Rachelle Rea Cobb is a freelance editor and the author of Write Well and the Steadfast Love series of three historical inspirational novels. Before her first book had even released, she met a man with the same name as her series’ hero. On one sunny Saturday in June 2016, she married him. Both homeschool grads, they live in their newlywed nest in a corner of the South where the air is slightly salty. Rachelle enjoys blogging, all the different kinds of Oreos, and pretending she’ll one day see the bottom of her to-read pile.
You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her blog.
Ready for a quick exercise? Put pen to page (or fingers to keyboard) and picture your reader. That’s right, your reader. This can be anyone (your neighbor, your grandma, your professor), but ideally you’ll choose to picture the target reader of whatever you’re writing.
If you write fantasy, perhaps you’ll picture a high school student who should be studying for an exam but chooses instead to de-stress for an hour by reading the next chapter in your book...and the next. If you write historical romance (like I do), perhaps you’ll picture a mom who just put the kids to bed and is settling onto the couch with a cookie and wants to know if everyone will make it out of the castle alive.
If you’re like me, sometimes it’s hard to picture your reader, but this exercise—and pinpointing your target reader—boosts the power of your writing in three ways:
- You will write more clearly because you don’t want to confuse your reader.
- You will write more concisely because you don’t want to lose your reader in a rambling sentence.
- You will write more compellingly because you want to maintain your reader’s attention and enthusiasm for your story.
After all, writing is communication, and the key to meaningful communication is respect for your reader.
As a freelance editor, I help writers polish their pages until they shine and when I teach writers to respect their reader, it is often a lightbulb moment. As a writer, whatever stage your story is in, keep your reader at the forefront of your mind, because if you do, you will write differently.
This is one of the reasons why I wrote my most recent book, Write Well, a short ebook designed to guide you through what you need to know about writing—so that you can get back to the real work, actual writing!
Write Well focuses on the most important aspect of all writing: respecting the reader. You can also check out my free resource, 7 Quick Fixes for Common Writing Mistakes, available for download on my website. This printable can be kept handy at your desk for quick reminders.
Thanks for allowing me to chat about a passion of mine (readers!) and my latest release today! Now, let’s write well!
So what do you know about your target reader? Share in a comment the age, gender, life stage, etc.