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I’ve known for a long time

3/10/10 — I’ve known for a long time that visualizing my audience can be helpful when I’m working on a story. Since I’m writing REVENGE OF THE MUTANT UNDERWEAR for eight-to-twelve-year-olds, it made sense to visualize someone in that age bracket.

But who? I knew I wanted it to be a reluctant reader. If I could get a reluctant reader interested, then I could get almost anyone interested. Besides, we need more books for reluctant readers.

After much experimenting with less-than-optimal results, I thought, "Why not try visualizing myself at that age?" I didn’t like to read, and avoided books whenever possible. I have vivid memories of being twelve. And, besides, who do I know better than me?

I tried it, and so far it’s working great. It has been said many times by many people that you should ultimately write for yourself, but I’d always thought of that advice as figurative, not literal. But here’s at least one example of it being literally true. Try it, visualize yourself as the reader, and see if it works for you.