In one of Riordan’s blog posts, he writes:“Some writers will say that they don’t have any audience in mind when they write. They write solely for themselves, or for posterity, or because they are driven internally to tell the story. That’s all fine and legitimate. But as a teacher, I always drove home one thing to my writing students: You must have a sense of audience. Who are you writing for? You can’t expect a business inquiry to be written the same as a letter to your friend. Nor should you expect a college physics textbook to be written the same way as a fairy tale book for elementary students. Audience, for this writer, is critically important. I would submit that it’s important to any writer. It’s a fundamental element of good communication. You should always be mindful and considerate of your audience.”
So how does Riordan do this?
“I do this primarily by knowing my audience -- writing for them and to them. What does that mean? Writing with a strong plot, for one thing. Writing about characters that kids can relate to. Writing with humor and suspense to keep the pages turning. Writing as clearly as I can, so the sentence structure flows well when read aloud, and the prose becomes a smooth-running vehicle to deliver the story. And, like myths, my stories repeat familiar patterns – the hero’s quest, in particular.”
Riordan finds writing for kids much more challenging than he does for adults. Kids care about the characters. Imagine themselves in the settings. And always want something to happen. So when I sit down to plot, plan, and produce the first thing I think of is my audience. Then I ask, will this story work for kids? Not just for the book worms, but the reluctant readers too. And if I get a green light, then I’m off to the races!