedom, then all the labor you have put into penning those stories will have made a world of difference for at least her. And will have raised awareness for hundreds of others.

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    1. Thanks, Skye. That's my hope. I've seen many abused women who are afraid to leave.

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  5. Beverley, that's a gripping extract. I felt the need to read on, and what could be more of an indication of success?
    Yes, making people think about issues they hadn't considered before is a major purpose of good writing.

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    1. Thanks, Bob. I hope people will read on when the book is published. I don't think people realize how pervasive the problem is - and it occurs in all levels of society.

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  7. Not all people recognize when they're being abused. Sometimes it takes being told by someone else, or some pivotal event makes you face reality. Writing books is sending your stories out for readers to enjoy...and hopefully gain something from, even if it's just a few hours of distraction from their own lives. If they learn something, that's icing on the cake!

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    1. You're right, Fiona. Physical abuse is obvious but mental and psychological abuse isn't as easily recognized.

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  8. Like Rhobin, I hate typos also!

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  9. Stories have the ability to educate in a more profound way than merely passing information on. I applaud you that you are able to highlight these issues and thereby educate people through your fiction.

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