We all know, at least we should, that audience is important. Without an audience, well, no sales. So, we write, in many ways, for the audience - real or imagined - that will read our brilliant writing. We write our queries in mind of that audience, knowing full well an agent is going to ask us about our audience.
I sometimes think this audience - real or imagined - is detrimental to the writing process.
Case in point - I was reading an interview with Claire Labine who has written for the soap (Days of Our Lives, not Dial) industry for years. She stressed one very important point . . . you have to write for yourself. You have to believe in what you’re writing if it’s going to have any resonance with the audience at all - full interview here.
The best writing I've ever done is when I wrote solely for me and not for an audience, not for my mother, not for my potential agent, editor, publisher, just little ol' me!
That's not to say the audience wasn't at the back of my mind. That's not to say that audience wasn't at the back of Claire Labine's mind, because it was.
I think what she's saying, what I've said before on this blog, is that we have to believe in every single word we write, and we have to write for ourselves first and foremost.
Yes, there are trends - vampires, boy wizards, elves, and whatever. Trends come and go. Remember bell bottom jeans??? Tie-dye????
The fact is, good writing often trumps the current trend. Making an old idea shine in a brilliant new way, often trumps the current trend.
So, write for you, believe in you, but also be aware of current trends as well. Be willing to defend your brilliance to an agent, editor, publisher or whoever.
Case in Point - I love Project Runway. One designer made a gorgeous dress, but . . . she didn't have faith in her design. Her lack of faith showed forth on the runway and . . . she didn't win. The judges all agreed if the designer had believed in her design and defended her design . . . well, she would have won.
If we fail to write for ourselves, if we do not believe in every word we are writing, than, in Claire's words, what we write will not resonate with the audience at all.