One more LinkedIn learning, and I once again lost track of the advice, meaning I can’t thank the author personally. Bad Troim.
Anyway, I do recall the advice: “Know your target audience. ”
Well, this is either very easy or borderline impossible.
At first glance it’s a no-brainer: I’m the target audience. I’m first and foremost entertaining myself. Know this sounds like the admission of a bad neurosis. Bad luck. I’m having fun writing stupid stories in bad English. I need to practice my third language for day job purposes, and this is even more fun than reading The Guardian and The Economist, listening to npr and watching CNN or BBC World.
The author of the advice assumes that any writer longs for as large an audience as possible. For purse and/or pride reasons. Let’s pretend for a second to be affected by this particular delusion.
If what is supposed to be my target audience shares traits with me, the following preferences prevail:
- Escapism through entertainment: Laugh and puzzle good. Deep thoughts bad, unless they come in light doses and funny wraps.
- Linguistic simplicity: Fine to occasionally need Google translate and reread some sentences. ‘Occasionally’. ‘Some’.
- Race, gender and class stereotypes as well as gross violence, especially torture, are no entertainment, they are plain yuck.
Simple preferences. But how to find people sharing them? This list doesn’t easily translate into conventional sociological categories. I’ll settle for knowing my audience’s preferences without having the slightest clue how to reach it.
In principle, Think-o-mat doesn’t progress too badly, on the plot and character side of issues. Chapter 6 will be available by the end of the week. But style remains a huge concern…
The third language issue is solved by having been declared a feature.
Rewriting after a gap of at least one day is both a must and fine. At least half of the first version of any scene is found guilty of verbosity and goes trash while the rest is subjected to mood stress tests and has to survive a couple of permutations. So far, so fine. Long live the memory of Saint Steve, inventor of the tablet without all this wouldn’t be possible.
What really sucks is my obsession with optical balance. No writer should worry about a single small word ending up all alone in a new line. This is irrelevant. In todays eWorld, line breaks vary according to gadgets. I know it. I tell myself to ignore optical balance. And end up spending time on dreaming up constructions that don’t sound too bad while looking more balanced. Bad Troim! Probably correlated to my Duck-on-Wall tick. Or trick.
Wonder if other writers, especially real, professional ones, experience similar kinds of bias. Don’t dare raise the question in one of the LinkedIn groups. Yet.
One of the disadvantages of writing in a third language is the occasional confrontation with gaps. Had to look up the definition of ‘aside’, just to be on the safe side when using this format option.
Turns out it means as suspected. Phew. Got really close to a dire doubt here. Except one of the reasons for this whole project is a little revenge. Anglo-american linguistic dominance forces a whole generation of specialists who never aspired to linguistic brilliance to spend our days writing and speaking a foreign language, badly.
If we keep increasing our numbers at the present rate, we’ll soon be the majority determining style. Yep, I know this is a ghastly outlook. Hurts me less than thou, though.