Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Ok, its INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP (IWSG) DAY; which means everyone is in a rush to get to as many posts as possible. I want to only take up two minutes and forty four seconds of your time. Click the video below and let it play while you read my post. It might put a smile on your face.

And remember; quality, not quantity. Which goes a long way in reading (books, reviews, blog posts), writing (drafting/editing/revising/ rewriting) and VISITING friends.

I like this new question of the month feature to IWSG - hosted by Alex J Cavanaugh, and this months helpers: Yolanda Renee, Tyrean Martinson, Madeline Mora-Summonte, LK Hill, Rachna Chhabria, and JA Scott.


I suppose I could write a very long post about this, many people have said nice things about my writings, some of those are genuine appreciation for the concepts; but there are two that really stand out for me.

1: Regarding my women's fiction (as yet unpublished), the best response from beta readers/friends/family has been (paraphrased): Wow, I can relate/identify with . . (character) . . because he/she sounds like me/a family member, or close friend/someone I know.

That is, of course, the goal of the writing: that people will recognize my characters as everyday people, relate to their issues, and maybe take two minutes to "walk in their shoes".

2: Regarding my short story TWO MINUTES INTO TOMORROW: (again paraphrasing feedback at the site) Not sure if I liked it; but it got me thinking, and a little bit scared that this situation could really happen.

I know, some people would take that "not sure I liked it" as negative feedback. But the story was intentionally controversial, abstract, and disturbing. I wanted the reader to "think" and be aware. The reader read the whole story, and had an opinion on the issue presented.

In both these responses, I know I have reached my target audience; ill defined as it is.

My question to you this month is: do you have a target audience, and/or how do you know you've reached that demographic?

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope the song above gets stuck in your head all day (lol) but also inspires you to actually read the IWSG posts you click on today. Remember: quality, not quantity. If you skim, leave a vague comment, and move on - you cannot complain about the lack of interactive comments on your own post.


 Oh, and don't forget to cast your vote for the next IWSG Anthology genre.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Making someone think, really think, isn't easy. A lot of writing is just turn off your brain and enjoy.
Thanks for the prod to actually read. Today is about being real and people are putting effort into their posts.
And now I'm going to have that song in my brain all day.

Elsie Amata said...

Good job picking out the song. And yes, it'll probably get stuck in my head. My book is very targeted to a specific audience. I know I've reached that audience because I gave them away for free to a support group to those affected by what I wrote about. While I'll be grateful to make money from the book, it's not my ultimate goal, my ultimate goal it to help others, that's why I wrote the book. Have fun bebopping around the IWSG. It's been a long time since I've done it! :)

Diana Wilder said...

That's a great song to have stuck in my head today (heading out for an interview and somewhat tense). Somehow 'That's great, I loved it', while nice, is not as enjoyable and helpful as 'I'm not sure I liked it, but it sure made me think!'

My target audience? Hmmm.... That takes some thought. I'll be thinking as I drive to my interview.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

If someone can relate to a character or two, then they'll be drawn into the story, and that's what we want.

I'm working on my 4th genre so my target audience is all over the map.

Yolanda Renée said...

I thought I knew my target audience, but I've realized I don't know anything!
I think if a reader gives you that kind of feedback, yes, you have found your 'ill defined target audience!' Good job!
You are an amazing writer there is no question in that regard. I hope that despite your busy life you find the time to continue!
I've never spent a better two minutes and 44 seconds! Love it!

Pat Hatt said...

Pfft my target audience is all over the damn place, so beats the heck out of me lol

Really making someone think is good indeed.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Dolorah, if someone can relate to your character/characters, they are already drawn into the story and will follow the character all the way through, maybe even in future books.

Rachna Chhabria
Co-host IWSG
Rachna's Scriptorium

Jeffrey Scott said...

I like your viewpoint that not every 'bad' comment is a bad thing. Sometimes it's a critique. And isn't that really what we want? If every beta reader gushes over your writing when it really isn't, that doesn't help us.

As for my target audience, it's YA. I was trying to find some beta readers among my younger nieces and they seemed interested, but so for I have not received any comments back.

I guess I need to take it easy and search out others interested in beta reading my works.

Michael Di Gesu said...

GREETINGS.... Yes, I am still alive. LOL....

What a terrific compliment. Getting people to THINK is an amazing thing. The MESSAGE was CLEAR! Writing about disturbing subjects is part of life. People NEED TO KNOW... It's not all "rose colored classes". Life is hard, edgy, ugly, and evil... YET... there are parts of life that have such incredible beauty, if we only just take the time to OPEN up to it. If we did, perhaps the rest will disappear altogether. One can only HOPE for that.

I LOVE the question feature, too. It's a great way to finish or start our posts each month...

Hope all is well!

C.D. Gallant-King said...

I am only very slowly reaching my desired audience. Blanket marketing doesn't seem to work for me at all. It seems best to find someone with similar interests and make a connection, get them on board, and hope that they too will tell people about it.

It's a slow process. You can't just spam Twitter and Facebook and hope a thousand people reply.

Olga Godim said...

