Understanding your audience is key when deciding what to write and who you’re writing for. Before you begin you need to know what your target audience is.
1. Protagonists Age: You have to convince your reader that the protagonist is one of them and if your book is geared toward middle grades it’ll be a very different book than if it’s geared toward high schoolers or adults. Each age group has their own varied interests and are at different places in regards to life experiences socially, emotionally and spiritually. Your book won’t appeal to all of them so you need to think about whom you imagine reading your book before you start.
2. Language and interests: If you’re writing for teens or younger you need to be aware of their interests as well as what topics and language are acceptable for that group. If you’re writing for older YA audiences or new adult your books can be a bit more flexible when it comes to the rules. You can write content that’s more edgy and have greater description with sexual content. It’s important to consider what is reasonable to the reader and in some cases their parents and teachers when choosing themes, subjects and language.
3. Taboo content: Readers want excitement and characters they can identify with but they don’t want to be lectured or talked down to. If you have a message you want to get across present it in a subtle way and try to avoid hitting your reader over the head with it. One way to identify this is if you’re going into long explanations about a subject or repeating the same information over and over again. One or two lines scattered sparingly and mixed into the flow of the story will give your readers the theme of the story without disguise lessons in your writing…your readers don’t want it and will stop reading.
Considering your audience before you start to write will allow to the add content the themes appropriate for that age group without having to question whether what you’ve written it too old or too young for your readers.