If you want to succeed as a writer, you need to know your audience: Who are you writing for? The answer will determine your topic, word choices, structure, and more. If your audience enjoys cozy mysteries, you’ll quickly lose readers if your pages are full of nightmarish horror. And readers who prefer humor will be disappointed if nothing in your work makes them smile. Even poets aren’t exempt — you don’t want to submit your free verse poetry to a literary journal where readers expect to see haiku and senryu. To grow your readership and boost your odds of getting published, use these tips to accurately answer the question: Who is your audience, writer?
How To Identify And Write For Your Audience
Know the unwritten rules of your genre. Diehard genre fiction fans have certain expectations about what they read. While your bittersweet, heart-wrenching ending may be embraced in literary fiction circles, romance readers expect happy endings. Thriller readers will be on the lookout for creative, engaging plot twists. When you’re writing in an established genre niche, make sure you don’t leave fans confused or disappointed.
Consider your readers’ age and demographics. A book for elementary or middle schoolers will be shorter than a book for adults. Remember too, though, that the language you use and topics you cover are also likely to be quite different — while young readers can handle some hard-hitting subject matter, books or stories for children versus adults tend to have totally different voices, language, and construction.
Demographics also include hobbies, location, and marital status. If your audience includes a lot of gardeners in the Northeast, including plants that are indigenous to that part of the country will strike a chord with your readers. And amateur curling enthusiasts will appreciate writing that incorporates shouts of “Clean!” to the sweeper.
Look at what’s trending. From topics to genres to lengths, the world of publishing sees trends and fads just like the fashion industry. Pay attention to what’s popular in your genre — these can be fun to play around with! Of course, you don’t want your writing to seem like a carbon copy of someone else’s work. Be sure to find ways to put your own unique spin on the current trends in your genre.