Had one of those recurring writerly conversations about my “intended audience”, and realized I make several assumptions about them:
1. They aren’t necessarily Christian.
Or if they are, they probably aren’t your typical ‘Evangelical’. Said it before: I don’t write Christian stories as much as stories with Christianity in them. It’s on the table for sure, but the plot doesn’t take you by the nose. There are a lot of people who have given up on religion but not necessarily on God. In my fiction, I demand any faith/spirituality be organic to the characters or storyline. Otherwise, it’s little more that religious propaganda.
2. They can swim
Sci Fi, Fantasy, Horror/Supernatural, they are genre-savvy. I don’t need to start them in the kiddie pool and lead them slowly deeper into Spec-Fiction with constant reassurances and explanations. They been here before. They get it. I won’t waste their time or intelligence with remedials.
3. They are detectives
Or archeologists, if you disdain the crime-scene analogy. They can hold things in abeyance. They are willing to excavate, assemble clues and piece things together. They’re smart like that. My job is to make sure the clues and cues and authenticating details are present and internally consistent.
4. Sizzle ain’t steak
Which isn’t to say they don’t want to be entertained. They do – that’s mostly what fiction is about. However, they prefer a story have substance, to be rooted in real-world struggles, facts, or perspectives. Even if they are different or challenging. The movies Avatar and District 9 came out around the same time. Give me D9 any day, all day long.
So there they are. I know what they say about assuming, but I think I’m erring on the better side in this instance.
Have a great day.