Wednesday, August 3, 2022

IWSG & Audience Awareness

 The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.


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Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

August 3 question - When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

I consider myself a baby author - I'm working on my 2nd series and I'm trying to incorporate more "audience awareness" into my planning.

I've read Zoe York's Romance Your Brand and loved it. In it, she talks about "planning" your series in advance to appeal to readers. This is (for me anyway) a broad strokes plan. I think of the setting, the MCs, and the tropes I want to include. Maybe a tagline or mini-blurb.

I'm NOT a plotter/outliner, but I do like thinking about several linked books at once. This is a great strategy for me because it just gives my bouncy brain more of a focus.

I did think of a lot of the series at once with Bloo Moose but I was very sketchy on details like tropes and how to connect each book/MC as I went along. My bouncy brain still makes tweaks/changes but the overall plan for Small Town Heroes is more focused - I hope!

I'd suggest Zoe's book to anyone who likes to write series in genre fiction (not just romance).

How about you? Are you including more or less audience awareness as you're progressing in your writing career/development? If you're a reader, do you prefer series or stand-alones? I love sinking into a series myself!


In order to try to fix the commenting issue, I've changed the comment style to pop up. It looks a mess with comments out of order, but I'm hoping it helps!

34 comments:

Pat Garcia said...

Hi,
Sounds like you have your writing career all mapped out. Good for you. I wish you much success. Shalom aleichem

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Trust me, it does help to plan!

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks, Pat! I'm having fun with it!

M.J. Fifield said...

I used to think I was a plotter, then I got to the later books of a series I had planned out & all the plans changed, so...I'm either not a plotter or just a really bad one? Maybe I need Zoe's book. :)

As a reader, if there's a character I love, I definitely want a series. Even if it's just the exciting adventure of that time that character did their laundry.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Jemi, I love reading series, but as an author I have so far written only stand alones.

Jemi Fraser said...

It's all about the characters for me as well. If I connect with them, I'm in for the series!

Jemi Fraser said...

That's so interesting! I wonder if that might change one day???

A Hundred Quills said...

Wow Jemi, you sound sorted. I'm still navigating the periphery. Your post has some takeaways for me. Thank you.
-Sonia

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That sounds like an outstanding book.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I came back to check your reply and my comment has disappeared!

Damyanti Biswas said...

You sound so organized and determined. So happy for you Jemi! :D

Michelle Wallace said...

As a reader, I'm not really into reading books in a series. I'm not totally against it either.
You sound like you're well on your way with your Small Town Heroes series.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I love the idea of a broad strokes plan for the world-building and story tie-ins. I have ideas for that, but I haven't fully gone there. Thanks for the book recommendation and, I just have to say, I love the way Bloo Moose ties together loosely. It's soo good, I want to live there.

Carol Kilgore said...

I don't much think about tropes because it seems like my characters take a strange turn somewhere along the way that throws everything off. #anotherfailedplotter

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm glad to hear that! I've been on the writing journey for a long time and I feel like I'm finally figuring out my style!

Jemi Fraser said...

It is!

Jemi Fraser said...

Found it!! The Spam blocker has been overly eager today!

Jemi Fraser said...

I like having a plan - even if it is the fuzzy one in my head :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks Damyanti! I'm enjoying the journey!

Jemi Fraser said...

I need book 5 to do some cooperating at the moment, but I'm having a lot of fun with it!

Jemi Fraser said...

Aww! Thanks Tyrean - I'd love to live there too!

Jemi Fraser said...

LOL - love when they take those unexpected left-hand turns!!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't think you're a baby author now that you have so many books published. You seem to have a good system that works for you with how fast you've been able to publish all the books in your current series.

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks, Natalie! I did save up 4 & 1/2 books before I started publishing so I look faster than I am! :)

Elephant's Child said...

This greedy reader likes series AND stand alones. When I am fully invested in a character it is always lovely to learn more about them.

Leod Fitz said...

I tend to prefer reading books in a series, but sometimes a series that isn't thought out in advance can kind of wander off course and lose sight of what it started out as. I like a series that was planned from the beginning, I think.

Jemi Fraser said...

Sue - I totally get that! It's all about the characters for me as well!

Leod - That makes sense. I can think of several TV series that have fallen into that trap!

Olga Godim said...

I don't think much about what my readers want, except the specific genre paraphernalia. I write mostly for myself: what works for me or what I'd like to read. But your Zoe York book recommendation sounds worth checking out.

Lee Lowery said...

I love a series when I can get invested in the ongoing lives of characters. And I'm sure it requires a tremendous amount of advance planning.

Denise Covey said...

Hey Jemi, I think I'll seek out that book. Sounds good. Your series appear well linked.

Judy Ann Davis said...

I like the idea of series, but I also want each book to be a stand-alone so that the reader is not caught in the web of having to go to another book to learn information. I've heard way too much about how discouraging that is. I'm a half-hearted planner myself--when I get hung up.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Jemi,

Thanks for the book suggestion. It sounds like it will help me focus a bit more. My stories generally have some sort of edge to them which at times it is hard to sell to an agent/pubisher. When I switched genres, that is when I got my first contract. Intersting. Is fate trying to tell me something? lol

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I have to outline everything, including my grocery list. 😂 But it sounds like you have your process under control. Thanks for the recommended book BTW..

Teresa

Jemi Fraser said...

Olga - I have to write what I love - otherwise, what's the point?

Lee - I write in a series of stand alones which means the world-building is kind of a one-shot deal, which helps counter-balance it all :)

Denise - thanks! I think you'll enjoy Zoe's book!

Judy Ann - that's the kind of series I write - I like the connected stand alones for that reason!

Michael - sometimes Fate does like to stick its nose in!!

Teresa - you sound like everyone else in my family - I wish I had a little bit of that!