I’ve never really thought too much about audience while I was in the process of writing. I think about it plenty after I’ve finished the work – trying to decide what markets to send material to.
From a marketing point of view, I guess I usually go about the whole business upside down. If you were to design a product from a clinical standpoint you would look at the market first and see where the demand was, then go and build your widget to match that.
The only problem is I cannot create this way.
I usually get an idea for a story, or character, or setting that starts the whole business of world creation, then the story gradually grows from that seed. I very much feel as though I am following a particular conception.
As I am writing I usually try to stay as true to that initial conception as I can. To bring to life what I have already see in my mind’s eye. Up until now I have never brought a potential reader or intended audience into this process.
But recently I went through an exercise of trying to summarise the themes I dealt with in each of my manuscripts to help me articulate what they were about in marketing pitches. A strange thing happened. I started to think about the sort of reader the work would appeal to. Now I find that if think about that person as I write it helps me to direct my energy.
Do you think about your ultimate readership when you are in the middle of creating your work? Do you deliberately target your stories for markets?