Following Janet Dailey’s advice for “The Writing Life”, editor Fred Pfister spoke August 18 & 19, 2011 at the Ozarks Writer’s Conference regarding a writer’s audience. His Friday session helped attendees mine their memories for memoir topics. Fred is currently the editor of The Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine, and board member of Ozarks Writers League in Branson, Missouri.
Fred Pfister – “Every Writer’s Audience is a Fiction” & “Turning Memories Into Memoirs”
(taken from my notes – all mistakes or misquotes are entirely my error)
All writers write alone, so every writer’s audience is fictional. You are separated from your audience by space and time, so you must visualize them. Many successful authors write with one particular person (real or imaginary) in mind – even going so far as to pin up a photo of the person by their writing desk.
Regardless of your audience, your purpose is to persuade. All rhetoric is aimed at moving the audience to one point of view or another, to purchase a product, to take action. And a good writer can change for any particular audience. Some writers know their audience so well that they write for them successfully over and over. (Who is YOUR favorite series author?)
Words to Remember…
“Your audience is one single reader.” – Steinbeck
“There is no useless information, only unused information.”
“The last thing we decide in writing, is what to put first.” – Blaise Pascal
“There’s a great future in the past.” – Fred Pfister
Many thanks to Fred for his ongoing contribution to the field of writing, and for being such a champion of the Ozarks region! Fred is the author of The Littlest Baby, and The Insider’s Guide to Branson and the Ozarks, as well as being a Walt Whitman look-alike, and beekeeper extraordinaire.