="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 512 512">

Chapter 1: Writerly Goals, Purpose, and Audience

Writerly Goals

Melissa Ford Lucken

Writers have various goals when it comes to writing novels, and these goals can differ from writer to writer. The goals will also vary from one book project to the next. Considering your goals before starting to write a novel is essential for several reasons:

Having clear goals helps you establish a sense of direction and purpose for your writing project. It allows you to focus your efforts and make informed decisions about the content, structure, and style of your novel. When you know what you want to achieve, you can align your creative choices with those goals and maintain consistency throughout the writing process. Writing a novel is a significant undertaking that requires dedication and perseverance. When you have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish, it becomes easier to stay motivated during the inevitable challenges and setbacks that may arise. Goals can serve as a reminder of why you started writing in the first place and help you maintain your commitment to the project.

Your goals inform the decisions you make regarding the plot, characters, themes, and narrative structure of your novel. They guide you in making choices that align with your overall vision and purpose. Additionally, having well-defined goals allows you to create a roadmap or outline for your novel, helping you plan and organize your writing process more effectively. Your goals also help you consider your target audience and their expectations. By understanding your goals, you can make informed decisions about the genre, tone, and style that will resonate with your intended readers. Considering your goals in relation to your audience ensures that you deliver a satisfying reading experience that aligns with your artistic vision.

Setting goals allows you to evaluate the success of your novel writing endeavor. You can measure your progress and assess whether you have achieved what you set out to do. Goals provide a benchmark against which you can evaluate your work, celebrate milestones, and identify areas for improvement. This evaluation process can be helpful for personal growth as a writer and for future writing projects.

Ultimately, considering your goals before starting to write a novel provides a sense of purpose, helps you stay focused, and allows you to make informed decisions throughout the writing process. It enables you to align your creative choices with your desired outcomes, leading to a more fulfilling and successful writing experience. Consider these possible goals:

Creative Expression

Many writers embark on the novel-writing journey to express their creativity and imagination. They have stories to tell, characters to develop, and ideas to explore. Writing a novel allows them to bring their unique visions to life and share them with others.

Storytelling and Entertainment

Writers strive to create compelling and engaging stories that captivate readers. They aim to entertain and provide an enjoyable reading experience, transporting readers to different worlds, evoking emotions, and keeping them invested in the narrative. They want to craft narratives that readers can immerse themselves in and find rewarding.

Communication and Connection

Writers use novels as a means of communication, aiming to connect with readers on an emotional and intellectual level. They seek to convey their thoughts, perspectives, and experiences, and to create a shared understanding and empathy between writer and reader. Novels have the power to evoke emotions, provoke thought, and foster a sense of connection and resonance.

Exploration of Themes and Ideas

Writers often use novels as a vehicle to explore complex themes, ideas, and social issues. They want to delve into human experiences, tackle philosophical questions, examine societal dynamics, or shed light on specific topics. Novels provide a space for in-depth exploration and offer opportunities to spark dialogue and reflection.

Personal Fulfillment and Achievement

Writing a novel is a significant personal accomplishment for many writers. The process of creating a complete work, from initial idea to final draft, brings a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Completing a novel allows writers to fulfill their creative aspirations, gain a sense of achievement, and establish a tangible testament to their storytelling abilities.

Career and Publication

Some writers have goals of pursuing a career in writing and getting their novels published. They aspire to be recognized and established as authors, and they work towards finding literary agents or publishers who will support their work. The publication of a novel can open doors to further writing opportunities, such as book deals, book tours, and interactions with readers.

Impact and Influence

Writers may aim to make a lasting impact through their novels. They hope to leave a mark on readers’ lives, whether by challenging their perspectives, inspiring change, or offering new insights. Writers aspire to contribute to the literary canon, shape cultural conversations, and leave a legacy through their storytelling.

Your goals can evolve over time and may vary depending on your life circumstances. Additionally, you may have a combination of these goals or other personal aspirations that drive their pursuit of novel writing.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Writerly Goals by Melissa Ford Lucken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book