Sunday, June 29, 2014


I came across an interesting article in the Writer’s Digest writing magazine Writing Basics called Write Not For Yourself by Kip Langello. She offers some advice that I am eager to try out.
The idea is that a huge range of people read books. That applies to kids as well as adults. If I think back to my days in the classroom, I remember kids who devoured books, any books, kids that only liked short books, kids that were made to read by parents or teachers, kids who read only sports, or animals stories or mysteries, kids who adored twists and turns in a plot.
Am I writing my next novel for all those kids? Of course not. I really like Kip Langello’s suggestion to visualize one specific person, and only one, and write for him or her.
Take some time to invent this reader. I’ve already got someone in mind  for my next middle grade novel. I met her at the Farmer’s Market in 100 Mile House last week. She was about eleven years old with a million dollar grin. She had set herself up at a card table, no supervising adult in sight, with a sign saying Amy’s Jewelry and a display of bracelets made from brightly coloured elastic bands. She was buried in a book. She was quite delighted to have a customer. I bought two bracelets and we had a good chat about books.
So, as I sit at my computer, I’m keeping this future entrepreneur in mind – a young girl who “loves books where interesting things happen to people and maybe there’s a horse in it”, lives in a small town and likes to make bracelets.
Kip Langello says that focusing on a single reader made her “novel read that way – consistent, focused, true. Not self-indulgent and occasionally meandering because I wrote it thinking only of myself, and not broad and flat because I tried to write it for the reading public at large.”
Find your reader and try it!

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