Communicating the Message by Rebecca Seaton


Communicating the Message by Rebecca Seaton

The message of the cross. But to whom and how?

I recently saw the following verse on a Bible app I use: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Romans 12:21) Interesting, I thought. Then I heard it at church. Perhaps God was saying something to me? Maybe, but then again, the same verses come up a lot in Christian settings, right? I could have been satisfied with that if I hadn’t then seen the exact same phrase written on a house in one of the final scenes of TV series Stranger Things. Okay, God, I get it!

It’s interesting that I heard the verse three ways. God was clearly talking to me and I believe at the right times at in the right ways. I hadn’t ignored the first message, but hearing it multiple times had helped reinforce it and given me a chance to process my responses.

Which got me thinking, how do I communicate with my readers, and my characters?

When communicating to readers, the story comes first: nobody wants a tract from your novel or that’s what they’d have bought! It’s also unwise to start off the writer/reader relationship by insulting their intelligence as you hit them over the head with a message. I find our message is often in our themes. Do your theme(s) (forgiveness, hope, good overcomes evil, for example) come across the right amount and in different ways?

How do characters hear and respond to the message? It might be said quite directly in the advice of another character (hence the importance of the mentor and ally characters in the hero’s journey) or they might see it play out more subtly in the actions of their friends and adversaries. Even when characters choose to go against the theme, the consequences of this may speak to those around them.


New life or hard work?  Something can have more than one message!

As Christian writers, we carry the key themes of our faith and the inspiration of our Father. As well as thinking about what message we choose to bring, we should consider whether the methods are accessible for others to hear. God speaks to each of us individually and with creativity: though we may not know them as well, we can use His example to show we value those who choose to read our work.

#amwriting #amwritingfantasy #ACW     


Rebecca earned second place in the 2017-18 Pen toPrint Book Challenge with her first novel, A Silent Song. She is currently working on a fantasy trilogy involving a prophet, a dodgy queen and a powerful relic.



  1. Lovely post and thanks Rebecca!! Your experience of God giving you the same message 3 times, in different ways, which finally caught your attention, shows it's important to have a strong author voice to potray the theme[s] we want. I guess that if 3 characters have been used to achieve this, the message would sink in!Blessings.

  2. How did I miss that? Whose house? Which episode?? I have had this happen to me before - the message comes through once then again and again until God is sure I've heard it. I also wholeheartedly agree about not hitting the unwary reader over the head with The Message. Good stuff.

    1. It's as they survey the damage at the end. Also quoted by the sports guys (completely out of context) to incite the crowd.

    2. Next time I watch it I'll look out for that. Although I found series 4 a little too dark. Argyle and Yuri were welcome distractions

  3. This is a great blog Rebecca. I've had similar things that God has had to show me several times. It's interesting that certain marketing strategies state that we advertise something at least 3 times. I will touch briefly on this in my MTW blog in 3 days, but here's an extract - The brain processes information like this - awareness, consideration, and decision. I also missed the writing on the house in Stranger Things.

  4. Thanks Brendan. The marketing thing sounds interesting, I'll definitely keep an eye out for your blog.


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