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Author Topic: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?  (Read 1103 times)

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Offline Lumaria

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"EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« on: June 05, 2015, 11:59:15 PM »
When i see many people write stories. They often add what they believe people will enjoy. Fast paced action, romance, and several other things.

But because people don't try to "EARN" their audience, they fall into key mistakes such as bad pacing, not revealing or implanting the right ideas, or forgetting to implant them. Mostly, it does the assumptions for readers.

Here are the common mistakes of what happens when people assume they have an audience, and don't try to earn them:

1) WHAT WAS INTENDED TO BE MYSTERIOUS IS ACTUALLY VAGUE

This is "the" most common mistake i have ever seen when it comes to writers. Certain stories implant ideas or questions. But sometimes the story does not let readers know those questions are recognized within the story. This is a serious flaw as it causes the reader to ask not only the necessary questions but the unnecessary questions. It also makes it harder to distinguish between necessary and unnecessary.

Lets say for example there is two separate stories: one is about a "vague" box, and the other is about a "mysterious" box. The vague box is a story about a box that has all shapes of abilities. Even if the traits are consistent and point to a direction if the plot doesn't recognize the consistency and what is unknown about the box, then it will not be mysterious. it will be vague.

The mysterious box establishes the exact same things the vague box established. it does it one step further, it establishes the questions and what needs to be known in order for the plot to continue. It not only establishes whats known, but establishes the questions that want to be answered (so that the reader doesn't ask these questions, the story asks it for them).

2) CONFUSING SUSPENSE WITH ACTION/FAST PACED
This falls similar to what separates mystery and vagueness, but in order for people to have suspense, the interest for such element is intended to be suspenseful needs to be established. Suspense will never be 100% with all readers as not all readers will value the same thing. The best one can do is establish "reasons" to care or be interested insuch things in order to build suspense for readers.

Building or hinting a "reward" for the readers is also something that allows them to continue reading. if something is put on suspense for no reason, why will readers continue reading.

3) CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT IS BEING PUT TO SIDE TO FAVOR OTHER STORY ELEMENTS
I've seen this more than enough. But characters will always and forever be instrumental to plots. All stories have some form of characters, whether it is living thing or an inanimate object.

Characters don't always control events. But that doesn't mean one should value events more to the point of no proper character development. I've seen writers push this on the side thinking readers are interested enough on the other elements. But if the character is not interesting enough, why will all the other elements matter? All other elements help emphasize on the other story elements.

granted, sometimes there are genuine ideas that would be interesting regardless of what character you portray. For example: Luke Skywalker isn't that original, but many of the other ideas such as lightsabers, the force, death star.Then again...the story didn't rely on just luke to be interesting, other main characters such as Han Solo and Princess Leiah brought chemistry with the world around them.

Think about not just the story elements.

EARN YOUR READERS
Earning your readers is not missing any opportunities to expand or establish more information. Don't confuse quantity with quality. i'm not saying spoil everything away. But whatever you do establish use it the most of your ability and expand as much as you possibly can to gain readers attention for the more grittier questions that will be answered later on (and yes, also establish that too) Put the most valuable pieces of information that will keep the story moving forward. Remember the first chapter is the reflection of the entire story depending on how you start it off. Does your story start off concise, clear, and well grounded? If not, do not expect your readers to believe it will change in future chapters.


Sharing a story obviously means more than just sharing your ideas, but also valuing the reader's time and energy to read someone elses story. Granted they read it for free, but if they were paying for it, would you sell it? Realistically think if your stories were being sold, how many would buy it, and how many would  want refund.

This involves more than those who want to be published.

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Offline DeAngelus

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2015, 11:19:47 PM »
Remember , as important we are to the readers for giving them something to read & keeping them entertained in any manner possible , we also need the readers support to keep the story running & getting it known to the public + financially , of course . So , don't treat your readers like some tool & give 1001 reasons to not share your story when you brag that you had one done already - it's extremely insulting .

And if you made a story about yourself , to express yourself & for yourself first  , us second , don't post them . If you ask me , it'll reek of propaganda & self-indulgence if you do post them up & the reader are now smart enough to not bother about a story purely centered on you & your feelings . But by no means you can't create something that is based on how you feel in general . If you want to appeal to your readers as well , you need to create something that has elements of your feelings but not too much or blatantly that it becomes obviously 'Me , me , me !' or 'I'm mad ! Who's with me ?!' . Get creative !
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 11:22:10 PM by DeAngelus »
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Offline Lumaria

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2015, 12:37:09 AM »
That is a solid point. Keep in mind that this doesn't apply to just people who want to get published, people spend their own time to read something worth reading.  Always try to earn their time, don't expect someone to just read it and enjoy it.

