When you imagine a specific person you’re writing for, the writing goes easier. That’s a pretty basic, universal truth of the craft. How can it be improved upon? I have an idea.
Always Imagine a Friendly Face
Who wouldn’t want to tell a story to a friend who’s interested in what you have to say? This friendly, attentive face is the one we should always strive to visualize when we’re writing, especially in the first drafting stages. It’s not easy, because good writers always want to make sure they’re pleasing as many members of their intended audience as possible, but it’s helpful to zoom in on that one familiar face in the crowd. Ignore the pen-in-hand critic standing next to them, take no notice of the one-star Amazon reviewer with her arms crossed at the front of the crowd. Zero in on one face, and don’t let your attention waiver until you’re done drafting.
Then it’s okay to let the others in. After all, you have to think like an editor to properly pare down your drafts. You need to think like your readers to make sure that you’ve dotted your “i”s and crossed your “t”s and left no plot holes unfilled.
But for now, in the midst of the work—make it easier. Talk to a friend.