I heard it said that those that do not codify the type of audience they're looking to court will have an audience of people you don't want that may also in turn drive off the audience you do seek.
Rather than listing off the kinds of people I'd wish not to gravitate to my work, I'll instead list off the type of people that I'd find most desirable to engage with my work along with a statement as to why I made that choice. You wouldn't have to match all of these markers (or any of them), just being tolerant of such people would be more than enough (and realistically, all I can ask of you).Are 18+ years of age: Given the kinds of things I'm into and passionate about, my preferred audience would be adults. I think it would also help for maintaining an audience in the long term since you can't “age out” of being an adult which means you won't “age out” of the work...hopefully.
Prefer character driven stories: I'm of the mind that good characters can save a horrible story but a good story can't save horrible characters. I also find that I enjoy these kinds of stories more than plot driven ones. If a plot driven story meanders, it ticks me off, but if its a character focused one I don't mind it anywhere near as much.Delights in the fantastical, abstract, absurd and surreal: Let's face it, real life sucks sometimes! If it didn't, there wouldn't be people making fictional stories. The ideal audience would be fine with just enough realism to make sense of things and not a molecule more (otherwise, why is it fantasy!?).
With that in mind, the ideal audience would be welcoming (or at the very least tolerant) to, say, someone attacking with a sparkling unicorn that explodes into puppies and rainbows to kill a skyscraper sized monster with the only requirement being that it make sense by the logic of the story.
Serial escalation is something I have a problem with because, if the only redeeming factor to your show is ever increasingly high stakes, then when you’ve had your character kill both Satan and God (or your settings equivalent of them and that’s assuming that you have the setting designed in such a way that they’re the highest landmarks of power with no other contenders in existence) then what!? You can’t use the character anymore because there’s no one else that can pose a believable threat to them because the series is focused first and foremost on the stakes with everything else being non-existent, secondary or so weak on their own that it fails to engage anyone. Or worse, having to NERF THEM to keep using them (thus rendering all the power they’ve acquired pointless if you were just going to throw their power in the trash just so you could make the story work).I prefer to emphasize horizontal progression because that means that “raising the stakes” isn’t the draw of the story (even if I might want to elevate them now and then for the sake of thematic purposes, so for me it’s not an attraction its a tool) and I don’t have to depend on making the next threat more dire than the last (or can even lower them) to keep drawing people in or have the audience revolt because the new guy isn’t as or more threatening than the last one. Not to mention it just gets exhausting for me to write and you to read.
Horizontal progression isn’t a meme.Are sex-positive: The kind of audience I'd ideally seek would be one that doesn't find things like breasts larger than a b-cup, short skirts/dresses, form fitting (or fetishistic) clothing (be it impractical or no clothing at all), sexualization of any degree and unapologetic promiscuity of a woman (especially if she happens to be the Main Character) to be a deal breaker or problematic. If the woman happens to be a sex worker the ideal audience would still be able to take them seriously and sympathize (and perhaps, connect) with them as the moments called for it.
I’m of the mind that depictions of sexual purity in women being a good thing are grossly overrepresented and depictions of it being dashed against the rocks to be a good thing are infinitely underrepresented (far as I’m concerned you can never have enough of the latter). Words such as slut and whore should be neural descriptors or considered good things rather than (as I write this, I hope one day the conditions I wrote this under to be dated) being used as weapons against anyone that dare not conform to this (horribly dated, needing to die and never return under any capacity) notion of sexual purity being glamorized and lionized. If I got into exactly why I feel like this, this section of the manifesto would be really long.Some would say after reading this that I’m romanticizing “degeneracy” but given the choice of two extremes I’d rather live in a slut culture where literally everyone has slept with everyone else at least once and the most some people have ever worn were two thin strings and talked about the kind of sex they had last night in public than a puritanical culture where any hint of sexuality is worthy of scorn, hidden in the shadows and being scrubbed out of existence where women are forced to encase their entire being in sacks.