You need to find ways where you can keep readers interested.
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Offline Operative13

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2015, 01:02:54 AM »
Remember , as important we are to the readers for giving them something to read & keeping them entertained in any manner possible , we also need the readers support to keep the story running & getting it known to the public + financially , of course . So , don't treat your readers like some tool & give 1001 reasons to not share your story when you brag that you had one done already - it's extremely insulting .

And if you made a story about yourself , to express yourself & for yourself first  , us second , don't post them . If you ask me , it'll reek of propaganda & self-indulgence if you do post them up & the reader are now smart enough to not bother about a story purely centered on you & your feelings . But by no means you can't create something that is based on how you feel in general . If you want to appeal to your readers as well , you need to create something that has elements of your feelings but not too much or blatantly that it becomes obviously 'Me , me , me !' or 'I'm mad ! Who's with me ?!' . Get creative !

That all depends whether the author actually is writing for the readers or for himself to begin with, though....  :-\

And while it might be concerning of stories that "reek of propaganda & self-indulgence", it could be equally concerning if the author puts readers first before anything else (We all know how those fandoms are  :biggrin: )
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Offline Lumaria

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2015, 01:08:36 AM »
That all depends whether the author actually is writing for the readers or for himself to begin with, though....  :-\
If their writing for themselves,there's no reason to share. but writing is always meant to be "read" by someone. for stories, most of the time they can't be kept just for the writer alone.
Quote
And while it might be concerning of stories that "reek of propaganda & self-indulgence", it could be equally concerning if the author puts readers first before anything else (We all know how those fandoms are  :biggrin: )
if someone is asking to put something in there that doesn't need to be there and is requesting it to be there because it strictly appeals to them, that is "fandom".

Writing for your readers first isn't about adding in unnecesary elements, but working on what is necessary and what makes a good story. If the reader is smarter than the writer, the writer should consider the reader's opinion and thoughts.

its not to say all readers are smart. but it takes a special kind of person to look into all elements and see why they enjoy it.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2015, 01:11:35 AM by Lorenx1 »
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Offline Operative13

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2015, 01:30:15 AM »
That all depends whether the author actually is writing for the readers or for himself to begin with, though....  :-\
If their writing for themselves,there's no reason to share. but writing is always meant to be "read" by someone. for stories, most of the time they can't be kept just for the writer alone.
Quote
And while it might be concerning of stories that "reek of propaganda & self-indulgence", it could be equally concerning if the author puts readers first before anything else (We all know how those fandoms are  :biggrin: )
if someone is asking to put something in there that doesn't need to be there and is requesting it to be there because it strictly appeals to them, that is "fandom".

Writing for your readers first isn't about adding in unnecesary elements, but working on what is necessary and what makes a good story. If the reader is smarter than the writer, the writer should consider the reader's opinion and thoughts.

its not to say all readers are smart. but it takes a special kind of person to look into all elements and see why they enjoy it.

I do encourage writers to post their stories regardless whether it's just for themselves or not. What wonders lie behind the minds of those that that are too timid or otherwise to share in their brilliance for others to enjoy!?  8) I'm very open-minded when it comes to reading other's stories.  :angel:

I guess it all boils down to what kind of people likes your story, or what you read in general... as the saying goes "You can't please everyone." If you ever read or watch Oreimo, you would definitely know about
Spoiler
the outrage concerning the ending. Even for such an out-of-place ending (in the eyes of the audience, at least), the author still confirmed it as canon.

But still, there's a plethora of stories out there in the world for everyone to enjoy! Not every story will appeal to everyone, so you just gonna find the right ones and stick with it  ;)
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

Offline Lumaria

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2015, 02:05:15 AM »
I do encourage writers to post their stories regardless whether it's just for themselves or not. What wonders lie behind the minds of those that that are too timid or otherwise to share in their brilliance for others to enjoy!?  8) I'm very open-minded when it comes to reading other's stories.  :angel:

I guess it all boils down to what kind of people likes your story, or what you read in general... as the saying goes "You can't please everyone." If you ever read or watch Oreimo, you would definitely know about
Spoiler
the outrage concerning the ending. Even for such an out-of-place ending (in the eyes of the audience, at least), the author still confirmed it as canon.

