Friday, June 19, 2015

What comes first? Audience or Story?

A few years ago, at a local writers meeting, I once listened to the beginning of a story by one of the male participants--a story about a young woman dealing with her family's vagaries. The best character in the scene was male—the brother of the protagonist--with a strong personality and interesting dichotomy of emotions. I wanted to know more about him.
After general critiquing, I asked the fledgling writer why his protagonist was a young woman--in fact, why all his stories were told from the point of view of young women or girls. He responded that he had read that most of the readers in the country were women and, therefore, thought his character selection would give him a chance at a greater audience.
Whoa! I and others in the group quickly pointed out that while the majority reader gender might be female, it didn't mean they only read books about or by women. If that were the case, all those action/PI/thriller male writers should just pack it in--they'd be doomed. Not to mention the myriad male mainstream and literary writers who don’t write from a female point-of-view.
I wonder how many writers of fiction think first about their audience and try to craft a story that will fit? I suppose if you’re aiming for younger readers, that might be important, but for me (and I’ve written for young readers and YA titles, too), my main stimulation is a compelling story or situation, where the protagonist's reaction and influence on the story line is believable. I don’t know if I could honestly develop that, if marketing was my primary thought.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Photo Art Exhibit at local business

The installation of my PhotoArt at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Helena, was successfully completed on 15 June. Phew! Twenty-eight images went up on their walls, with room to spare. They will remain there until mid-November. I don’t have a lot of BIG finished pieces. My largest are 18”x24” framed. I did, however, spend a few bucks to produce a dramatic piece for the reception area. 
At 30” x 25” it gives a bright focus in the lobby. This D.A. Davidson (DAD) branch swaps out art work several times each year solely for the purpose of having a variety of visual interest for their employees and clients. The images can be marked with a price (which I did) and DAD doesn't expect a commission—how rare! But there is a lot of wall space to fill.

I don’t produce pieces larger than 18”x24” mostly because they are hard to transport to land shows; and if they get damaged at an outdoor show (wind, rain, hail—I’ve been caught in them all) replacement is very expensive. However, most of my images can be produced up to 40”x36” through my Fine Art America portfolio, where the images can also be printed on canvas, acrylic, metal, throw pillows and tote bags.

But no time to contemplate that. My next events are looming: The Mt. Helena Music Festival on 26, 27 June, and ten days later I install an exhibit in the Boulder Hot Springs Inn and Conference Center dining room.

Back to work.


Nancy Treib said...
Oh my Kae! Your large piece is stunning!
Bolder than Georgia O'Keefe.
Congratulations on your exhibit!

Kae said...
Thanks, Nancy. I had to come up with something special after your fine exhibit there.