How Long Will Your Readers Remember Your Book?

Hello once again (man, I need to think of new greetings here)!
Think about why your favorite childhood movie was your favorite or just one you like now or would watch over again.
I could probably list an immense list of movies from my childhood that I still watch, and would want to. I know we’re writers, but I don’t know, I’m just using movies for today.

Some of my childhood favorites are (cuz you really need to know):
The Incredibles
Journey to the Center of the Earth
The Princess Bride
Lord of the Rings

Now, these are just a few I still enjoy watching (the list could go on for a while), but the point is why? Whether you like it for the story (which is more general), or something specific, like the character’s undying loyalty, or the rambunctious yet humorous attitude of the duo of comic relief characters. It’s good to know why. What your readers like, or who would like your book, what you like.
So, to find out what people like, I (in preparation for this post) asked on social media what their favorite childhood movie was, and why. I got several responses. But, nobody even mentioned that it was memorable. They remembered it from their childhood.
I LOVE the Lord of the Rings books and movie (even if they are different, and the movies aren’t entirely accurate).
I learn/see something new every time I read it. I’ve been around it for most of my life. Each of my family members has their own personal copy of the LOTR and the Hobbit. Tolkien wrote such an elaborate story and world it took him twelve years to write it (1949) and wasn’t published for another six years. I could tell you that Middle Earth wasn’t all there was, there were other lands, over the sea. And that it’s not called Middle Earth. It’s called Arda. Anyways, nerdiness aside.
That’s not the point of the post.

You’ve heard the ‘what we do what we say impacts others.’ in a good or bad way. You could inspire them. Fiction does the same thing. You the writer can do that through fiction. Your writing could be memorable, impactful, moving. Through relatable characters and many other elements that make up a story.
Characters are important, those are the subjects you are following throughout the story. They must be believable. In Lord of the Rings, my favorite character is not the main character, Frodo. Although, I promise he is way different in the book. My favorite characters (there’s too many to choose one) are Samwise Gamgee and Gimli son of Gloin.
-Make your reader relate to any of the characters in some way. They’ve got to understand why your character does what he does (or ya know, find out eventually).
-Believable. They’ve got to believe it. Not literally believe a crazy fantasy story will happen, but you don’t want them to scoff at it for its lack of believability (although, if they’re scoffing, then that’s just rude).

Setting is where your story is placed. Which is also how you describe the place your story happens. It shouldn’t interrupt the flow of your story, it should be helping the story along. That may depend on the point of view of your story. If your character is the narrator then you should only be giving details/information about what they know and see personally. But if it’s a narrator (third person) then you are simply observing. You don’t have to go all Tolkien crazy (though, I personally think his descriptions are beautiful and go well with the story) but just enough to keep your reader in the world you have created.

Theme is really the things weaved into the story and as Christians, we find Biblical themes in stories, especially when studying them. (even if it’s not written by a Christian), those are things like redemption, salvation, and forgiveness.
One of the places you might have which already influences people is your platform (blog, social media, people around you etc,), not just a nonfiction book you published, there’s also fiction, the people you meet every day. You can learn from stories that aren’t exactly something that could happen (maybe it could happen), but they have truths in them, Biblical themes, teaching your reader, or pointing the way to the truth.
I’m not writing a book labeled as ‘Christian (non) fiction’, but I hope it will influence my readers and ultimately point towards Him, when making the story memorable the main things are story, character, setting and theme (if I’ve gotten something terribly sorry) as I’ve said before. These are all that makes the content of your story.
Some questions to help you create a lasting story God-honoring story:
Will anybody relate to it? What draws people to a story, how does it affect them? Long term, or just temporary? Does it follow my beliefs?
This is a pretty general post, but I hope it helps you think about your writing more and helps you on your fiction writing endeavors!
-Kirstie Rhys


  1. Good points! :) And nice favorites ;) I would just add National Treasure, and that could be my list, lol! :D

  2. Great points! Awesome.
    Tolkien nerd here. :)