There, I said it. Truthfully, it's not that I don't care about what other people think. It's not that I don't care about other people in general or anything. For goodness sake, I am a teacher....dedicated my life to other people's kids and all that. It's just that when I write, my first audience (and my most important audience) is me.
That being said, there are different MEs that I write for. (Not that I have a split personality....at least I don't think I do....I mean, I'd know, right? Or maybe just one of my personalities knows and the other, the blogging one, is hopelessly in the dark....hmmm.) Anyway, back to the different MEs.
When I write a picture book, I am writing for teacher/StoryQueen Shelley. She wants a book that:
- she can read billions times aloud and not get sick of.
- she can use funny voices with (most of the time).
- inspires kids to want to join in (especially the repetitive bits)
- makes kids laugh.
- makes kids have that glassy-eyed there-is-nothing-in-the-universe-but-this-story look when they listen to it.
- makes kids laugh (did I say that already?)
- plays with language in a way that reminds her what a fabulous thing books are.
- has a magical combination of the simple and the complex.
- asks kids to think, or maybe make connections with their own lives somehow.
Now, of course, I am considering my kid audience in all of these areas....but it is the Queen that calls the shots. It is her perception of how my book will measure up when she is on the front lines that guides my writing. She loves when she reads to kids and THEY love it. She loves when a book just BEGS to be read aloud.
She is not always easy to please....but she knows her stuff. (Uh-oh, I am talking about myself in 3rd person....I DO have a split personality! Crud.)
Who do you write for?