Elmore Leonard said: "My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip."
And I think it's great advice. Except, which readers?
How do you decide for whom you're writing?
I write stories *I'd* like to read. Is that what other people do?
I never really thought about it that way, but yes, I write what I want to read and the results can be strange manifestations of my twisted imagination. I also write what i wanted to see on the screen, but didn't get to. And target audience? I really, really don't know. It used to be the W/D crowd for a long time but in general, I've not felt as home with any other pairing audience as I do with the W/D folks (who, even after all this time, are an incredibly fun group of people to hang out with). And since I can't say I'm writing for this crowd or that crowd, I have to write for myself or occasionally, for the errant muse who gets motivated at the drop of a hat (the guilty party knows who she is - I can see the non-commital nod now) ;-).
I think if you write for a particular audience, you're dooming yourself to a certain level of disappointment. I know that there was a time when I used to compare my stories to other people who wrote that same pairing and then eventually realized, no matter what I did or how hard I tried, I would never, ever measure up. Of course, that could vary depending on *who* you are within fandom. If you are among the 'worshipped' authors, then you're the one who set the bar and so I don't think the same level of disappointment would occur there. And before this sounds petty or even slightly BOFQ, I'm actually not. I really think the true joy in fanfic is writing the stories you want to see and read - you can't always anticipate what will move a reader and audiences out there are pretty ambigious. It's very possible that the same people who adore P/K will also love a P/T fic or someone who likes J/C can also wrap her mind around C/T. So I don't even think you can define an audience, so in the end, it's what I want to write.
And yes, some of my odder forays into fiction have been greeted with an glass-shattering silence. Be that as it may, I don't regret writing something that did not appeal to anyone. In the end, it only has to appeal to me, right? Or is that a self-centered view? Discuss.