3 Top Tips, Characters, readership, Rudyard Kipling

Three Top Tips On Characters and Readership

Power of Words by Antonio Litterio.jpg: Antonio Litterio derivative work: InverseHypercube
By Antonio Litterio

1. Make your readers care about your characters and what happens to them. Grab them on page one, and don’t let go. Your audience is hungry for action, whether it’s romance or drama. They want to escape from their everyday lives into a different reality.  Give them heroes and heroines they can relate to, and give those characters aspirations, a job to do and a journey to make, whether it’s real or metaphorical.

2. Let your characters grow and change through the course of your book. Make them interesting and multi-dimensional. Remember the words of Rudyard Kipling: “I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who.” He trained as a journalist, although his verse hold true for fiction, too. “Why?”is the main man you want nagging away at your reader, urging them to turn the page to find out what happens, how and where, when and to whom (or “who to”, if you’re going for the popular vote).

3. If you’re determined to launch your writing on the public, make sure you aim in the right direction. Find out exactly what readers want, and give it to them. Nothing less (or more) will do. Writing for profit doesn’t work in the same way as producing meals for children. You can’t say; “you’ll have this, and like it.” or “how can you say you don’t like it if you’ve never tried?’ The purchasing reader has the right of ultimate veto. If you want to sell, fit your work to your audience.

This is an extract from my next release, You Can…Write a Book. To find out more, mail me at christinahollis(at)hotmail.co.uk, putting “Booklet 2014” in the subject line.

Creative Writing, readership, target audience, Top Tips

Three Top Tips To Focus Your Writing

By Antonio Litterio

  1. If you want to be published, never lose sight of your readership. Write in a way that’ll engage your audience. Know who you’re aiming for. A fourteen-year old boy won’t be reading the same thing as his middle-aged grandmother. Even if he was, the language would need to be different. But whatever you write, pour your heart and soul into it. Believe in your work, and so will your readers.
  2. Once you’ve decided who your audience will be, concentrate your literary firepower.  Direct it straight toward your reader, as though you were telling them a story, face-to-face. Make sure you put your own writing pleasure before profit. If you can sit back after finishing a piece and say “I really enjoyed doing that!” you’ll never need to sell a word – unless the bailiffs are hammering at your door. 
  3. Never pad out your writing with pointless description or backstory.  If you’ve written a trilogy but two-thirds of it is info-dump, distill your work into a single title instead.  It’s not lowering your sights, it’s improving your work and upping your game. Remember: make every word a wanted word – but never delete anything. Catalogue it, and save in a way you can easily find it again. You never know when that extract or nugget of research will come in handy.
If you’ve enjoyed these tips, visit my website at christinahollis.com to find out more.