Episode 40: How to Convey Your Message and the End of Season 1
This is the last episode for season 1 of the podcast. Find out what that means as well as discussing the main topic: how to properly convey your message. As a writer, we all have a story to tell and a point we want to make. Find out, here, how to do it the right way.
You can listen to the episode right here. The transcription is below the player. Feel free to add your comments using the comment section below.
Episode 40 Transcript
Note: Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and humans, as such, it may contain errors. Please, double-check the audio file before quoting anything from this page.
00:00 [JT Pledger] Greetings, kids! Today we find ourselves at the end of this podcast’s first season. I will explain what that means. Then, we will talk about this week’s topic: How to ensure your message, as a writer, is conveyed correctly through your words.
00:44 [JT] Episode 40 is the final episode of A Scribe’s Scribbles podcast season 1. I will be honest with you and say I am not sure if there should be seasons for a podcast like this, and if so, how many episodes there should be in a season.
01:06 For myself, still learning how to talk to y’all and learning how to produce a podcast, I decided that seasons should be a thing, and 40 is a nice round number for episodes.
What’s the Meaning of All of This?
01:21 What does this mean for the podcast and for you, my favorite listeners? Put quite simply; it allows me to make the podcast better. I have big plans for the production and theme of this podcast to coincide with the ExtraDraft website. This includes the video courses and learning materials found there.
01:45 The break between seasons will allow me to update the Music, introductions, and visual elements of the podcast. I plan to come back in Season 2 with a bang and hopefully a more exciting, enthralling, and interesting podcast for all of you.
To You, Dear Listener
02:07 As a listener, it means you will have to wait a few weeks to get more writing tips and tricks. However, you can still get your fill. The weekly blog posts found on ExtraDraft.com will continue, and you can take the time to go back through the archives and catch up on all the goodies you may have missed.
02:31 Also, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already. There are great tips, tricks, and information in the newsletter, along with the free downloads, materials, and extras you get for signing up. Shameless self-promotion complete, let’s get into this week’s topic.
Convey Your Message
02:50 I have said multiple times, that every person alive has a story to tell. Musicians and artists use instruments and paint to tell theirs; authors use words. Part of that story, though, is a little message that you want to put through to the reader.
03:14 We all have some sort of message to give, and our written words are how we portray that message. The problem comes in when we can’t get our message heard, or worse, the reader mistakes our intended message for something well wrong.
03:33 So how do we ensure our story tells the message we want it to tell? There are a few different methods to see that you get your point across loud and clear.
Convey Your Message, Method One
03:45 First, you can just flat out tell the reader what that message is. Now, this isn’t a very romantic or poetic approach, of course, but it does work. This method is more in your face and follows along the lines of those shows and movies that tell you what happens upfront and then spend the rest of the time telling you how it happens.
04:12 Normally, this isn’t an approach most authors want to take. We like to be more mysterious in our messages and write with the hope that our words can paint the picture, telling the story how we envision it unraveling.
04:31 As an author, we want to keep all of the tiny nuggets of our story secrets secure, safe, and held as long as possible. Giving up the loot right off the bat doesn’t allow the author to maintain their secrets. However, it does serve a purpose in some regards. Short stories can benefit from explaining the story message from the get-go. Authors that want to imitate and emulate the likes of Quentin Tarantino will also benefit from outlaying the message at the start and then weaving their tale to come full circle by the end.
Being More Poetic
05:16 Let’s assume you want your storytelling venture to be more poetic and meaningful. How do we make sure our message can make it through the poetic meter of our prose? The answer comes in a small word with huge implications: diction.
05:37 Diction is a fun word. By definition, it is the way a writer uses words, including word choice, repetition, and implication. As a writer, our diction defines the voice, meter, and pitch of the story. It helps the reader maintain a beat as they read and get into a groove, so to speak.
06:01 Diction is also the use of words strung together to convey an emotion or startle the reader into a state of shock. For example, you can use diction to write a few paragraphs that use longer, wordier sentences. Then all of a sudden change to short, choppy sentences. This jolts the reader and gets them on edge, ready for something bad or exciting to happen.
06:30 Through the use of proper diction, you can convey the tone of your message, so the reader knows what to expect. A lulling, long-winded diction, for example, is perfect for a romantic tale. It will end with a heart-warming message that everyone deserves to be loved.
06:47 On the other hand, a confusing mix of tone and inflection in your diction will alert the reader that your horror story is telling them that no matter what we do, we will all end up dying in the end.
You Have Characters, Use Them
07:01 Another tried and true method to get your message across is to use the words and actions of your characters. As you have no doubt heard from me by now, characters should be real people. In the sense that you can make them real to the reader.
07:18 Using these people, you can use their words, actions, and interactions to convey your message. Perhaps you have a topic or belief that you are passionate about. Your characters can then convey this passion by acting on it themselves. You can have your main character go through his or her changes based on how your beliefs and your message dictate.
07:42 Using your characters in this way can be tricky. If your readers, for example, don’t agree with your message, they are less likely to care about your characters. If the person is a publisher or agent, you may not get that book deal. Of course, the other side of the coin is that if you have that strong of a passion or belief, you don’t want an agent or publisher that doesn’t feel the same way.
What the Hell is Your Message, Anyway?
08:11 Before you can use any of those methods to convey your message, though, you have to know what your message is. This goes by the wayside if you only plan to entertain with your book. Sometimes it is okay to write a novel or a story without any message. Pure, unadulterated entertainment is just fine. Don’t get pigeon-holed in your story because you don’t have a message to convey.
08:41 If you do want to get a message across, though, you need to decide what that message is. Then decide how you will use it. You can believe me later, but it is far better to know your message and then write your story than it is to write your story and try to edit in your message later.
09:05 During your outline phase, you will want to decide how much of your message to put, and where it should go. Take the time here to really tell your story with the message in mind and not the other way around.
Advice is Free, but so is Breathing in Farts
09:24 The last bit of advice I will give you is to not worry if your message isn’t received by everyone. Readers are fickle, they are funny, and they don’t always truly understand what is going on. If you decide to put a message in your story, do so with the intention of getting through to one person.
09:52 Tell yourself that a single person who reads your message will be eternally touched by it. If you aren’t satisfied with that, then you should stop being a writer and join the peace corps. On the other hand, if you can truly be satisfied that your message was well received by one person, then you can rest well at night knowing that you have reached your goal.
10:16 It doesn’t matter if you sell 1,000 copies or 100,000. If you set out to change the heart or mind of one solitary person, you can feel good knowing that you accomplished that. Set your goals any higher than that, and you will lie awake at night, either being disappointed or wondering if you should be disappointed.
End of Season One
10:41 I will leave you with that to ponder and sign off on season 1 of A Scribe’s Scribbles podcast. I hope you have enjoyed it thus far, and hopefully, you have taken away a bit of knowledge — at least one of you.
10:56 Until Season 2 starts up, have fun; write words.