Hitting the Mark with My Audience
by Lori Beasley Bradley
For the past few months, I have been attending the Central Phoenix Writing Workshop and presenting chapters of my manuscript, The Ruby Queen. Before I began writing, I did quite a bit of reading about writing, and one of the first things they said to do was think about your target audience. I like to write historical fiction, but thought my target audience would be women, so I chose to write women’s historical fiction.
I am writing about two women in 1870 who find themselves practicing prostitution in the Old West. I have done a good deal of research on the period, as far as dress, furnishings, food, and of course, prostitution during that period. I like to be very descriptive in my settings.
I think I have hit my mark, though. When I present material to a group that is mainly men, I hear things like:
“Do you really need all that stuff about the kind of fabric and decoration on her dress?”
“Do we really need to know that the bed covers are made of satin How does that move the story forward?”
“Why do we need to know about the use of feminine hygiene products at the time or the places she used the bathroom? Does this really add to the plot?”
When my group is mainly women I hear:
“I love how you give us the exact setting and how you tell us about her clothes and personal items.”
“I didn’t have any idea how they dealt with birth control back then.”
“You paint a wonderful picture of the place and time. I really feel like I’m on a Mississippi Riverboat.”
I think I am definitely writing women’s historical fiction and have found my target audience.
Lori is beginning a new project she is calling The Soiled Dove Sagas. It will be a three-book series about two young women who find themselves taking up prostitution as a way to make a living in the 1870s. Lori’s first book is The Legend of the Swamp Witch. Follow Lori on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.