Yesterday we took a look back at a moment in our lives when we felt lost and wrote down the advice we would have given to ourselves if we could have, knowing what was to come. Today we will use that activity to find our audience. Quiet as it's kept, you cannot write any book until you have determined who your audience is. So that is what you will be working through today.
You were asked to reflect on a time in your life when you felt lost. You were asked to document your age at that time. In the moment you wrote down in Activity 1, how old were you? Were you a child going through a tough adjustment, a teenager experiencing emotional upheaval, an adult recovering from heartbreak? What age group were you in. We are going to focus on that age to establish your audience for your story. The audience category can be: Child, Young Adult, or Adult. Once you've figured that out, write it down as your audience. Put a pin in the other information you wrote down in activity one about living situation and important people. We will get back to that in another session.
Now let's talk about the advice you wrote down. That advice could have been anything. Someone may have written down: "Don't worry, you will meet your true love later. Just focus on school." Someone may have written: "Don't let those kids break you down. Your life will turn out better than all of theirs." I don't know what you wrote but that is the kind of stuff I would have gone back in time and advised myself. Whatever you wrote down, we are going to turn that into your theme or message. The central, and most important lesson that you want your reader to walk away with. Do you remember when we were learning Aesop's fables in elementary school and we always had to say what the "moral of the story" was. Well that's what your advice is going to be for you. It is going to be the guiding light that illuminates the moral of the story.
As an author committed to inclusion, I have dedicated my own books to moving every reader forward in terms of empathy, emotional intelligence, and belonging. If you follow me, then chances are that you have a similar value system; but the story I want to help you find, is the one that aligns not only with your values, but with your sense of purpose. A story that you won't have to fake or struggle to connect to. This is why we are tapping into your personal memories. This is why I am asking you to center the story around the thing that you wish someone had told you. The moment that you felt lost often represents a crossroads in your life that you still carry with you. That depth of emotion will shine through in your writing
So now you have identified your audience which means you can start to determine what level of language you will be using. The word choice needs to be relatable for the audience you have selected and reflective of the popular language prevalent in the time that the story will occur. Tomorrow we will take this a step further and select a voice.