By Jennifer Debenham
Now you all are here to witness the moment when I learn that 11 (date of my first post) + 14 (two weeks) equals 25!
The five Sundays of March mixed me up. All yesterday I was thinking it was the 3rd Sunday of the month and therefore not my post day. So when Monday morning rolled along, and I started to think about my responsibilities again--counting on fingers, etc.--I realized my error. I promise (though words are my true love) I'm really much better at math than that. My apologies, and I promise to be more "with it" in the future.
So here's the post you should have seen yesterday.
[Ed note: This now appears on Sunday. Magic!]
As long as we're talking about numbers, let's look at a few as they relate to writing. Last time I told you about my wonderful week of writing under the tutelage of David Farland (Wolverton). Among other things, Farland shared his expertise on marketing and ensuring that your writing reaches a wider audience.
Consider these statistics on draws in stories.
In children up to age eight:
99% respond to wonder.
94% respond to humor.
92% respond to light horror. Keep in mind that for a five-year-old light horror could be a teacher with a growly voice and a scary face.
These statistics lighten as children grow, but most of us never lose our appetite for wonder, humor, and light horror. J.K. Rowling did a beautiful job of capturing a wide audience using all of these draws, as well as characters for every age group.
In addition to those three main draws, as boys get older, their longing for adventure increases. As girls get older, they look for stories with romance. In fact, this trend of preferring romance lasts until women are in their mid-thirties. Twilight anyone? And if you're asking me, I think it lasts even beyond that! The Hunger Games proves that girls and women are making a movement toward adventure with strong female leads that know how to hold their own.
Finally, the strongest draw for men as adults are thrillers, a la Dan Brown and John Grisham.
On your current WIP consider going through your scenes and finding ways to amp up the romance or humor or adventure, etc. Your audience will love you for it!