I'm working on two projects at the moment that have given me a lot to think about. I'm happy with the plots and fairly happy with the characters. What is slowing me down is the fact that I don't know who the stories should be aimed at. They could be for adults but they could also work as crossover pieces that appeal to adults and people in their mid to late teens. I have to decide though and in doing so will improve the focus.
It's important to think about who is going to experience your work. For a time, when I was involved in performances of my own work, I found it essential to consider audiences. An audience is made up of people with a whole host of needs and expectations. In order to create a good experience for them it's necessary to present them with those elements of your work that will impress or please them, make them laugh or get them thinking.
Some audiences were noisy and ready to laugh while others contained people who coughed and fidgeted. When my performance partner and I planned sets for a performance we always had a main plan and then a few ideas about what we might do if things weren't going well.
In other words we had to think about who we were performing to. Sometimes we had to be more funny, less funny, more specific, less rude. Sometimes we had to leave stuff out and other times we had to include things.
It all added up to us having a relationship, however brief, with other human beings who were willing to give us a chance.
Writing is the same except you can't see your readers when they are looking at your stuff. Even so, you have to work out who they are and what they already like and what they might like. You have to meet their expectations and also know how to exceed them.
It rings me back to my knotty riddle; in order to do any of these things you have to know who they are. I'm still scratching my head and trying to work that one out.