An Audience of One
Confession: I played hooky today.
I blew off work this morning and took off to a local lake with my husband. We’re brand new boat owners with basically no idea what we’re doing. And that’s okay. We’re learning as we go together.
There were a few bumps but overall we had a great day. We flew across the water, we trickled across. We fished and hunted for Pokemon (Okay *I* hunted for Pokemon). We hopped off the boat to swim and let little fish nibble at our legs. We talked and laughed and broke down on our way back to the loading dock.
It was just the two of us. No kids, no friends. He was my entertainment and I was his. Each of us living this life with an audience of one. When we write we so often think of our audience as a group. We visualize a stadium, a theater, or an amphitheater full of adoring people. We are overthinking it.
[bctt tweet=”When we write we so often think of our audience as a group. ” username=”OurWriteSide”]
Write For Your Audience of One.
When you write, focus on one person. One audience member. One reader. Tell your story to the girl on the park bench with the bright pink backpack. Tell it to the boy sitting in the back of the school bus. Tell it to the tired mom who is escaping reality for a few minutes at a time.
Know Your Audience
Okay, don’t panic over the theater full of people again but you do need to know who they are before you can single out your focus point. If you’re writing YA, your tone and voice should speak to that audience in general. And the same goes for any other genre. Know your audience. Don’t be afraid to be unique, find a new spin on an old genre, but you must know the audience first. You learn by reading your genre and talking to other readers of your genre. (Hello, SciFi Bookclub)
How Do You Reach Just One Person?
Start with yourself! You are the first person to ever hear your story. EVER. You are the first one to meet every character, the first to see every landscape. You are your first ONE person.
Okay, you are writing for yourself, now what? Diversify. Your cast of characters is your number one tool. Develop them well and give them depth and variety. One of these characters and their plight will connect with your reader.
Your reader needs that connection. You can have an intriguing plot and fantastic setting but if your characters fall flat you won’t make the connection. Speak to your reader through each character you bring to life.
Is that all? No! Why is my time alone with my husband, my audience of one, so satisfying? Because of all the FEELS. Who doesn’t want feels? Make your reader hopeful, make them cry, make them throw your book and make them fall in love. MAKE THEM FEEL.
It’s just you and the one reader, on a 17-foot bass boat on a lake in the middle of Ohio. Open yourself up to them, entertain them. Live a life with just an audience of one.
Until next time, scribe happy and stay sassy,