Friday, March 13, 2015

Write With Your Readers In Mind

Fiction writing is not the same as other artsy crafts, unless you never plan to publish your work. When you've decided to sit down and write a novel to share with the world, you have to think of your readers. They're the one's who will make you, or break you - as it were.

If you feel you're a pretty good writer and want to do it for a living, the ego needs to be kept in check. Maybe you have a degree in creative writing, or a master's, and you think you've got this - well - think again. Just because you know all the rules and believe you are a very smart person, doesn't mean you know how to reach your readers, no matter what genre you choose.

There are a few things to keep in mind as you go on your journey as a fiction writer. I'll share the one's I've learned and hopefully they will hit home with you. Maybe even help you to feel good about what it is you are writing.

1. Write to the average person's level. 
     What do I mean by that exactly? Well, simply put, most readers read at an 8th grade level. When you use really long words, that no one uses in their day-to-day life, you'll lose them. They don't understand some of their meanings and will not stop to get a dictionary to see the meaning of the word. People want to be immersed in a book, not be stopped every paragraph. Quit being pretentious, and showing off. 

2. Learn about the rhythm of writing.  
     There are several steps to the rhythm of writing, but mostly it's realizing when best to use longer sentences, and when short, tight ones are called for. When writing an action scene, usually short sentences will move the action along. If describing a mountain pass, longer ones bring the reader in and helps them to imagine the scene. Also, it's okay to use fragmented sentences once in a while, especially when conveying action, or dialog. People don't speak in complete sentences, and shouldn't in your dialog either. Unless, of course, you have characters like mine who are from a different world.

3. Who is your intended audience?
     Are you writing religious books, Christian romance, or are you writing fantasy fiction, or sci-fi? If it's the latter, than it's okay to speak to the reader in their "words". But if it's a sensitive reader than you probably don't want to use curse words. I think this question's, answer pretty much describes itself.

4. Read and read a lot.
     Why do I say this? Well, to put it in Steven King's words, reading is homework for the writer. The more you read, the more you will see the types of style and what works or doesn't work. If you're reading a best seller, you'll see how they capture the imagination of the reader. If you find a book with a lot of info dump, or head hopping, you'll see why it can be put down.

5. Let go.
    Imagination is one thing we all have in common. Let yours go to new heights. Don't be afraid, it's what will drive you to write, to finish that novel. When I first started writing my series, I remember looking at myself in the mirror one morning and telling myself, go for it - let it all out. It's what the reader wants, what they crave. So go back to that childhood pastime of pretending, and getting carried away with your creative personality. It's the way to go!

Well, these are the basics. I know there's more, but for now, start with remembering these few steps. Whether you're writing to a child audience, or adult, these suggestions will help you along the way. Remember, you're not writing a paper for your professor, but one for the public at large, so don't use a big, long words every other sentence. It's, in the words of Steven King again, excessive and embarrassing. 

Oh, one more thing - if you would like to see the new cover for Lore, it's posted on my website Djenworld Stop by and check it out if you have a minute. It's in the members only page! Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what you "honestly" think!

Have a nice weekend all and happy writing!

Love, Lisa



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Lorraine and thanks for leaving a comment! ;-)

  2. These are great tips, Lisa. I just had lunch with a well known writer, and guess what....he had similar tips with respect to writing. Great work. Blessings.