Think Audience – Six Tips
by Joan Leotta
Here are some of the things I discuss with my students when I teach writing. If you are writing only for yourself, you can skip this post and keep a private journal, If you want to publish your work you may want to consider the following when working on your manuscript, no matter what the genre.
As a performer, audience is preeminent in my mind when onstage. I find that putting audience first also improves my writing. Here are six tips for improving your writing by keeping the audience in mind.
- On a piece of paper write down the type of book you want to write. Just don’t say you want to write a picture book, middle grade, young adult or new adult book. Include what the book will be about. Is it going to be a quite bedtime story, a thriller, a story about a young teen who is bullied? Will the protagonist have to solve a mystery, run from some disaster, win the girl back, etc. With that in mind continue to number two.
- Your Audience: Put on your cub reporter cap and take some notes. Picture your book in the hands of your reader. Yes, the one sitting in their house in their chair in their own house. You’re not with them to explain your story, so as you write their needs should always be on your mind. Ask yourself the questions they might ask. Add those answers to your notes.
- Visualize:/Meditate/Drift Back and Remember: For children’s books and articles, I recall what I liked at the age to start.
- Do Your Homework: Read other books your target age group enjoys now , as well as rereading some of the classis. (I also study school libraries where children take out books on their own instead of being guided by parents.) Then shape your words to reach that group. Write as if you were speaking to them.
- Think in scenes: Imagine each chapter in terms of dramatic scenes. I picture myself performing it to keep the action moving. I also use the basic journalism questions, who what when, where and why to fill my fiction and non-fiction to draw my characters, to make them real.
- Analyze/Ask yourself: Get a piece of paper and write down the titles of the books you read. List the reasons why you liked each book? List what you didn’t like and the reasons why? Take a look at your draft. How does it stack up? This will guide your next revision.
Writers don’t always get to interact with audience, but audience, readers are important to me and I hope they are to you are well.
Joan Leotta is the author of six books in print, four historical romances (light mystery) that can be read as young adult or new adult in the Desert Breeze Legacy of Honor Series, a collection of award –winning short stories called Simply a Smile and a picture book, Whoosh! that celebrates fathers and daughters and the importance to a child of time spent with parents.
All of her current books can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=joan+leotta
You can follow Joan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Joan-Leotta-Author-and-Story-Performer-188479350973/
Or visit her blog at: www.joanleotta.wordpress.com