Tip #3 Determine your audience
Dear Aspiring Author,
What are you talking about and who are you talking to in your writing? Who will read or be interested in your book? Is your audience men who like historical fiction? Teen boys interested in superheroes or supernatural beings? History buffs? Women? Children?
Put a face on your audience.
My audience is adult women, so, I make sure I speak to women about their issues and feelings. I put a face on things women can identify with; things like childbirth, their first love, being in a relationship with a man, emotions, womanhood, etc. If I can describe something that most women can relate to, I’ve pulled them in.
Readers like to be engaged.
Personally, if I’m not engaged by the end of the first chapter, I don’t care what happens in chapter two.
Who’s in your audience? (Sounds almost like the Capital One commercial doesn’t it, What’s in your wallet?) Okay, I digress. Back to the tip.
Do you write children’s stories? If so, speak their language. Make your character have a messy room, hate broccoli, love playing outside with friends, look forward to Christmas or play a sport.
Connect with your intended reader. Make the reader think you’re talking about them or at least make them think you’ve been in their shoes before.
Sometimes you may have to go where your character is or will go. When I wrote my second novel, Caring What People Think, Dannica Rawlins worked in a manufacturing environment that made trash cans. I knew the human resource manager of a company that makes large curbside trash cans, and she let me tour the facility so I could get a feel for what Dannica saw and heard–it helped me to imagine her being there. Someone who worked in an office environment at a manufacturing facility could also get a feel for what Dannica saw and felt as she interacted with the other characters in the plant and in the plant office.
Take some time to think about who you’re trying to reach. Be happy with your decision. You can’t appeal to everyone.