Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Grandmas, Single Moms or Workaholics?

Have you ever thought about who you're writing to?

Seems like a silly question in some regard, and there could be a bunch of different answers.

And I don't mean "who are you writing for?" Because in some degree, if you're a Christian writer, then you're writing for the Lord.

No, I mean, who are you writing to?

You likely already have some idea, especially if you've made a proposal and have determined your genre and had to list a target audience. For example, if you're writing a contemporary romance, your target audience is probably something like "Women in the age range of 21-55" or something broad. If you're writing YA, it's probably "Teenagers in the age range of 15-18" or "12-15".

That's good to know. Definitely. You need to identify your target audience not just for proposal/marketing sake, but for you as the reader to think of who you are writing to.

But what I'm asking goes a little deeper.

Think about the Bible and it's authors. Paul, for example, wrote a lot of letters in the New Testament. And a lot of those letters were clearly addressed to believers. Followers of Christ. While other instructions or letters or insight was addresses to non-believers or about non-believers.

It makes a big difference when reading the text to know who the letter is written to.

What if you found a love letter from your boyfriend or husband or spouse? Makes a big difference if it wasn't to you or to someone else, right??

Our writing is the same. We have to know our audience, because it makes a difference. So go deeper for a minute. Who do you picture when you imagine someone picking up a book with your name on it from the shelf in Barnes & Noble? Not just a nameless, faceless, vague age bracket. WHO are they?

Is it a single mom at the end of her rapidly fraying rope, who is in desperate need of some hope and spiritual encouragement? Is it a super-successful business woman who needs to kick off the high heels at the end of her busy workday and find some quality, clean entertainment on the page? Is it a teenager who is sullen and bitter about life and is searching for something he/she doesn't even realize? Is it a widowed grandma who fills her suddenly empty days with church work, house work and novels? Is it a college-aged student who is struggling to figure out life and wondering why she's still single and desires to be desired?

Who are you writing to?

I really believe when you can identify this, it will put a new spark of passion into your writing.


  1. I am write to historical-fiction fans, which means I've had readers from 10-75. :) Pretty big range, isn't it?

  2. Good information. I have to go back and really consider this with my latest work in progress.

    Thanks for the post.

  3. Alicia, my Love Inspired novels have a wide range of readers too! :) Even my YA novel seemed to have more middle aged readers than teens! lol It takes all types.

    But this post was more about identifying who your audience's heart/soul is.

    Glad to help Angela :)

  4. I picture lighthearted, well meaning but a little confused about future or how to reach their dreams type of girl, maybe twentysomething too

  5. Great vision Tonya! I can see that in your readers too.

  6. I'm thinking high school/college students who are looking for something wholesome and uplifting to read. So much of today's literature glorifies darkness. I want give young people like myself hope. :)