Nancy's Books

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Know Your Audience, Part 3

In a recent workshop, I met individually with several beginning writers who arrived with manuscripts in hand. The first drafts showed that each had worked hard to develop characters and plots and they had devised interesting dialog, along with a narrative arc that included a happy endings.  So what could be the problem?  

The problems fell into two categories. 

Category 1.  Example: The school-based story involved a history project about Abe Lincoln, but the text was written on a level for children ages 2-3. The concept was excellent but the target audience needed a more sophisticated, in-depth rendering. The word choice was too elementary and the text too sparse for the target audience. The subject of school, history project, and Lincoln are key in determining the audience is of school age. Children in the toddler age group don’t have the life experiences to connect with such a story and the emotional impact is lost.  

Category 2. Example: A family-oriented story about a cat that wanted to play with a ball was text heavy and the word choice was too advanced. Longer text with complex sentence structure is best suited for an older reader, but the character and plot were more in line with a much younger audience.

Every story must relate to the audience. If the character and plot aren’t relevant, the child will not be interested. The language should also reflect the reader’s age. Know the target audience, their needs, likes, interests, and what they think is funny or spooky or weird. Use these elements write a story that ignites interest. 

Call for submissions for Adult Writers
Blue Mountain Arts. Announces Its Twenty-eighth Biannual Poetry Card Contest

1st prize: $300 * 2nd prize: $150 * 3rd prize: $50

Poetry Contest Guidelines:

1.      Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better.
2.      We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.
3.      Poems are judged on the basis of originality and uniqueness.
4.      English-language entries only, please.
5.      Enter as often as you like!

Poetry Contest Rules

All entries must be the original creation of the submitting author. All rights to the entries must be owned by the author and shall remain the property of the author. The author gives permission to Blue Mountain Arts, Inc. to publish and display the entry on the Web (in electronic form only) if the entry is selected as a winner or finalist. Winners will be contacted within 45 days of the deadline date. Contest is open to everyone except employees of Blue Mountain Arts and their families. Void where prohibited.

Deadline: June 30, 2016

 

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