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Your audience

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I’ve mentioned before that Jeff and I go to a small group through our church. One of the things that has been interesting during our Bible study is learning the history behind the scriptures we’re reading. Knowing who the author was speaking to and the cultural context makes such a difference in understanding some of what he’s saying. Of course, with scripture we can go even further. We find ways to apply those truths to our lives today. But sometimes the author was speaking to a specific audience–and we might not always relate.

I met with an author today to go over a portion of a manuscript that she and I are working on together. We talked about whether we were speaking to a directly Christian audience or speaking more to a crossover audience. It’s not that the message needed to change either way–but the presentation might.

For a writer–knowing who you’re talking to is pretty important. When putting together a proposal, there’s always that section that needs to be clarified: intended audience. Usually there’s a secondary audience–sometimes even room to write in a tertiary audience. But that target audience matters.

Again, it’s not necessarily about changing your message depending on who’s reading your stuff–but the presentation might need to be reworked a little.

As our small group is making our way through 1 Peter, we stop to talk about the people Peter is talking to, the cultural expectations of that time, and Peter himself–his personality, his experience with Christ, his personal faith. And I’ve noticed that the picture gets clearer as the details come into focus.


About Brandy

Brandy Bruce is an award-winning author, editor, wife, mother, and someone who really loves dessert. She has a BA in English from Liberty University. She currently works as a freelance editor--reading, writing, editing, and making good use of online dictionaries. She's married to Jeff and has three beautiful children.

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