Jul 8, 2022 • 49M

323 What's Your Point? Blueprint for a Book Step 2

Episode 323

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

I’m writing this book because I want people to read it.

Step 2 in the Blueprint for a book challenge only sounds easy. In Step 1, we talked about your why. For Step 2, we invite you to find your point – which is what you want your reader to feel or know or do when they are done. It’s not the same thing! If you want to get all AP English on this, we’re talking about the theme. Or from the non-fiction perspective, maybe you want to consider this your thesis—but they really come down to the same thing. Every book is, at heart, an argument for something – for a belief, a way of life, a vision of the future, a way to solve a problem, a way to make a friend, a way to lose your soul. Finding your argument (and this is something you will probably revisit, hone and clarify along the way) will help you find your book.

This is the second episode in the 10-part Blueprint for a Book Series. Start with Step 1, do the work (we’ll give you an assignment every week), and in 10 weeks, you’ll have a solid foundation for a first draft or revision of your project that will help you push through to “the end”. For the details on the challenge, and to sign up for weekly encouragement, bonuses and the chance to win a blueprint critique, head to authoraccelerator.com/amwritingblueprintchallenge


Name your point. It may sound like a billboard or a bumper sticker and that’s okay. That’s what you want for this step.

This is an easy assignment so use the opportunity to revisit your why from Step 1, and to revise your point as many times as you need to until it feels just right. Next week you’ll have more to do.

(Note: We suggest you download a Blueprint answer workbook to keep track of your 10 assignments. That will make it easier to revise, review and come back to your work. Click to grab yours for fiction or nonfiction. If you are writing narrative memoir (a story), use the fiction workbook and assignments. If you are writing self-help/memoir, use the nonfiction workbook and assignments. Prefer paper? Tape the assignment into your journal and make a nice big heading so you know: This is Step 2. This is the page (or pages) with my point. )


The Enneagram

Jessica Lahey, The Addiction Inoculation

Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Jasmine Guillory’s new Beauty and the Beast, By The Book

Kerry Savage book coach

Blueprint for a Book (Fiction and Memoir)

Blueprint for a Nonfiction Book


Dani Abernathy is an author and Author Accelerator Certified Book Coach who helps novelists write the stories they need to tell. Specializing in fantasy, soft sci-fi, and YA, Dani merges how story works with how people work, creating books that give readers the opportunity to have more empathy for themselves and others. She is a Capricorn, INFJ, and Enneagram 4 who believes that honest stories can change the world. Find more about Dani HERE.

For more from KJ, subscribe to her newsletter: Read. Eat. Listen. Or grab one of her novels, In Her Boots and The Chicken Sisters, wherever books are sold. Wondering about KJ as a book coach? Her current offerings are HERE

For more from Jennie, subscribe to her weekly newsletter. Or grab one of her Blueprint books, wherever books are sold. You can learn about getting matched with an Author Accelerator book coach or becoming a book coach at authoraccelerator.com.

This summer is all about starting a project, but if you already have a novel or memoir manuscript and you’re ready to go ALL IN, you’re going to want to do Author Accelerator’s Manuscript Incubator. Registration is open for the intensive, 7-month coaching opportunity that offers one-on-one support and guidance for novelists and memoirists planning to have a submission-ready project by early 2023—and includes the opportunity to have that project reviewed by a group of agents and editors when it’s ready. For more information, head to authoraccelerator.com/manuscript-incubator.