But still, there's a plethora of stories out there in the world for everyone to enjoy! Not every story will appeal to everyone, so you just gonna find the right ones and stick with it  ;)


Flawed thinking. Yes,there's an audience out there, but don't write and assume you have an audience. "Earn" your audience is the key point. The subject of this is so that when you have someone reading your story that appeals to the bare concept, make sure you do to make the story work.

You're not open-minded, you're easy to please. There's a difference.
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Offline Operative13

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2015, 02:26:26 AM »
But, of course, any person with common sense should be putting out to the best of their abilities! I don't think anyone in their right mind would try to put out hastily-scrapped together sentences and call it a story... unless you're one of those "trash" readers that read for the ridiculousness of it.  :unsure:

Now concerning the other comment you made...

Open-minded: Willing to consider different ideas or opinions.
Easy to Please: One who is easily pleased.

Yes, there is a difference! Who would have known!?  ::) Now I only wish I was easy to please... the world would look so much brighter what with all the conflict and turmoil that goes on, yatta yatta yatta... but's that's another conversation altogether.  ;)
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Offline Lumaria

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2015, 02:29:58 AM »
But, of course, any person with common sense should be putting out to the best of their abilities! I don't think anyone in their right mind would try to put out hastily-scrapped together sentences and call it a story... unless you're one of those "trash" readers that read for the ridiculousness of it.  :unsure:p
Best of their abilities doesn't equal keeping their readers in mind. When they write, they may be writing to what appeals to them the most, what the general audience appeals. you're oversimplifying it, going off-track.

Writers tend to fall into what they beleive is best, and most times the concept itself isn't flawed, its the format and method of choosing. And because the writer knows what the story is about before the reader does, the author may choose NOT to portray those themes until later on.

This causes the reader to be confused and not understand the piece, and the author defending it, not because its good, but because they have a higher vision that isn't there yet. which is not the reader's fault.
Quote
Now concerning the other comment you made...
any fellwo writer and willing to critique a story and writing is open to new ideas. Being open-minded isn't a feature, its an expectation for anyone who reviews. regardless though, easy-to-pleasei've seen first hand how one is willing to ignore flaws and continue reading on.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2015, 02:33:20 AM by Lorenx1 »
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Offline Operative13

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2015, 02:56:11 AM »
Best of their abilities doesn't equal keeping their readers in mind. When they write, they may be writing to what appeals to them the most, what the general audience appeals. you're oversimplifying it, going off-track.

Writers tend to fall into what they beleive is best, and most times the concept itself isn't flawed, its the format and method of choosing. And because the writer knows what the story is about before the reader does, the author may choose NOT to portray those themes until later on.

This causes the reader to be confused and not understand the piece, and the author defending it, not because its good, but because they have a higher vision that isn't there yet. which is not the reader's fault.

This leads back to the previous point you made about "building suspense." Employing that suspense element in a wise fashion gives a greater punch to the story rather than blatantly handing the reader just about everything, which diminishes the shocker to something that's more expected than shocking (I'm looking at you, RWBY  :glare: ) In my view, scripting your events is part of the solution. Put a certain event in the wrong place and the wrong time, and the appeal factor may dwindle. Story fluidity is key, and much of that plays in part to the writing style presented.

I don't mind minor flaws as long as it doesn't destroy the basis of the story, little things such as a character's reaction or the lack of details. Those can easily be fixed later down on the road as it doesn't necessarily have to be addressed on-point. Major flaws, though, such as a trustworthy character suddenly becoming conveniently untrustworthy without any reason or purpose for it, has to be addressed beforehand. Such things should be thoroughly planned before mindlessly writing it into the story or else the writer risks destroying the fluidity of what has been written and established by the story thus far.

Just my own take on that.  :unsure:
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Offline Hasith

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2015, 03:09:26 AM »
I thought you guys decided not to do any discussions and ignore each others ? Now I'm all happy you guys can keep it civil and try to work it out. But if this goes out of control then there won't be just one victim. All arguments are great and productive as long as you guys keep civil and argue about same thing again and again.

Just saying this because you two are at each other in another topic. sorry for going bit off topic. Just a headup. So far you guys doing great so plz keep it that way.

