Monday, 25 January 2010

Write for YOUR audience. Know who it is.

(Picture: From a party I was at yesterday night, the setting was gorgeous... thought I would share.)

(Also, I won the Honest Scrap Award, my 7 things are listed on my right sidebar. I will give the award to 7 others that haven't received one yet.)

Yesterday, I wrote a chapter about a woman who suffered for years with spousal rape and fed up, took a vacation to Mexico and killed her husband.

An odd thing occurred: six people reviewed the work, all three of the men hated it, all three of the women loved it. Even though the woman committed the horrible act of murder, they could relate to the character.

Now, I don't in any way condone killing. I don't agree with what my character has done, I think she, in her mind, felt she was justified, but, I thought it interesting that I had such different comments from women and men. So it made me think, writers know they can't please all readers. No matter how many times you edit your work to what you view is perfection, someone will not like it.

However, you should know who you're writing to, and write to them. When you figure out your demographic find out what they like. How? Ask readers of that genre to give feedback. Maybe your mom or dad isn't your demographic. I know my mom wouldn't like the chapter I wrote, in fact, if she read it, she might suggest I enter a mental institution. So... make sure you get feedback from those who would spend the money buying the book.

Just my thoughts.

Oh, and if you want to read the chapter, it's below. (Remember, it hasn't been edited. Warning: May contain disturbing content.)

I sat across the table from my husband as he suffocated. I’d never watched anyone die before; I’ve never seen him so completely helpless and scared. It felt oddly enthralling.

It’s difficult to recall in what order events happened because they mix up in your mind. He pushed his plate to the floor as he tried to stand, and a chunk of seasoned potato rolled under the bed. At the time, I debated whether to pick the piece up so it wouldn’t rot there but, in the end, I was glad I held back. How would I explain my actions to the police? Policia. In Mexico, they’re called Policia.

Your husband was dying and you searched under the bed for food?


At some time before he dropped to the floor, music registered in my mind – the twang from the Mariachi guitars. A band in black and white embroidered outfits walked along the beach, playing songs for the couples willing to throw a few Pesos their way, I could hear them singing words I could not understand.

I knelt beside him on the floor and he grabbed my hand. His lips moved but no words escaped. It didn’t matter; I knew what he asked for. I looked towards the bed, he pointed at the neatly piled suitcases. The key to his salvation sat below two shirts – in a tidy shaving kit.

I debated.

The curtains that covered the patio drifted into the room. The heat and the smell of salty ocean air blew across my face. The shadow of palm trees outlined on the sheer drapes. A paradisaic place if not for the stench of approaching death.

The helpless man begged me for his life. I looked down into his soft brown eyes, his pleading eyes. The happy moments flooded back to my mind... if only briefly. So long ago. Over time, hatred crowded out the kind. Where did my husband go, the one I married?

I stood from my chair and walked to the suitcases. I reached in the kit and pulled out the syringe of epinephrine. It wasn’t weakness; it was planning. I had to feign effort, I had to try to save his abusive ass. I counted to five and turned around. He lay on the floor now, his fingernails scratching at the tile floor.

With the needle in hand, I knelt beside him. His movements had lessened. I plunged the needle into his thigh, counted to three, and shot its contents into him.


After staring at his hollow eyes for a while, I walked to the phone, dialled the front desk and said one word, ‘Ambulencia.’Then I went and opened my hotel room door. The breeze entered full force and I kicked down the door stop.

As I knelt by him again, I thought I should feel something. Perhaps, guilt or sadness or horror or fear. I felt nothing. Not even relief or elation. Nothing. I picked up his hand and uncurled the fingers on his a tanned hands. I outlined the lines of his palm and whispered, 'I loved you once.'

I was surprised how quick the police and ambulance arrived. Perhaps, I wasn’t. I left the syringe in his leg, I left my vomit on the bathroom floor, I left my mind and heart in that hotel room.

Allergic to shrimp. Accidente, they declared, and turned my husband to ash.


Kimberly Franklin said...

Ann, you are so right. Knowing your audience is a must. However, it doesn't matter if you wrote the most perfect MS in the universe, someone out there won't like it. And, that's okay. Because for every person who doesn't, there are probably three or four to will. : )

Kimberly Franklin said...

Or, maybe more. LOL. Sorry kind of blanked out there.

Ann Elle Altman said...

Exactly. I've stopped trying to please everyone. I think, 'who will read this book', and write to them.


Unknown said...

Words to live by "Now your audience"... byt the way I am with the women, this chapter is really good.

I remind myself that not everyone will like my book, and that is okay, I should just go with what my audience really enjoys and stick with that... they are the one's who would buy it!

Arlee Bird said...

I was discussing with my sister the other about BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, book and movie-- she loved both of them and back when they first came out she convinced me to read the book and see the movie -- I hated both of them. They are one of her most favorite books and movies. They are among my least.

Ann Elle Altman said...

Jen, thanks. I'm not even sure I'll write the book because I have too many projects on the go but, it opened my eyes.

Arlee bird, I agree. My sister recommends books all the time and often I can't get through them.


The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

First feliciations on the award and now for the rest. It was good. Gripping even if a little grim in subject. I wonder though how she will live with it.
Warm regards,

Anonymous said...

Great advice. Though sometimes it is useful to get advice from people who don't like the type of story you are writing. They don't like the work anyway so they feel a bit more free to be critical and sometimes they notice things that people who like that type of story have just glanced over.
Thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Parents sometimes aren't the best first readers! Depends on the content, of course.

Great chapter!

Mystery Writing is Murder
Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Ann Elle Altman said...

Simone, thanks for your comment, I think this project, if I take it up will be a year or two in the future but I think it should be a topic discussed more often because it affects so many people.

