The Golden Rules of Writing: Know Your Audience
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No matter what kind of writing a person is doing, there is one major rule that all writers must follow: Know Your Audience. Is the material aimed at adolescent girls? Stressed managers? Inquisitive 20-something men? Infants learning to read? Stay-at-home mothers? A writer who doesn’t know their audience will likely miss the target.
Knowing the target audience is vital to the marketing of a writer’s work, but it is just as essential to the crafting of it. Imagine picking up a book on dating after a divorce to find that it is written at a grade two level, uses high school slang or dry scientific terminology. That book would not be very successful.
Readers want things written in a way that they can understand and relate to, illustrated by the great popularity of the “Dummies” books which take complicated topics and explain them in simple terms that the average person can understand. This applies to all formats of writing, whether novels, screenplays, articles, poems, short stories or stage plays.
To keep an audience, the writer must make sure he or she knows who the intended audience is for the project and structure their writing accordingly.
Whether writing fiction, opinion or real life, a writer is creating a space where the reader can enter to learn, emote, imagine and be free from their own troubles and reality. In a large part, the environment that a writer creates determines if the reader stays until the end, returns for another story or even invites others to share the experience.
We’ve all come across a book that we were excited read only to lose interest part way through. Why does this happen and how can a writer avoid it? There are a number of reasons why this may happen. Some are simple mistakes that can be easily corrected. Others may require further research and study before mastering. This cannot be avoided if one is to become a competent wordsmith, but the results are well worth the effort.
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