…Cuz fucking John fucking Steinbeck, y’hear?
Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
Yeppers, this is the origin of Steinbeck’s famous “Write for an audience of one” tenet. This and more well thought-out advice straight from The Paris Review.
(Oh, come on. You know damn well who John Steinbeck is. Don’t you? Huh? What?!)