At some point, the discovery writer (pantster) must decide who their audience is?
Plotters have the advantage of planning to create a story for a group of people.
For instance, if I were to write a picture book, my audience would be young children.
If I were to write a romance, ladies would be the audience. Sure, some men also appreciate Hallmark-type stories.
As an example, I wrote a story called Jupiter’s Song. I targeted science fiction buffs, however… It is really a coming-of-age story that belongs on the Hallmark Channel. Almost any ‘nerd’ will commiserate with Ralph.
A young child (nerd) finds that his interest in science puts him at odds with society. That makes him a target of bullies. How Ralph navigates the social world of ‘humanity’ is the focus of this short story which is available in our writer’s group anthology on my amazon author site.
Marketing your book is critical to the process.
From the inception of your idea, an author needs to remember who their audience is. Most YA is written in the first person.
Many subject matter experts (SMEs) tend to put what they know in their stories.
One writer I know wrote a novel where they put tons of information on bicycles in the narrative. The story has nothing to do with that subject other than one of the characters rides one as a hobby. Does it move the story along? Is technical information on different types a distraction? Does it help or hurt the story? Do we care about the brand and the specifics of the brand when it adds zero value to the story? The focus of the book is aliens.
No, that is where a content editor is worth what you pay for. Whoever they used failed at their job.
‘Predators and editors’ is another topic I will cover in the future.
Another author is an SME on guns. What they ‘show off’ in their narrative has nothing to do with the story, plot, or what will happen. Those are just two examples of what not to do.
I don’t think we can pinpoint who coined the phrase ‘Kill Your Darlings,’ but they are correct.
In the movie industry, there is something called the cutting room floor. What ends up there are parts of the movie that don’t move the show along. Killing your darlings are things that the author loves but either detract from the plot or don’t move the story along.
Earth’s Last Hope is a science fiction fantasy with a strong female lead.
Romantic involvement as the subplot introduces the reader to the protagonist. Advanced writers will recognize the negative arc before it turns positive. There is no muddy middle, and I would start this book early in the day, so you are not up all night.
As a side note, I completely destroy the Earth, kill off 8 billion people, and we have a happy ending. In fact, you will love the finish. Don’t spoil it by attempting to read the ending first, as you won’t get it.
Read it one page at a time, and just enjoy it.
From that description, who is my audience?
I will give you a hint. It is written for today. 2023
In our anthology, I have a story called The Star People. ‘The Star People’ is the introduction to Dr. S. Richards. The negative arc comes from her brokenness from her dysfunctional family life as a child. The story in the anthology is a PG version of those chapters in Earth’s Last Hope.
If you are a writer, author, or want-to-be, I am the Carrollton League of Writers Executive Director. We meet in person and on Zoom.
After the pandemic, we decided to keep Zoom. Streaming services such as Zoom allow us to reach speakers, authors, and other creative types from around the globe.
If you want to speak with our group, please drop me an e-mail.
Frequently we have authors join us to talk about their work, how they got there, and so on.
I had a thought as I was closing this blog. Isn’t it odd that the UFO they shot down in Roswell in 1947 was later claimed to be a balloon? Where is that guy with the wild hair that screams Aliens? It seems we have a history with UFOs and balloons.