30 Days of Encouragement for NaNoWriMo (and other writers, too!)

It’s Day 10 and you’re halfway through your second week. Can you believe you’ve made it this far?  You’re 30% of the way there!

Today I’d like you to think about the person you ultimately imagine reading your novel.  This person can be someone you really know or know of, or it can be a totally imaginary dude or dudette. We’re going to refer to this person as your very own Dear Reader.

What do they look like? How old are they?  What sorts of things are they interested in?

Get a really good picture in your mind of your Dear Reader.  Once you can practically reach out and (gently) poke them in the nose, get to work.  Write the next few chapters specifically with this Dear Reader in mind.  Create some references just for them, like little inside jokes between the two of you.  Write a scene in a place you think they’d like.  Elaborate on that character you know they love to hate.

The more you get to know your Dear Reader, the more effortless your voice will be.  You know who you’re writing for, so you know how to communicate with them.  Don’t be afraid to be specific – this isn’t really about demographics.  Some of the things I’ve written that seem almost too particular to me end up being the ones that get the most universal response from audiences and readers.  Make clear choices, be specific, and talk to that Dear Reader as though they’re in the room.  Eventually, your real readers will thank you for it.