JM Williams

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Considering the Reader – WriteWorks


WriteWorks is a relatively young editing company managed, in part, by a guy named James Hallman. He’s the guy doing the editing for my current book. His assistance has been indispensable, though his detailed comments have left me with a lot more revision work than I expected!

The WriteWorks blog has a lot of good articles on the craft, many of which I will probably share sometime in the future. The one below is on considering your reader when you write.

One thing I would add to this discussion is that in addition to general readers–the market public so to speak–you must also consider the editors and publishers reviewing your work as a sort of readership. This is particularly true with short and flash stories, as their fate, whether they are accepted or rejected, often comes down to the opinion and choice of one or two editors. I have learned that these editors often have very distinct wants and opinions; they will accept works that fit their own mood or style.

I have had three pieces rejected from Daily Science Fiction, all that I have thus far submitted to them. A writer who was published by them told me that the editors at DSF prefer experimental pieces. I have also determined through reading that they like first-person narrators. Anyone who reads my blog will know I don’t do experimental. And I don’t care for first-person in most cases. So it leaves me with three choices. I can continue sending my very standard, action-centered, third-peson stuff to DSF to be rejected, or I can write something more in line with what they want, or I can find other venues. The first option is just silly; the other two require me to consider the publishers as readers and to tweak my stories appropriately.

Follow the link below to read the full article on the WriteWorks blog.


At the heart of any creative endeavor, there is always a question about the audience. It’s one that really plagues starting writers, who often carry around a lot of doubt—often so much that they forget to start writing. But questions about the reader come up a lot at writers conventions and lecture series, always to be answered by a variety of marketing professionals checking in with questions about target audiences, sales demographics, trends, ideal readers, and any other variety of tips about the proper targeting of books. Even in my coaching and editing work, I often find conversations being steered back towards these considerations…Read the Full Post Here

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