This is very hard for me to be precise with. My stories cross genres and audiences. I am driven my the story. It is not uncommon for me to have a story that is directed to young adults in the works while I am working on a mystery novel for adults. So I have to step back and reassess my writing.
I look at the genres I write: suspense, romance, mystery, historical, and a little bit of everything else. A common thread in all of them is a sense of mystery and suspense. Every story I write reveals a little bit of these. So it logically shows me that I tend to write more toward the suspense/mystery audiences. I will focus on them for this piece.
According to the Genre Characteristics chart, mysteries are “Imaginative stories dealing with the solution of a secret, problem, or crime, and involving suspense or intrigue” that involve “suspense…cliffhangers… foreshadowing…detective stories and spy novels”.
My target audience wants to sit on the edge of their seats. They don’t want the story to flow slowly and at a pace to easily put them to sleep. They want to have to turn the next page to find out what is going to happen next. They expect loose ends from chapter to chapter. They want questions to create bring about more questions. The target audience wants hints dropped that could lead them down a multitude of paths. The stories have to follow a certain pattern, but the pattern also opens a small window of flexibility to keep their imagination targeted.
It is a good thing that I love to write cliffhangers. In fact, I like to end books in a series with a cliffhanger. The result has been bad reviews from people who cannot stand to end a book without everything tied up in a nice little bow. That is okay because others love it. They are the target audience.
Too often, I have reached out to the wrong audience. I have focused more on avid readers who read a variety of genres instead of the ones who read that specific genre. I need to redirect my focus to those who like what I like to write.
“Gene Characteristics”. Eastern Illinois University. Web. 12 February, 2016.