Writing for the audience of…me.

Myths of the Mirror

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Days before Sunwielder first hit the press in 2014, my publisher emailed me a question. “Sunwielder has a little of everything: war, romance, love, friendship, violence, and humor. What audience did you write it for?”

Good question.

It’s a blessing she and I communicated by email, or she would have seen the clueless, dumb-ass look on my face, my mouth forming my snappy, cutting-edge reply, “Uh…Oops.”

Without a doubt, the inquiry got me thinking, and to be honest, it wasn’t the first time I’ve contemplated the idea of writing with an audience in mind. I suppose many authors do, and from a marketing perspective, having a target consumer in mind is…um…what’s the word…imperative?

But I can’t write that way, at least not intentionally. My stories feel more organic than that, coalescing in the puny nutshell of my brain and suddenly cracking open into consciousness. I can only…

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6 thoughts on “Writing for the audience of…me.

  1. Kate, this is an issue that has only become prevalent in the past three decades, as the ownership of worldwide publishing has narrowed into the hands of a tiny number of corporations. The result has been less new authors getting published. It has alSo meant a fundamental change in the structure of the publishing world. Editors can no longer ‘nurture’ new authors. It’s a put up or shut up situation. On the other side, we see the elevation of the agent to perform the task, once the preserve of literary editors. The agent will nurtuRe a writer who is a potential cash cow. Hence, the prevalence, now, of such phrases as ‘target audience.’

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    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Dermott. I completely agree. The publishing industry is changing rapidly and I suspect that in a decade it will look completely different than it does today. Because most writers are in this for the long haul and will probably never make a living at it, my advice is always to write what we love. So far, it’s served me well. 🙂

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      1. Hear, hear. Before, the reader sought out writers, now writers are being trained and tailored for readers. They forget, the real joy of reading is to discover a voice that’s new to you, that says something in a different way and might, in turn, broaden your outlook. If the writer/reader relationship becomes, simply, a marketing exercise, then it’s redundant as the imperative of that is finite, manageable – I’m seeking a buzzword here – shit, I must have my buzzword filter on, full blast, audience that will only read what they think, sells best

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      2. Yes, there’s nothing quite like reading fresh voice and style, where the established writing paradigms are successfully pushed! I notice that after reading a few formula books by an author, I completely lose interest and no longer pick up the author’s work. It’s an interesting vocation, that’s for sure 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. D, sorry I referred to you as Kate, earlier, but you touched on another point, regarding (using your parlance) reader/writer paradigm, that writers are now expected to write to formula to keep their audience but which, by your example, above, will lose their audience

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