When we write, who are we writing for?

When we send an email we know who’s receiving it, so we know what kind of language to use. We know how to best get our message across because we know how the person getting the mail thinks.

The same is largely true of texts, and mostly tweets.

(Don’t get me started on Twitter! That’s a whole nother piece!)

When we write non-fiction, we are concentrating on getting things right for an audience that we know will know their stuff, will know what we’re writing about as well as we do, if not better. We put the effort in. Do our research, see what’s out there and where our stuff will sit in the market.

Putting effort in to specifically satisfy our audience seems like a natural, sensible thing to do with all of the above.

So what changes when we write fiction?

Some people say they write for themselves. That they imagine they are writing for someone just like them, or they are writing to only please themselves.

There is of course nothing wrong with that at all.

Writing as a creative process is an amazing way to express and experience things without a need for it to go further.

But what about those of us who write to get out stories and our ideas out there?

To maybe even make some money, maybe… just maybe… even a living at it.

We should know who we’re writing for.

How many of us can picture our ‘typical’ or ‘ideal’ reader?

And if we can, how often do we have their satisfaction in mind when we’re writing?

You have to write from the heart, you have to challenge yourself, believe in what you are doing and have a real passion for the story you are telling.

But you also have to realise that getting that story read by others is going to depend on how well you understand who you are writing for. Who is your market for the story?

Are there any other books out there that are similar to yours? Not in exact theme and content, but does your story fit a genre?

If it does, read other books from that genre, get a feel for what the genre is. Read the top three sellers in the genre: get a feel for what the market likes and wants.

Some of us <ahem…me…> don’t read enough. We need to read more. Get to grips with what’s out there in the genre we are currently writing for. It’s time well spent.

If you’re writing away, deeply engaged in the story, the plot, the characters, nailing those prose, spare a thought for where your readers are – what are they reading now, where will your masterpiece fit in that market?

The plan is to get your stuff out there right?  A cunning plan… stick a tail on it… call it a fox… as part of that cunningness, you’ll need to know where ‘there’ is…