“If you don’t have worried readers, you don’t really have readers.”
— Billi Joy Carson
It’s true that writers need to write to an audience. But the process is not a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. As a writer, you do NOT need to find the audience you think is best worthy, and then force yourself to write for them.
When C. S. Lewis was asked about his books, The Chronicles of Narnia, and whether he wrote specifically so children would read them, he answered:
Lewis wrote what he loved; he didn’t morph his writing so it would be read and liked by his audience. He found the audience that would cherish his writing. Children love his books; adults do too. Why? Because C. S. Lewis poured passion through the pages of his books—a love that is obvious, and not forced, a contagion of enthusiasm that inspires generations, young and old, to pick up his books and read again.
Know your audience, don’t choose your audience; your audience has chosen you. Write what you know, write what you love, and write what the world will want to read again and again.
In both Christian and secular publishing there are different genres. Whether you are an experienced or novice Christian writer, your story will integrate within a particular genre. Therefore, every writer must ask, what is my writing niche and where does it fall in the realms of the various genres?
Your book will be classified under a specific type of category — or genre. A niche takes what you do — your uniqueness, insight, or experience — on a topic one step further, differentiating your writing from other authors within your genre. The journey towards discovering your niche may lead your writing through various avenues but the end result will prove rewarding for you and your writing. Begin by evaluating your own experiences and interests. Then, look inward to evaluate the following writing opportunities:
Defining your niche begins with knowing you. Understand your own writing and style while exploring what it is that makes you different from other Christian writers within your same genre. Recognize the unique positioning in which you can hold an exclusive advantage to. Here is where you will discover your writing voice — your story and your niche.
Once your niche has been defined, study it. Read the works of other writers in your genre and examine the similarities. Your comparison will help you lay out the varying elements of Christian-based works and better understand your position as an author.
Focus your efforts towards enhancing the niche in your book and your writing. Develop your marketing and branding strategy around your niche and create a forte to your writing. Your author blog can supplement your work with active postings regarding your book’s content, helping you to further your own insight into the topics through research.
Writing within a niche allows you to meet the needs of or appeal to a certain segment of readers. As your targeted niche audience grows, your writing profession transforms from writer to niche writer to expert, and, here is where readers, Christians and the Christian publishing industry turns to you for an outlook and inspiration.”
For more tips on writing from Westbow Press, click HERE.
Writers today are overwhelmed, frustrated, and let’s be honest, a little pissed off.Why do we have to build a platform anyway? Can’t we just focus on writing?
It all came to a head for me when I read Michael Hyatt’s bestselling book Platform: How to Get Noticed in a Noisy World. The book was interesting enough, but when I looked for information that related to fiction writers, I found the only advice specifically focused on helping fiction writers was tossed into an appendix in the back of the book.
That’s when I realized most of the so-called “experts” who said every author needs a platform were really just speaking to non-fiction authors. They didn’t have a clue what a fiction platform would even look like.
Meanwhile, thousands of fiction writers followed their advice, creating blogs they resented, Twitter accounts that overwhelmed them, and Facebook pages with thirty-seven likes. For most creative writers, this whole platform experiment has been a waste of time.
That’s when I decided I needed to learn everything I could about how to build a platform specifically designed for fiction writers.”
There is too much excellent information on this, to put it here. To learn more about Fiction Writer’s Platforms from TheWritePractice, click HERE.
Frank Kafka once said, ”A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us.”
Be honest. You dream about your writing having that affect on someone, don’t you? Because words have had that affect on you.
The frozen sea inside of you has been shattered by stories, truths, ideas, and turns of phrase so astounding that you had no words to respond or even tell someone what it meant to you. Isn’t that why you want to write?
So, how do you write words that will move people, and potentially even play a part in breaking the frozen sea inside of them? It’s actually quite simple:
You write what moves you.
Except that part is not always easy. Because in order to write what moves you, you will have to visit your pain. Your fear. Your weaknesses. Your nightmares and demons. The skeletons in your closet and the horrific possibility of self-disclosure, even if veiled in stories and themes.
Because, as you well know, that’s where the frozen sea inside of you is. If you are ever going to crack the ice of another person’s soul, you have to be brave enough to go first. To be a witness. A testimony. An example.
If you love your reader, you will go first. You have to lead them on this journey. To show them how and why it’s important.
There is enough fluffy, meaningless drivel on paper to fill the Marianas Trench. So don’t add to it. Write something that matters. And write it with conviction:
Whatever it is, write about those things that punch you in the throat and stir your insides.
Because if it moves you — if it raises a lump in your throat as you type, it will move someone else.
It might just give them the hope that you’ve been given by other writers, with their words and stories that have inspired and reminded you that you are not alone. Aren’t you glad they went first?
As I was writing my first novel, there were many times where tissues had to guard my keyboard from falling tears. The story I was writing moved me and, thankfully, it has gone on to move others.
Such is the inexplicable magic of words, and I am in awe of the weight they can carry.
Oh, and one more thing: Don’t believe that going first is only a gift to your reader.
It is first a gift for you — and a very meaningful one at that.
We all need to go to our frozen sea, because seas were not meant to be frozen. They are meant to thrash about with life.
So, what are you waiting for? Go find your ax. And get to work.“
For more great insights from Jef Goins, Click HERE.
“Billy Wilder was one of the greatest writer/directors in film history, having co-written and directed such classics as Sunset Boulevard, Some Like it Hot, The Apartment, and Double Indemnity. What screenwriter wouldn’t want a little advice from him?
Well, here are some of Wilder’s screenwriting tips: [From Conversations with Wilder by Cameron Crowe]
“Anyone who writes is a writer, but that doesn’t mean they’re a very good one. So let’s talk about how to become a better writer. We’ll begin with the basics — here are seven key lessons:
[found on http://goinswriter.com/writing-tips]
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