Cassandra, thanks, and I agree with you. We have to take criticism kindly but digest where it comes from.

Elizabeth, I agree about the parents! I'm sure I would get a lecture on this chapter.


Tamika: said...

Great piece of advice, I'm glad I found your blog.

I actually enjoyed the excerpt- not bad for no editing.

Ann Elle Altman said...

Tamika, glad you like the blog. I will continue to work had making the blog worth reading.


Fez said...

Nice work...but Ann, if you are married I really hope your husband isn't allergic to anything. :)

Ann Elle Altman said...

Fez, thank you. And no, my husband isn't in any danger.


Emma Michaels said...

Yeay Thank you for grabbing my button and following!!! Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

I read this chapter at the site the night you posted it. I loved it and couldn't believe some of the reviews?

You're so right about listening to the correct readership. That was my first mistake at TNBW; I listened to everybody.


from the desk of a writer

Ann Elle Altman said...

Corra, I take all reviews with a grain of salt. IF the majority of people, man, woman, older, younger, give me similar advice, I should take it. If it's one lone gunman...well, I'll digest but reconsider.


Anonymous said...

boost your computer performance , A computer program software that tests the Windows Registry and appears for dated and invalid records.
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]

Software often generate Registry entries for short-term data and pointers with other files, but in no way remove them. Furthermore, if files are by hand deleted from the user.
Registry entries may point out files that won't exist. A Registry cleaner freeware can ahtvniwxnjnjnjnnjaw engage in a bundle of system tools or perhaps a stand-alone, windows 7 registry cleaner package

Anonymous said...


I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at

Can I use some of the information from your post above if I provide a link back to your website?


Anonymous said...

The amount can a company legally cost to let an insurance policy holder out of his vehicle insurance?
How much does your company cost when someone chooses to terminate and how much pressure do you use to keep them?
What are some tips or something like that we can say if our consumer has many months remaining on his present auto insurance plan? Undoubtedly, many of us are not going to hold back until his renewal comes due every time.

Anonymous said...

buy likes on facebook
buy targeted facebook likes
facebook likes buy

buy targeted facebook likes buy bulk facebook fans
buy facebook likes buy bulk facebook fans
buy facebook likes [url=]how to buy facebook likes[/url] buy likes on facebook buy cheap facebook fans

Anonymous said...

You alreaFy know your entering the reality Fistortion area (we promoting sorts neeF to have [url=]louis vuitton knolckoffs[/url]
justiFy our Fees & services) anF neeF to have
raise your jargon Filters [url=]louis vuitton knolckoffs[/url]
stun level once you here anF/or see these keyworFs; i.e. clickstream traFFic (Fancy way oF saying traFFic or reaFers FelivereF via mouse clicks [url=]Louis Vuitton Outlet[/url]
your web site), ebusiness solutions (meaning - selling your proFucts/services via an ecommerce site) or my all-time personal Favorite, “ebusiness intelligence” (what’s ebusiness anF what Fetermines iF it’s “intelligent”). .
In toFay's worlF, there is noise all arounF us, From the cell phones ringing, [url=]Louis Vuitton Outlet[/url]
the iPoF in our ear,
chats arounF the water cooler. We are conFitioneF [url=]Louis Vuitton kopierte Tasche kaufen[/url]
noise, not being silent. Try this test: the next time you are negotiating with the other party, anF they say something like "well, that's my oFFer," Fon't utter a worF For 10 seconF[url=]louis vuitton knolckoffs[/url]

There are a lot oF arguments maFe when these kinFs oF a subject is being FiscusseF. Some publish it oFF as absurF iF you inForm them that gooF rankings usually are not the be all anF conclusion all the methoF the place because the pruFent anF analytical types concur with this iFea. But people that agree are couple in selection.

Anonymous said...

[url=]ASPURuyIYD[/url] - KHMfeyaYkaE -

Anonymous said...

[url=]sacs longchamp pas cher[/url] Learn to Buy Discount Women Mulberry Lizzie Leather Tote Bag Black,they are free shipping,no sale tax,reasonable price in Mulberry Factory Shop. relax. During the early stages of labour, breathe deeply, in and out in rhythm. When the contractions come and it is time to push baby out, don't hold your breath. Of course you can't. That thing is a monster! Its not fitting into those bags made for 17 inch laptops either. This is because these new beasts arn't just point 3 inches bigger, their screens are in true widescreen format, making them much longer that the previous generation.
[url=]sac longchamp[/url] aghh. This is tricky for a girl! I am doing this every week (because I am not doing the antibiotics). Some weeks I catch it fine. In the absence of my map, I ventured to guess that the two islands were Yagishiri-To and Teuri-To, with just four kilometers of water separating them. Of the High Quality Of Mulberry Bags sale online, Most Populer Mulberry Zip Printed Leather Purse Brown for Women with big discount two islands, Teuri had the greater pull on tourism, with more accommodation and facilities to cater to them. The reason being were the thousands of sea birds migrating to the island, with others living and breeding there all year round.
[url=]sac longchamps[/url] There are magazines which advertises such products and of course the internet. Just make sure that you log in to a reliable site so you will not be wasting your money for nothing because there are people who loves to swindle money. So what are you waiting for, grab the perfect bag for you!. Bags are more often than not used by students at school. Bags also have made a good name from sports enthusiasts. With folks drawing its attention Fabulous all the different styles of Mulberry Outlet Medium Alexa Leather Satchel Red Bag online supply to the benefits a bag can bring them, photo enthusiasts also founds the importance of a bag in their playing field.. The brand of the brand is additionally printed on the core. You can find it well suited for take as the duration of the take care of is just acceptable. Both hands are going to be totally free for executing other pursuits when carrying it..