Many writers make a huge mistake. They write for themselves. Now, this is fine if you are writing in your journal, making a grocery list or only intend to show your work to your closest friends and most accommodating critics.
For those of you who actually wish to get published, receive glowing reviews and actually sell more than ten copies, there is a better way. Write for your audience. Target your words, your ideas and your plots to a particular audience and know what they want. Do some research.
If you intend to write for five-year-olds, go to the library and study their stages of development. What are their language skills at that age? What are their interests? What children’s books for that age group soared and which flopped?
If writing for the sci-fi crowd, don’t just limit yourself to that genre. Look for niches within t. Are you targeting readers that were avid Star Trek fans or are they into the Next Generation? Find a subsection. Are they interested in aliens or humans who have stumbled upon extraordinary powers?
Read writing magazines, from that genre. What are editors looking for? Many times, they will tell you exactly what they need and what they will burn if they receive any more of.
Join online newsgroups and chat boards for your subject. If you are a romance writer, join romance chat boards and websites. Trade ideas with other writers. Ask who their favorite authors are and why.
Submit sample chapters online for review. Take their constructive criticism seriously and apply it, if it seems to be the majority opinion. So who knows? Maybe you’re a writer after all…
Finally, read as many successful authors from your field as you can. What makes their books best sellers? What keeps you reading? How do they write so that their audiences are clamoring for more? Is it the style? Is it the subject? What can you apply from their style to your own to keep your language and characters fresh?
If you keep these simple tips in mind, your writing will improve, your brain will kick in with better characters and plots and your work will be not only accepted but applauded. Read also this post about How To Write A Book (or song lyrics, for that matter).