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Should You Write For Your Audience Or Yourself?

Assuming you’re writing commercial fiction designed to sell, rather than just a personal project never intended to be read by anyone else, should you be focusing your energy on writing for yourself, or writing for your audience? Neither is technically wrong, so whether you’re choosing to write what makes you happy or to make your readers happy, you’re not necessarily doing the wrong thing, but their are arguments to support both approaches.

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How To Write Plot Twists

A plot twist is a sudden change in your story that your audience don’t see coming, such as a reveal that one of the goodies is actually a baddie. Your plot twist can be written in a way that pulls your audience into your story and makes them want more because it’s a really unexpected moment that’s exciting to read, or it can boot them out. And you never want to boot your audience out.

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Writing Character Deaths And Resurrection

The resurrection of characters that have died can be a dramatic game changer that enhances your story, however, if used too easily and without careful construction, it can have the opposite effect. Your audience can be left feeling like all the tension has been sapped away because if characters die it doesn’t really mean anything.

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Story Tellers and Cancel Culture

The concept of “cancelling” a human being has recently become very popular. You can be “cancelled” for all kinds of reasons, but usually it’s because you’ve expressed an opinion that is considered unsavoury, such as racism or homophobia. Sometimes it’s just because you follow somebody on Twitter who is deemed unsavoury. Perhaps you liked a tweet about something completely unrelated to the opinion that got someone “cancelled.” The variety of ways you can get “cancelled” is vast.

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Writing A Cliffhanger To Start A Series

If you are planning a series of books or films, then you need to write the first one in a way that will encourage your audience to come back for the second installment, and excite them to read further adventures with those characters. One way of doing that is with a cliffhanger, so you leave part of your story untold and end it at a point of tension that the audience hopes to be resolved next time. However, there are negative consequences to that decision.

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How To Make Your Audience Cry

If you are writing something absolutely devastating in your story, such as a heartbreak or death scene, it’s natural as a writer that you want to make your audience cry when it happens. If they cry, that means you have successfully connected with them in a way that is powerful enough to move them, which means your story is well written enough to connect with.

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Making Your Character’s Motivation Understandable

I’ve written before about how your Protagonist and your Antagonist both have to be motivated to go after what it is they want, but it’s important to remember that your audience has to understand why they want it. If they don’t understand why it matters, they’ll have a full disconnect with the character and stop caring if they achieve their goals.

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How To Write Characters Learning Information

If in your story you have a character that needs to learn a piece of information that is crucial to your story, you can have them learn it one of two ways. That can either learn it by working for it and finding it out because they’ve quested to accomplish that, or they can learn it by a chance because they hear another character discussing it or the stumble on it by mistake because of somebody else’s error.

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Writing Flowery Language

If you want to tell a story that focuses on plot and character, such as love story, action adventure, or murder mystery, and your audience come to you for those things, a detour to use a lot of flowery language and poetic description will get in the way. Your audience will stop reading because they’ve forgotten the point of the story and got bored.

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