Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writers, How Well Do You Know Your Audience?

I've been thinking a lot about audience lately, and I encourage you to try this little exercise.  It's fun!  It really helped me connect for a moment with my audience.

What is important to your audience?  Think of 20 things that matter to your audience.  You don't have to include the things on this list in your writing, but it's vital to be aware of such relevant issues.

I made a list of things that are important to young children.  Really, I could list over 100 things that are important to them!  However, in an effort to be kind to you (my intended audience for this blog!), I am only listing 20.

What is important to young children?
  • dinosaurs
  • playing in the dirt
  • having milk at lunch
  • reading books
  • Every. Step. Of. A. Bedtime. Routine.
  • chocolate
  • being a big kid
  • getting to decide
  • special baby dolls
  • dressing up
  • the right bowl at breakfast time and the right color of cup at lunch
  • right now (time)
  • getting to the bathroom on time
  • a predictable day
  • getting a turn
  • painting
  • splashing with water
  • hugs
  • digging
  • humor

It turns out I have a lot in common with young children.

What about you?  How often do you think about your audience?  How much do you know about your audience?  Would you fit in with your audience?


mooderino said...

I don't see fart noises on your list. Top 5 at least.

Moody Writing

Jansen Family said...

Haha, Mooderino! You're totally right! And spitting and burping!


KarenG said...

Another good reason for a writer to blog-- it's how you can get to know your audience! Well, unless it is young children, but then again, you can get to know their moms who are the ones buying the books. Same thing.

Carla said...

Great point, Karen!


Dawn M. Hamsher said...

I LOVE this exercise! I am going to do it and then post my list on my blog. I will give you credit and link back to you. Thanks!

The Write Soil

V. Furnas said...

I really love this idea. I love a good homework assignment. I am on it!

Lynda R Young said...

Great post! It IS important to know what matters to our target audience.

Mandy C said...

This is a great exercise. So many times I over look what audience I'm writing to much less what that audience wants, which is bad.

Carla said...

Dawn, I can't wait to read it!

Valerie, I'm so glad you're using it!

Thanks, Lynda! I completely agree!

Mandy, I hope this helps!


Charmaine Clancy said...

I love that dinosaurs are on the top :)
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Shannon Lawrence said...

Great exercise! Thanks for posting it; I need to try it out.

Carla said...

Charmaine, So do I! There's been a bit of a dinosaur obsession at my house lately! ;)

Thanks, Shannon! I sure enjoyed it!


Pk Hrezo said...

That's a great list .. and so true. It's the basics in life. I always try to think of the audience. It helps me to focus on one in particular. My last story a MG tale I imagined writing it for my son and what he'd like. That helped a ton! :)

Grillyfish said...

What a fabulous idea - I am also going to write my list and see what things I can think of - will pop on my blog and link back here :)

Whilst I always try to keep my audience in mind, I have never really tried it this way before - usually I try and work out if I would have liked it when I was little and go from there. Thanks Carla! :)

The Golden Eagle said...

I will have to try this sometime! :) Great list.

I'm in rewrites of the first novel I actually managed to finish; and I suppose I'm writing it more for myself than for an audience. So I don't really think much about who it would be directed toward.

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

What a fantastic exercise! Thanks.


mgudlewski said...

Ha, it seems I have a lot in common with young children, too!

Nice post, Carla.

Carla said...

PK, I think it helps a lot knowing someone well who fits in your target audience!

Thanks, Grillyfish, I can't wait to read your list!

Good luck with your edits, The Golden Eagle. I think it's important to write things just for ourselves sometimes. I also think it's important to keep yourself in mind when you write for others...writing something you're not happy with because you think others will like it is not a formula for success! Great insights!

Debbie, I'm glad you liked it!

Mgudlewski, I think young children have a lot of good things going for them! So does the young child in each of us. ;)


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