Main goal in 2016 targets the elusive reader
By Emma Palova
Lowell, MI- If we only knew what people really like, the creative business would be much less trickier. It’s not just that we as creators don’t know, but sometimes the receiving side doesn’t know either.
I found out this from my experience while trying to select a movie to stream from YouTube. My husband and I go through hundreds of movie selections both in English and in Czech. Quite often we end up not knowing what we want, and we switch lazily back on the TV programming to do the picking for us. It’s easier than making up our own minds.
But, taste is also a matter of the moment that keeps constantly changing. On the other hand there are nights, when I immediately know what I want to see even before turning on the screen. Luckily, we usually agree on the choice.
That brings me to my major goal for 2016 and that is to write what people like to read.
“What is it?” I ask. “Does it mean that I am catering to a trend?”
Not, necessarily. Gauging what people like and don’t like is important just like in the food industry. Recently, I found out that the frozen Ristorante pizza is not as good as DiGiorno. They look the same, they cost the same, but they don’t taste the same. Ristorante is missing something. What is it? It’s like with a good story or a bad story. What is missing and why is it bad?
Finding that missing ingredient is in the psychology or knowledge of your character and your reader. They have to match up. We need a perfect match.
But, writing isn’t just point-blank, let’s say, for the firearm hunter of deer but for the entire hunting category. Just like the pizza example appeals to a wide group of people, if not to most. But remember that both are frozen.
When I think of writing to a certain interest or maybe a trend, I always think of an entire group or a segment of population.
“Okay, who is going to read my next short story, “270 Degrees to Beach Pines?”
It could be the largest segment of American population. That is the baby boomers. The short story is about aging and what a tragic comedy it is; watching it, living it and trying to cheat it. Totally, Shakespearean or Marquez style. It will be humoresque and very light, almost as light as the “Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Kundera.
It should feel like a feather in the wind, like a butterfly’s kiss as it slowly dissipates into thin air.
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