Friday, June 8, 2018

How deliberate are you when it comes to writing for your audience? (With McCall Hoyle!)

Today is our last day with McCall, but if you've enjoyed soaking up her writerly wisdom then you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Also, if you like contemporary YA, you should definitely add Meet The Sky to your to-read list. ​Seventeen-year-old Sophie wants to keep her fractured family together. She's all about sticking to a plan--keeping the family business running, saving money for college, and making sure her mom and sister don't endure another tragedy. Then a hurricane forms off the coast of the Outer Banks, and Sophie realizes nature is the one thing she can't control. To make matters worse, she's stranded in the middle of the storm with Finn, the boy who broke her heart freshman year.

Our last question with McCall is:

How deliberate are you when it comes to writing for your audience? Do you write with a specific audience in mind or do you write the story for yourself and hope it finds an crowd? 




McCall: I read a lot in a wide variety of genres so that I'm familiar with what kind of works and doesn't work in different genres. I don't really write with a specific audience in mind. I write what feels natural to me. Most of the time, what feels natural to me is writing from a teenage girl's point of view.

I'm not sure what that says about me. I'd love to say that it means I'm young at heart, and hip, and cool. I think what it really says is that the hardest part of my life was being a teenage girl, so I have lots and lots of authentic emotions and material to write from that perspective.


Shan:  I am deliberate. It’s something I think about a lot now that I’m not writing solely for myself. Once you decide to write with the goal of publication, I think you have to be more intentional. If not, you’re hoping to luck into something that might fit on a shelf. I think there’s a time and place for that kind of writing, but currently, I’m writing very specifically.







Jill: I also set out writing for teens, though my books have been published for adults and I’ve also written for children. I do usually set out to write a book that’s geared toward a specific audience, but I’ll promote it to all my readers whether it’s a kids book or one for grown ups. That might hurt me, sales wise, but I have to write what interests me, and my ideas refuse to fit the same audience with any regularity!

Stephanie: While I deliberately write my books for teenagers, it has also been very difficult for me to write for any other audience. Even when I have tried to pitch book ideas for adults, they have always come out sounding like a book for a teenager. Writing for teens is apparently my default setting!






What about you, writers? Do you write with a target audience in mind, or no?

8 comments:

  1. I write for teens and I think I have since I was twelve, when I wrote a story with a 16-year-old protagonist...whoops. (Actually, when I was 9, I wrote a book with a fifteen-year-old (MALE) protagonist...so I've always been writing for teens XD) I don't necessarily try to cater to my audience, but I do write solely for YA and I'm happy with that. ^_^ This was an interesting look at your audiences--great post as always!

    thefloridsword.blogspot.com

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    1. When I was eleven, I wrote my first book with a sixteen-year-old protagonist, too. It felt old enough back then... in recent drafts I have made him seventeen, just to give him a touch more maturity. ;) Sounds like YA is the most natural audience for you.

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  2. I almost always write YA-type books, but that's not because I try to so much as it is because I read those most often. But my characters aren't always teens--one of the ideas I've had on my mind (but it's been pushed back so far) is a book about a married adult couple.

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  3. I’ve always wrote with more of a gear towards teens, but now that I’m older and married, with a kid, I have this idea for a story that would be more of an adult story. Not quite sure how to handle that one lol

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    1. I understand, Maddie! I thought as I moved deeper into adulthood that I would naturally start having more ideas about adults. While I do have more ideas for adult stories, I still gravitate toward teens.

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  4. I realize how abundantly selfish this sounds, but I think that deep down, I write for myself. My stories come from my heart and are the outpouring of things that come deep from within and beg to be put onto paper. I was reading the forward of a Stephen King book the other day, and he worded this principle in such a great way. He said that there are two kinds of writers in the world, those who write for others and those who write for themselves, and that both are selfish in very different ways. He goes on to develop this, of course, but I thought the principle was very solid. (He is the latter, by the way.) Even though it might be important to deliberately target an audience, there are some stories that dig deep within your heart and demand to be told, no matter their market or target denomination.

    I realize that this is long, and I apologize, but it has been on my heart since reading that forward yesterday and I had to share!

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    1. I absolutely agree, Abigail. I write for myself as well. I can't write a story that I don't enjoy or love. There's a business piece where I know I need to make tweaks so the idea I love will fit into a specific genre or something, but I'm always the first audience I consider.

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  5. I write for myself too;) I try to write the books I want to read but haven't found. Thankfully, I've never had trouble finding an audience. I don't have pinned down age...all ages like my books, but I guess they might be considered middle grade - early teen reads;)

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