Patricia Capracotta 53 articles

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Who Do You Think You're Talking To? ~ Why Audience Matters

Your audience makes all of the decisions. Whether you're standing in front of them or they're reading your words in print or on a computer screen, they will decide how much they read – if they pay attention at all, whether they will come back for more, and whether they will share your words with their friends. And yet, amazingly, much of what gets screen-time online fails to cater to anyone but the writer.

It's easy enough to fall into that trap. We think that what we have to say is vital and we really want to get the information out in any way possible. So much so that we fail to consider whether our audience will appreciate it too. Most audience decisions can be reached by examining your topic and where the piece will be published. A lifestyle blog for instance will have a different audience than a hobby blog, while readers of mysteries are a different audience than readers of romances.

Some say longer sentences are fine, others say keep things short and direct. I think this point matters entirely on your audience and the topic of your piece. I think, to a degree, whether you're writing fiction or non-fiction also plays-into this idea. If you're writing fiction, there is an unvoiced understanding that your language is going to be vastly different than if you're writing non-fiction.

Your audience will determine everything from the tone and flow of your writing, to the language and syntax. In fact, when you figure out who you're writing to, everything else will fall into place effortlessly. You will know what kind of language to use, the length and content of your sentences, and the tone you want to convey to your readers.

Using the very best words that you can find for each sentence will help deliver your meaning to the reader in as concise a way as possible. I think this holds true whether you're writing fiction or non-fiction. Conveying the correct meaning with your word choices can make a huge difference in the tone and flow of your article or story. Your audience is going to play a major role in how you speak in your piece. Whether your tone will be structured, business-like, and academic, or light and whimsical; whether you use long, descriptive sentences full of rich language and meaning, or brief and compact language that gets to the point quickly - let your audience decide. 

If you can identify and cater to your unique audience, you will find that your writing is not only well-received and read, but the words will flow almost effortlessly as you develop a style to suit their needs.

 

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