Beyond the Long Walk: Appealing to a Target Audience Through Genre Choice and Manuscript Length
College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
target audience, hybrid genre, mixed genre, fiction, novella, military, veteran, PTSD, suicide, fiction
Sudkamp, Stacie Ann, "Beyond the Long Walk: Appealing to a Target Audience Through Genre Choice and Manuscript Length" (2023). Masters Theses. 1017.
Creatively writing specifically for a narrow target audience has not historically been the modus operandi of most authors. The usual recommendation has been to allow a story’s characters to determine plot direction, story length, and genre. My Artist Statement explains my motivation for creating a manuscript that appeals, specifically, to servicemembers and veterans coping with PTSD and suicidal ideation. Furthermore, the research expanded upon in my Critical Paper supports my decision to create a hybrid, or mixed genre, novella in order to capture and hold the attention of my target audience in a unique way. I accomplish this by first capturing and holding my target audience’s attention with a fictional story inspired by hours of combat veteran interviews. Second, I include a nonfiction section of contributions from veterans and military spouses in order to create a sense of connection between the contributors and readers. And finally, I choose to package it all in a novella, rather than a novel, so readers susceptible to PTSD and suicidal ideation may more quickly reach an appendix of helpful resources for servicemembers, veterans, dependents, and caregivers.
Available for download on Friday, May 24, 2024