Offline Lumaria

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2015, 03:30:04 AM »
This leads back to the previous point you made about "building suspense." Employing that suspense element in a wise fashion gives a greater punch to the story rather than blatantly handing the reader just about everything, which diminishes the shocker to something that's more expected than shocking (I'm looking at you, RWBY  :glare: ) In my view, scripting your events is part of the solution. Put a certain event in the wrong place and the wrong time, and the appeal factor may dwindle. Story fluidity is key, and much of that plays in part to the writing style presented.
but with suspense comes "development" of suspense, just like "developing" mystery. Its not about revealing everything, its about revealing the right things enough to keep the reader at bay to continue reading more.

The reader chooses what is suspenseful and what is mysterious. The only thing the author can do is give them more reasons to see it as mysterious and suspenseful. Addressing the reader is important to making a story good. If a story recognizes the reader's concerns before the reader has to even ask, this shows that the writer was considering the reader and any questions left unanswered can be successfully answered in due time.
Quote
I don't mind minor flaws as long as it doesn't destroy the basis of the story, little things such as a character's reaction or the lack of details. Those can easily be fixed later down on the road as it doesn't necessarily have to be addressed on-point. Major flaws, though, such as a trustworthy character suddenly becoming conveniently untrustworthy without any reason or purpose for it, has to be addressed beforehand. Such things should be thoroughly planned before mindlessly writing it into the story or else the writer risks destroying the fluidity of what has been written and established by the story thus far.

Just my own take on that.  :unsure:

I mind the bigger flaws, such as bad pacing, not acknowledging the reader, and overall over-revealing the wrong things.

To me its bigger than that. Maybe its because i know 90% of the time, it takes yars for an amateur writer to learn their mistakes. I've seen people fix these issues 10 to 20 chapters away at the least, and even then the transition to fixing them is very abrupt. (when you don't give them that urgency)

Its about making a good complete piece of work. If the early chapters are flawed to the point of clearly being imperfect, no ammount of good chapters in the future will benefit.

I thought you guys decided not to do any discussions and ignore each others ? Now I'm all happy you guys can keep it civil and try to work it out. But if this goes out of control then there won't be just one victim. All arguments are great and productive as long as you guys keep civil and argue about same thing again and again.

Just saying this because you two are at each other in another topic. sorry for going bit off topic. Just a headup. So far you guys doing great so plz keep it that way.
my main beef is that someone questions my review method in that very page. most disrespectful. i do not want that to happen again, because like you said, it affects others. he can PM me if he has issues with my method, but thats the only condition.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2015, 03:38:51 AM by Lorenx1 »
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Offline DeAngelus

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2015, 08:24:33 PM »
That all depends whether the author actually is writing for the readers or for himself to begin with, though....  :-\

And while it might be concerning of stories that "reek of propaganda & self-indulgence", it could be equally concerning if the author puts readers first before anything else (We all know how those fandoms are  :biggrin: )

That post is made specifically to target authors who made stories that were initially (and currently) for themselves who'd never had that thought for his/her readers initially (or currently) . If they decided to post their stories up solely to showcase their feeling & hoping for a campfire among the like-minded on the internet , they're in the wrong place . Stories made for self is encrypted in a way only they themselves can understand fully (even the like-minded will not understand fully what's the author trying to tell them) & usually it's so raw in expression & feelings , unlike any general stories which has layers of pseudos , reflections & substitutions that builds up around the actual one .

Because of that (and the fact you're posting it to the public) , you're in the line of fire of all sorts of remarks that will for sure be extremely painful to you , since it's a perfect reflection of you & your feelings in general & it had to sort of 'protection' , it'll feel like it's all directed at you instead of the story itself .

Of course having the readers dictate the story is equally bad , but it's a rare case to begin with (this also happens to those whose their own idea bank is bone dry & desperate in delivering more stories to the readers) . If you're able to craft a successful story , by default you're already creative at that & automatically you're supposed to be intelligent enough , enough to know how to do some filtering yourself .

Also , there's a difference between mystery/suspense & just plain cliff-hanger or just intentional dead-ends ...
« Last Edit: June 07, 2015, 09:12:56 PM by DeAngelus »
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Offline Lumaria

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Re: "EARN" Your audience. What does that mean?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2015, 02:27:29 PM »
The basic point is that you can't expect readers to just be in the same train of thought of the author. And the author shouldn't expect the reader to ever think the same way either. Or at least instantaneously.


Slowly develop the scenes, the tones, and many more until it becomes clear. You're not earning your audience or fans if you don't try to develop those feelings and emotions and instead just throw them out there.

If you want your reader's to be in suspense, give them reasons to be in suspense. If you want something to be mysterious build more, not less.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 02:30:45 PM by Lorenx1 »
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