H P Lovecraft
Stories are masterfully crafted pieces of art authors pull from the depths of their imaginations. While they are not required to publish them for anyone else’s eyes to see, publishing them does push their work out for specific people to read. Those who read the verbal art are categorized by age, educational levels, and interests. The target audience guides the writer, even on an unconscious level, to craft their piece to please a select group of readers as seen in two short stories, “The Wrong Grave” and “The Call of Cthulhu”.
In reading these two pieces, it becomes apparent that each one is directed at different audiences. Many audiences are directed based on genres. Romance stories are written in a manner that romance readers expect with love in the air through the pages. Historical fiction words are “imaginative stories with fictional characters and events in a historical setting” as defined in the Genre Characteristics chart. But target audiences can extend beyond mere genre and target the age level and educational levels of the audience. This is easily seen in these two short stories.
Gavin Grant’s “The Wrong Grave” is about a foolish teenage boy who passionately leaves his poems about his girlfriend in her casket but tries to dig her up later to retrieve them. He appears to have dug up the wrong grave and has a very unusual conversation with the dead girl. Determining the genre comes down to slightly horror but focused more on young adult issues. The target audience is not senior citizens or middle age parents or even women longing for love. Teenagers are the target audience and easily identified by the age of most characters, the topics discussed, and the language used in the text as in the following example from the short story.
Sometimes Bethany’s mother said strange things. She was a lapsed Buddhist and a substitute math teacher. Once she’d caught Miles cheating on an algebra quiz. Relations between Miles and Mrs. Baldwin had not improved during the time that Bethany and Miles were dating, and Miles couldn’t decide whether or not to believe her about Bethany not liking his poetry. Substitute teachers had strange senses of humor when they had them at all.
A teenager can relate immediately and feel comfortable with the writing.
H.P. Lovecraft targets a much more older and educated audience. His story is longer with characters of an older generation. He describes scenes and activities that would bore a younger person and uses words that would make most teenager’s heads spin: “falling suddenly, as witnesses said, after having been jostled by a nautical-looking negro who had come from one of the queer dark courts on the precipitous hillside which formed a short cut from the waterfront to the deceased’s home in Williams Street.” His words are crafted to draw from more experience and a larger vocabulary. Instead of saying that the object in the story was meant to be a picture, he forms: “above these apparent hieroglyphics was a figure of evidently pictorial intent, though its impressionistic execution forbade a very clear idea of its nature.”
Both authors realize who their target audiences are and construct words and phrases as well as scenes and characters they can relate to. Grant talks about teachers and how they act which grabs at a younger audience. Lovecraft uses larger words and scenes that would be construed as boring to a younger reader. Grant keeps descriptions short and sweet to get to the action while Lovecraft extends paragraphs to gather all the details.
Grant and Lovecraft know who will be reading their work and use the right languages to keep them reading to the end. They construct each sentence with the reader in mind. Their similarities are the foundation for their differences.
“Gene Characteristics”. Eastern Illinois University. Web. 11 February, 2016.
Grant, Gavin. “The Wrong Grave”. Kelly Link.com. Web. 11 February, 2016.
Lovecraft, H.P. “The Call of Cthulhu”. H.P. Lovecraft.com. 20 August 2009. Web. 12 February, 2016.