Creating a Purpose for Your Story

A hard part of creating a story is communicating the main purpose for why you wrote the story in the first place. The main goal of this thread is for three things:

  • If you know the purpose of your story then write it down here to help others who might be looking for ideas to brainstorm off of.

  • To follow up with writers who say they have a purpose to communicate to the reader by reviewing their story, and telling them if that purpose came across to you naturally or not.

  • To ask for help with creating a purpose to put into your writing from people who are working to do the same thing.

It’s important to have a purpose while writing, even if it’s to create a new world, because it helps tie together a story. My favorite books always had purposes behind them that I related to on some level or dreamed about. Anyways, good luck everyone, and I hope this helps!

Example Purpose: To write a story for young adults to understand mental illnesses better by using analogies and metaphors for both the illness explanations and the healing process from them. (It’s actually what I’m working on now, but hopefully this makes sense to everyone)

-Melissa :black_heart:

I don’t expect a review since my story is over 100,000 words, but I’ll join just to be part of the discussion.

The purpose of my story is to examine the various crutches and excuses we use to avoid accepting our own flaws, with a particular focus on modern Christianity and the idiosyncrasies we associate with it. I want my readers to think about their own flaws, admit that they have them, and then do something about it.

7 Likes

Mine has many purposes depending on how you read it, but the main one that is there is you dig deep into the metaphors is that forcing people in roles or labels is wrong. Simple clean. But also super relevant because of race, religion and LGBTQ. :slight_smile:

7 Likes

Honestly, that sounds very interesting. Also 100,000 words isn’t that much…but I basically read stuff for a living so I might be biased. XD

1 Like

I agree that it’s fairly standard for a novel, but I don’t exactly expect strangers to read an entire novel that, while it’s been edited a few times and reviewed by some beta readers, is far from finished in terms of polishing.

2 Likes

I always aim to royally entertain. :slight_smile:

4 Likes

My 2019 Wattys entry’s purpose is to put forth that the Jedi non-attachment mandate (which prohibits the members of the Order from developing attachments to others or marrying) actually is detrimental to the goals of self-sacrifice, compassion, and helping your fellow brother or sister to stay the course.

5 Likes

That sounds like what they explored in The Last Jedi. Be warned that Star Wars fans will get riled up lol. There’s nothing Star Wars fans hate more than anything and everything Star Wars. They are a contentious bunch.

1 Like

I’ve been a fan but since 1977. I’m one of the riled up ones when it comes to TLJ.

TLJ actually did not explore this theme. Trust me, it might have worked better if they did.

I base mine right after ROTJ and reach into the prequels as well.

3 Likes

The purpose of my story was to tell a grand adventure. To create memorable characters. And to generally have fun. I think I accomplished that nicely. Not to mention the ending leaves the readers wanting more and this book is one in a trilogy.

1 Like

The purpose of my story which is told over a 9-10 book series would be that even against impossible odds, grit and the bonds of friendship can overcome any obstacle.

3 Likes

I wrote Obsidian to change the world, to end prejudice, racism, discrimination, homophobia, and to broaden the mind of my readers as much as I can. I wanted to write an epic tale of two races with different way of life, culture, religion (one nomadic who treasures freedom and simplicity, the other city dwellers who treasure protection and prosperity) who are at war and hate each other for their differences, only to be blended together by fate and made to understand that they are as much a monster as their enemies and that in the end, we are all the same. Just humans with different ideals and beliefs that need to be respected and never judged based on appearance, culture, or way of life. It follows the story of about 10MCs, because I wanted to show humans from different angles, to offer a look into the head of an uncaring father, a tyrant king, an ambitious mother, a son who has to fill his father’s shoes, a half blood prince who has to choose where he belongs, a “chosen” girl who bears more weight on her shoulders than privileges etc. I really hope it will change something, even a little. :slight_smile:

4 Likes

That, is actually true and worth exploring.

