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  1. ProcrastinatingDreamer
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    ProcrastinatingDreamer Member

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    Style Trying to understand my book's audience

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ProcrastinatingDreamer, Sep 21, 2015.

    So I'm at about a 15,000 word count in my novel, and as I've been writing it, I've started thinking about who I'm really writing this for. Obviously, I like my own story ( I should mention I'm a young adult ), but I'm definitely keeping this aspect in mind.

    Some background information on the novel:

    It's a fantasy adventure told in first-person past tense. The main character is the one telling the story which revolves around him going on a quest with his animal friends. As a human, he finds it difficult finding his place among these animals.

    Now I can see this coming across as a children's story, but the book has some darker elements that I wouldn't say are exactly " child friendly. "

    These includes things like famine, depression, and several mentions of death ( whether not this makes me look like a sadist is still being decided. ) The language is also a bit more advanced than I think most children under the age of 10 would understand.

    Given the protagonist's dilemma and the more mature theme, I'm leaning towards the notion that this is more for preteens and teenagers. I'm not entirely sure of this, so I wanted some clarity from an outside source.

    Don't worry, I know full well that it could ( and most likely will ) attract people older or younger than the target audience, but I just want to keep a certain audience in mind. Of course this is purely from an age perspective, so I don't know what other elements might make a person want to read my book.

    Sorry, I know this post is a bit long. If you took the time to read it, then thank you!
     
  2. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    My advice would be to write your novel, find some beta readers when you've got a decent draft ready, and see what they think. If it feels juvenile to them, you know your audience is younger than you thought. If it resonates with them, perhaps it is a YA novel. How old is your protagonist? That is sometimes an indication of the target audience. In general, kids, teens, and young adults gravitate towards stories of people their own age.

    The first things that come to mind, however, when I read about your story are, first, Animal Farm, which from a glance seems like it should be a children's story (talking animals? kid stuff!) but does not even come close to being such. The second was Lord of the Flies, which again, seems like it should be a children's story - after all, it is about a bunch of children - but carries so many adult themes that it is more often tackled in high school.

    So don't worry about it seeming juvenile just from the plot premise. Everything hinges on how grown up your main concepts are. And let your beta readers help you decide when it's all written.
     
  3. ProcrastinatingDreamer
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    ProcrastinatingDreamer Member

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    I think that's a good idea to just finish it and then see.

    I purposefully made my protagonist's age a bit ambiguous, I state he's a young boy but that's about as much as the reader gets in regards to age. Though I'm trying to write him as a character that's about 9-11 years old, this world has no concept of years. Just from a logical standpoint, I couldn't see how or why the animals would need to measure time, I figured they would probably rely more on instincts.
     
  4. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Interesting! I do like that quite a bit. Of course animals wouldn't care about exact age. They'd just know if he was a "pup" or not a pup. If age isn't important to the characters, your readers will soon forget to care about it too.
     

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