Great song, Dolorah. Thank you so much for posting it. I have to remind myself over and over that there is no need to rush, but it's not an easy message to remember, especially in our hectic times.
It seems from your post that you did reach your target audience. Congratulations! It's the ultimate goal for any writer to find her readers. I'm still searching for mine, but then I'm doing something no writing teacher ever recommends: I'm hopping genres.

Denise Covey said...

Great post and song, Donna! Take it easy...I try, but very hard with so much going on. It is hard to define comments sometimes. I think we need a target audience in mind when we set to writing a story. I'm trying to visualise my reader like I'm talking to them. We'll see if it works, lol!
Have a great month! :-)

Botanist said...

If you get people thinking, even if they don't like it, you got a reaction. The worst thing for a writer is indifference.

VR Barkowski said...

Great responses to your work and a great song, Donna. But I love reggae, so you had me at Hopeton Lewis. I always try to read posts and respond thoughtfully. That’s why I visit so few blogs. There's only so much time in a day.

Because my genre is so amorphous (as opposed to genres like scifi, mystery, or romance), I write for readers like myself. They’re out there. I know this because someone is snapping up Barbara Vine, Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Ruth Ware books. My target audience isn't a collective, and I suspect most of them are as anti-social as I am. There's no way to know how or if I've reached them, so I focus on what I like to read.

VR Barkowski

Tara Tyler R said...

great song, great advice, and you received lovely admirable words to cherish!
glad i stopped by!

Loni Townsend said...

I do have a target audience for my big books, though I'm not good at getting in touch with them, even though I'm one of them. As for my novella, that's meant for everyone who doesn't have the patience for multiple POVs, epics tales, and formal talk. :)

Michelle Wallace said...

I know that I love writing suspense...the more twists and turns, the better. BUT I'm not sure who my target audience is.
Would readers of suspense books be my target? Not sure.
Can't I write the story and decide after?
Writer In Transit

DEZMOND said...

we do like it when readers respond! And when they appreciate the effort

dolorah said...

Alex: yes, I appreciate readers - and viewers - who fully engage.

Elsie: thanks for stopping by :) If your book is helping others with the subject matter, then you have reached your audience.

Diane W: oh, I hope the interview went well.

L Diane: I'm also drawn to vivid characters when reading.

Yolanda: thank you. I hope that song keeps your fingers tapping on the keyboard :)

Pat: Well, long as someone is buying the books, then that fabulous blog of yours is probably doing all the work for you, lol.

Rachna: that is the hope anyway.

Jeff: try the IWSG links for crit partners and beta exchanges.

Michael: Well hello to you too :) Yes, it is a compliment if someone is "disturbed" by disturbing content. Goal achieved.

CD: I think the IWSG links for CPs and Beta's would benefit you too. People do tend to ignore all that flashy twitter and FB advertising.

Olga: lots of new authors are genre hopping. Specializing can be so limiting; authors are more creative now than they were 20 years ago.

Denise: I have a movie playing out in my head also when I'm writing scenes :)

Ian: yep, some reaction is better than none.

VR: write it as it comes to you. I am of the belief there is an audience for every writing out there somewhere. Finding them is the hard thing.

Thanks Tara :)

Loni: lol, tall order to fill there :)

Michelle: absolutely; write it, then figure it out.

Dezzy: oh yes, love a response of some kind :)

Pat Garcia said...

Yes, I do have a target audience, and I know I am reaching them because I have let different women read some parts of my manuscript and they have said, "I feel like you are writing about me." I didn't realize that I had discovered a hole or a door opened until a male writer told me whom I opinion I treasure said, "Finally, I am reading a very thought through real life love situation that can happen and it is not a shifter scene.

That praise made my day.

I love the song. I am a musician too so there are not too many songs that I don't love.

Shalom aleichem,

cleemckenzie said...

Very lovely comments about your writing. Having someone who can relate to your characters so much, they identify with them is wonderful.

Chrys Fey said...

Writing a story that people can relate to is a big compliment. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Wonderful comments on your writing. I've written one of those controversial type stories, too. So I love when people mention that in some way. It means they got it. It doesn't matter what they thought about it or what they would do, but it does matter that they understood what I was saying. Happy Friday!

alexia said...

I think those are great compliments - like you said, we want people to connect to our writing, and see themselves in it. Or for it to be thought provoking and a bit scary, and that's fine.

My focus at the moment is my urban fantasy, and I am honest with people if they aren't fantasy fans that they probably won't like my books. Even high fantasy fans are sometimes not into urban, just as I am less likely to read high. And they are definitely not "clean", so I warn people about that, too, LOL.

Gwen Gardner said...

If you can draw that kind of a reaction from a reader then you've done your job. They don't have to like it, some subject matters aren't meant to be liked. But to feel a powerful emotion from something you've read? That's high praise. Well done.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

LOL. I have the TV playing in the background and as I'm reading, an actor on the TV said, "just take it easy.' It will now be in my head forever!

Shannon Lawrence said...

I can definitely see how that second bit of feedback would be good to receive. If I write something intended to make people think, that's what I want them to do, whether they like it or not.

