I used to forget about the audience before I really started taking screenwriting, and the overall craft of writing as a whole, seriously. I’d just write to either get the shit from inside my head onto blank pages or only for my own self-edification.
But us writers can still do both. We all ultimately care about who our audience is. Be it a very small, localized one, or a gigantic Michael Bay-tentpole one. And yes, I’m talking about Transfuckingformers, and yes, it’s because they each made a billion fucking dollars each at the fucking box office. Because we all went to go see them even though the stories that were actually being told were ridiculous pieces of shitty shit.
Ask yourself: why do you write, and whom do you write for?
This past May, I wrote a 3,500-word short story for my sister as a birthday present. Quite proud of it, too, if I can say so. I had only done a story for an audience of one a few other times. This case was different.
First and foremost, she’s a blood-relative. This means her reaction is going to impact me as a writer directly, be it positive or negative or anything in between the extremes.
Second, writing this story demanded that I pay really close attention to all content. It was suited for her and her alone. The full disclosure here is that I’ve since shared the story with many others, all to mainly positive effect, something I’ll always treasure about my readers. Son of a bitch I use a lot of commas. But it’s how I write, so them’s the breaks, kids.
Finally, I decided to take a few extra days after completing what I thought was going to be the final draft of the story. I just wanted all cylinders to click and all the right buttons to be pushed, or whatever the hell metaphor you like to use. It’s fucking late, guys, and man am I underslept. But I wanted the story to have the most effect as possible. I hadn’t given that much care to any other short story I’d written. Screenplays, sure, care is all over the place. But short stories are different in that respect.
So what I’m saying here is that the audience you write for is crucial to the story that you craft and create for them. If not, then they may not be your audience for much longer.