Who you are writing for matters…but not in the first draft. When you sit down for the first time to work on a new project, it should be between you and the page. Keep others out until you have laid it bare on the page. There are times when the audience are valuable. Your first readers are key. You will need people who not only enjoy reading but enjoy reading the genre you have written. I understood that my first book, O-B*tch-uary would have a limited reader base. It is a strong tale of a wife, mother, friend battling breast cancer. This storyline would be limited to those who are, have, or are close to someone battling the disease. I understood that being focused on a topic most don’t want to
travel down that my reader base (audience) would be small but it was a tale I needed to tell. I have no regrets and I know I have touched those who sought out the tale. Understand what your audience wants and write it but write it your way. Avoid the clichés and write a new version of any tale.
Hello Audience! Yes, that would be you. I am writing to and for you. Don’t you feel special?! As I said above, write for your audience after you have written for yourself. I make myself chuckle when I write these posts. My hope is that I do the same for you. The best laughs are when you have a mouthful of coffee and spit it all over your desk. Those crack me up. So, go fill your cuppa and let’s hope I can do just that. Steal a nibble from your boss’s drawer. You know the one. It smells like chocolate and sadness. Now, make it look like you are studying something very important on the screen while you open your copy of Around the Writer’s Block by Rosanne Bane. Join me on page 262. Hurry! Don’t get caught.
The value of a good first audience:
- They appreciate the process and what it takes to write.
- They share with you what they found effective.
- They share with you questions that were not answered in the story.
- They let you know where your writing needs to be more effective.
- They offer concise suggestions for revisions.
This is only level 1. There can be a level 2, 3, 64. Whatever it takes. Make sure you leave a list of questions for your reader to answer and ask for suggestions and issues they may see. You…must grow a thick skin, because errors will be found. But that is what your 1st readers are for. Cool.
Now, who is your writing buddy? Do you have a writing buddy? Find one! Your Buddy is someone who understands and can and will give you real feedback. They can also commiserate with you about the struggles of chasing words that just don’t wanna stick to the screen. One more important task for the Buddy is making you accountable to yourself. This will be the person who will hold your feet to the fire.
Can your Buddy be your partner/spouse? Well…maybe, but most likely no. Your partner will probably be your “Biggest Fan” and may not want to offer criticism. Your beliefs tend to fall along the same line so it would be difficult to get a different perspective. You may want to look outside of your home and in a group of writers. With all of that said, your spouse/partner could be your Buddy. Make it known what you need and ask for an unbiased opinion. Pour them a fresh hot cuppa and give them a brand-new sparkling RED pen then walk away. Do not sit on their shoulder while they are trying to absorb your words. Let your words stand on their own. If they are strong, they will withstand the scrutiny.
The FINAL thing. You must be willing to start over when you need to. Sometimes you need to change the focus of your story or you just need to change your focus. Don’t let your Saboteurs get in the way. Starting over can be hard but it can also give you a fresh perspective.
When I feel stuck on a story, I move to another. I currently have four stories in the works. When I get stuck on one, I shift to one of the others until I can find fresh eyes. When you haven’t looked at a story for a month and go back and read it, you will see it differently than you did when you were writing it. A break helps but remember it is a break not quitting.
Well, my friends. This is it. Our journey through Around the Writer’s Block has ended. The book isn’t complete. If you have a copy you will find many more pages of knowledge to absorb. Please, continue your journey.
Next week we will start Take Off Your Pants! By Libbie Hawker.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
Universal Code: https://books2read.com/u/bOZe8o