Lexa Cain said...

I think it's great that readers can really identify with your characters and that your disturbing tale did indeed disturb! It's great when people get what you were aiming for.

Target audience. That's hard. I can never tell which readers will like what I write and which won't. I can get a ball-park idea of my target reader, but I never knew how many different types of sub-genres, MC preferences, and style preferences there were until I delved into the horror clubs at GR. TBH, in Bloodwalker, I thought my girl MC, Sylvie, was super-sympathetic. Yet girl reviewers are mentioning falling in love with Rurik (who was hard to write). I didn't even write Rurik to be a romantic sort of hero at all. He's more The Beast or The Hunchback of Notre Dame or Darkman. I figured poor underdog, victimized, heart-of-gold Sylvie would get all the reader love, but one reviewer even said she didn't like her! Hmm. You just never know...

dolorah said...

Pat: I can relate to your viewer who liked the non-shifter, realistic love scene. I like romance, and urban fantasy, but sometimes a "woman" just needs a little real life love.

cLee: that was the goal :)

Chrys: it was

Carol: sometimes "getting it" is more important than liking it, or identify with characters.

Alexia: Yeah, I'm a difficult reader to please anymore with fantasy, or urban fantasy. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't; and that can even change book to book with an author I like. I've been watching your posts and following your progress; you are amazing, I am so pleased you are writing what the readers want.

Gwen: I agree, thank you.

Susan: I think the universe is giving you a message of some type?

Shannon: lol, whether they like it or not!

Lexa: well, umm; I did really like Rurik! Not being overwhelmingly sexy and romantic is the appeal. In my women's fiction, my mc Amy isn't all that likeable, but the love interests are apparently romantic enough to keep readers reading. Maybe women don't like other women who aren't super heroines?

Feather Stone said...

Hi Donna: I seldom consider my target audience while writing though I'm aware the genre will exclude many readers. Because of Forbidden's Middle East setting, I may be victim of murder mystery readers choosing to not read it because of their fears and bigotry surrounding Muslims. It's a risk but that's what I have accepted. Also, I'm preparing my psyche to receive hate mail from both Muslims and non-Muslims. It will be an adventure.

Lidy Wilks said...

Good song to try to remember. One of the best compliments you can receive from a reader is how they can relate to your character(s). And that it was thought provoking. Can't get no better than that.

Rhonda Gilmour said...

Hmm. My target audience for WF is mature women, and it's probably the same for my cozy mysteries, though they have broader appeal, age-wise. Love the song!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Donna
Those are nice comments. Miss you in crit. Hope your job is still fun.

Lee Lowery said...

I think both comments are great. As a reader, there is nothing I love more than to think, "wow - the author nailed that character!" With respect to the second, "it made me think" is a superior compliment to your writing, whether the reader liked it or not. Thanks for stopping by - I'm a bit late getting caught up!

Lynda R Young said...

I love that you made someone think. That's a huge compliment in my books.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I definitely think it is a good compliment when you have made someone think :)

I do not really have a target audience for my blog, per se. I like reaching a variety of people.

Patricia Lynne said...

There's been times I've taken someone saying they didn't like my story as a compliment. Hey, I made them feel something. Might not be the emotion I was going for, but whatever. ;)

M Pax said...

That's some wonderful feedback you've gotten. Yeah, I prefer to write a cleaner first draft and take more time with it than have a mess to revision.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I understand exactly what you mean. I've read great fiction where I reached the end and was speechless, not knowing how I felt because I was so impacted by the story. Great compliments, Dolorah.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

ps. Love the song. Reminds me of Be Happy.

Cherie Reich said...

Sometimes those books that make us think, whether we know we liked them or not, are the type that stick with us the longest. I'm still trying to figure out my target audience. It's hard. Heh.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Hmm, good point about the IWSG posts, Dolorah. I find that I get a lot of "Great post! Here's my link!" comments during the A to Z in particular. I don't even bother to respond to those.

Those are great compliments, not only for the compliments themselves, but for the manner in which you took them. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Tamara Narayan said...

You make a good point. It is easy to get into a rush and think, I must comment, comment, comment as fast as possible so lots of people will visit and comment for me. It can be exhausting. Everything seems to be about numbers: how many comments, followers, reviews, and so on.

Who is my target audience? I am not Stephen King, sadly, but I like to think I write for people who enjoy his work when I write suspenseful/scary stories. Then again, is that a narrow enough audience?

A Beer For The Shower said...

Great song, with some great words behind it. And that's awesome that someone could relate to your characters. What a compliment. We write about idiots and maniacs, so we hope no one ever relates to our characters.

Anonymous said...

Those are great comments. It's great to have readers relate to the writing and to think and feel something.

Crystal Collier said...

Loving the song. =) Great praise. I would agree 100% from what I've read of your work. Very true to life and controversial.

I think the reaching your demographic is a study of constant effort. We're all trying to figure out better how to reach out people. =)

baili said...

If your writing make someone think about it it means you got what you wanted and it delivers joy to your heart forever

baili said...

If your writing make someone think about it it means you got what you wanted and it delivers joy to your heart forever