Write For Your Audience

Write For Your Audience

No matter what you choose to write, whether it’s for children or adults, whether it’s a book or an article, there’s one thing that needs to be kept in mind and that is who your target market is.

Imagine how a four year old would react to a picture book that had over 200 pages and used sentences of over thirty words, including many of three and four syllables. Chances are that even if the book was opened to be read, the child would lose interest before the end of the first paragraph.

The same might be said of a university student who picked up a novel with a great cover, only to find that no sentences had more than twelve words and that words like doggy, mummy, tummy and horsey were used consistently.
Both of these examples are extremes that would never get past the publisher, but they do give you an idea of the importance of focusing on your targeted reader. Knowing your market and your potential reader is vital at any time, but it’s especially so when you are looking at having a book published commercially.

If you’re unsure of what level of reader you are writing for consider the simple calculations created by Robert Gunning in 1952. While the process was devised a long time ago his FOG index still works perfectly well today.
To help with this, select one person you know who is typical of your chosen demographic. Then as you write have them clearly pictured in your mind. Deciding if they will understand and be interested in your writing will keep you on track.

If you’re unsure of the typical person or don’t know anyone who is within your target range - for example you’re writing an early reader but don't have much contact with that age group - why not find a way to mix with them? In this instance, consider volunteering to help out at a local school, or after-school childcare, or mix with friends or family who have children of that age.

Never underestimate the importance of knowing your market. It will enable you to write using a voice, vocabulary and tone that enables the reader to associate with you. If they feel you are genuinely talking to them, they’ll enjoy your writing.
Share by: