Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Takeaway--the Gift You Give Your Reader

Takeaway-The Gift You Give Your Readers
Net's Notations: All About the Reader Series, Part 6

Ever read a novel and find yourself connecting so readily with the character’s dilemma that you close the book to ponder your own life?

Ever finished a novel and felt visited by the characters after their story was told, simply because the author communicated their problems’ solutions so clearly you took them with you?

Takeaway. Value you can take with you after reading.

Evidence of takeaway in fiction: "Oh, that was such a great story!” and changed lives.

Evidence of takeaway in non-fiction: All those highlighted pages and dog-eared corners.

Takeaway is easier to pin down in non-fiction pieces, like ten keys to success or how to shave your dog in three easy steps. (grin with a disclaimer—I’m a non pet owner)

But fiction novels have it too. I don’t often give examples, but this one just zoomed up to me from the past and I knew it wouldn’t be denied: Surrender Bay by Denise Hunter is a beautiful allegory (which is in itself a rare find). If you haven’t read it—read it! No Christian should miss this anointed story of Jesus’ love for each of us.

In the context of a romance, Denise Hunter paints the picture of Jesus loving His bride (a believer) despite her own doubts about 1) herself, 2) her stuff, 3) his love for her barring all doubts.

Surrender Bay stays with me still, though I read it soon after it released two or so years ago.

Good books will warm your heart. Great books will do that and give you irresistible takeaway.

And the best takeaway for a Christian book is something in regards to your relationship with God Himself, and/or your relationships with people.

Prayerfully consider your book’s takeaway so you can better bless your readers, because it’s all about the reader!


  1. Thanks for the beautiful post. I wrote my first Christian novel with this in mind and it was a difficult challenge indeed. I hope once readers begin to see it, I will have accomplished this.

    I love books with takeaway value. Surrender Bay is sitting on my shelf right now, waiting patiently for me to get to it. I can't wait :)

  2. Hi Cindy,

    Thanks for your kind words. I think you're going to love Surrender Bay. Have you read other Denise Hunter books?


  3. Oh yes! I came across Sweetwater Gap this year and picked it up after hearing wonderful things about it. I also found The Convenient Groom at the library. Two great books. I'd definitely read more of hers.

  4. I have Sweetwater Gap on my shelf. Loved Surrender Bay and The Convenient Groom. Can't wait to read SG. :) And she has a new book coming out in October--Seaside Letters. Just the name sounds fantastic.

    :) Annette

  5. Cindy, On August 31st, Denise will be here as a guest at Seriously Write sharing why she chose the allegory genre. :) Just a little behind-the-scenes FYI.


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