The greatest themes in a novel are the simple ones.

All memorable stories must travel from the writer’s heart to the heart beating inside the reader.

I know the accepted basic themes of a novel as discussed by various writers of great renown.

Life and death.

Love and death.

Loss and love.

Struggle and failure.

Struggle and triumpth.

But what is the essence of good writing.

What is the basis of good storytelling?

We try to make it difficult and complicated.

But it’s really quite simple.

In Back Side of a Blue Moon, a stranger comes to a dying town during the Great Depression. He’s a con man and a fraud. Make a quick buck and get out of town. There’s always another sucker on down the road. But he falls in love with a beautiful widow and doesn’t want to run anymore. He hears the rumors. Are they true? Did she murder her husband? Where will love take them, and is a bullet stronger than love?

It’s a story told from one heart to another.

That’s the basis for all memorable stories that make up the flesh and bones of a novel.

She’s lost and nobody can find her.

She’s in love and he isn’t.

Someone’s dead and someone else is on the run.

He’s innocent but the judge says otherwise.

He’s in danger, and nobody knows.

A life is filled with fear.

A life has hit a dead end.

A life hangs in the balance.

Our life or someone else’s life.

It doesn’t matter.

Unless the story touches the writer’s heart, it can’t touch another.

Unless the writer cries, no one else will shed a tear.

Unless the writer is in love with love, no one else will feel the same.

Unless the writer is frightened, no one else is scared to death.

Unless the writer feels compassion, the story falls flat.

Unless the writer is devastated by the tragedy, it’s just a cold statistic in the obituary column.

A novel can have many twists and turns.

A novel can head off in one direction, then turn sharply and head off into another direction.

A novel can have as many stops as starts.

But a novel, in order to touch someone, must go in a straight line.

It must travel from the writer’s heart to the heart beating inside the reader.

There are no shortcuts.

There is no other way.

Please click HERE to purchase Back Side of a Blue Moon on Amazon.

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