2 Likes

This. :+1:t4:

2 Likes

My purposes are clear for me

Memories of Ignacia Contreras: Show how awful fascism is and why it should NEVER repeat

The Nazi Huntress: To have as many nazis as possible dead while showing how awful and horrible their ideology is

3 Likes

Mmmm my series as a whole has quite a few purposes / messages, from lessons about prejudices and equality to highlighting the true power of empathy and understanding in life and war. “We all bleed crimson” is one of the big themes of the trilogy that alludes to a lot of the conflict and violence we see today.

But I think the first book really exists to convince young girls (and boys) to stand up against social constructs even when it feels like the entire world is against them. I wanted my younger readers to understand the importance of fighting for equality, especially if they’re given the opportunity to make a difference. So I suppose inspiring “social responsibility” is a big one for me.

4 Likes

I too have a lot of underlying themes or ‘purposes’ in my current story I’m working on.

  • There is no such thing as a black and white world, all of our morals are painted different and it’s easy to get lost in the gray area. What is evil in your eyes may be perfectly reasonable in mine and it’s important to understand these other points of view to find solutions to our problems instead of putting blame on the other person and expecting that to make things better.
  • Don’t feel alone in being different or seen as an ‘other’ element compared to the people you see and know. Everyone feels like an outcast at some point and we should celebrate our differences instead of alienating and demonizing them.
  • Communication is essential for healthy relationships.
  • Love all but trust only those who have earned it.
  • Everyone is at a different point in their ‘growing up’ process. We are all learning and growing at different paces and it’s ok. There is always room for improvement and no one will ever know it all. No one is perfect and that’s also ok.
  • Diversity is beautiful, not something to be feared and destroyed.
  • We are all trying to find ourselves and it’s not a bad thing to not know who you are, it’s simply a state of being and part of the process. Always strive to learn more, but don’t be afraid to change.
  • Who you are is a choice and you have control over it. If you want to be better, put in the work and make the change. No one else can do it for you and blaming others for your misfortune will not solve it.
  • We are all victims in our own right. Instead of focusing on the bad things and letting them hold you down, use them to build yourself up and learn from them. Every misfortune can be used to your advantage or to help others and you can always make good out of bad.
  • Conflict = Creation and it’s not all bad. Sometimes to create, one must destroy. The most beautiful and healthy forests grow from the ashes of fire and death.
  • Sometimes you have to accept the reality of a situation, but that doesn’t mean you cannot find ways to improve it or see the good hiding among the bad.
  • How you treat others comes back to you and does make a difference. Your actions and words towards another may make all the difference to both them and you and you won’t know until after it’s done and cannot be changed. Be mindful.
  • No matter how far down the wrong path you go, it’s never too late to find your way back and work towards making amends. Just because you were something bad before, does not mean you have to remain that way now. You always have a choice.

I’m sure there are a lot more, and a lot of them bleed into each other, but those are just some of the things I want to subtly point out in my book series. I think all stories should have some sort of purpose, even if it is just to entertain, they should all have some message that reaches out and touches the readers in some profound way. I know not every reader will find those messages relate to them or are important, but if it can mean something on a deep level to just one reader, it’s worth it.

3 Likes

I wrote my story to spread awareness of the aftermath of abuse. The message of my book is that the only way to stand up against abusers and bullies is to show them that they cannot wreck our lives. For this, we need immense inner strength to move on from the trauma and live our lives on our terms.

3 Likes

Clocking in on Highway 118: My purpose was to probe deeper into the world of ghosts. What motivates a typical ghost? How and why do they exist? At least, in the world I created.

1 Like

The story I’m working on is about a female assassin who has a stroke. It has some romantic themes in it.

Part of it is just a fun kickbutt assassin story, but it has other purposes like:

  • Raising stroke awareness
    • What causes it/who is more at risk
    • Preventable measures
    • It’s not exclusive to old people
    • The affects of a stroke, physically and emotionally
    • How to spot the signs of a stroke to get help quickly
  • Showing determination through difficulties
  • Busting some “Male character” stereotypes
    • The guy doesn’t step in and save the day/fix her, he just supports.
    • He is not a bad boy, he’s sweet & genuine
2 Likes