In writing, a person or a specific group of people you are speaking to is referred to as an audience.
Knowing your audience beforehand helps you formulate the information you should include, how to arrange that information and whether or not to include specific details you normally wouldn’t tell another person. Whether it’s for novels, articles, spec scripts or screenplays, it is crucial to first identify who that audience will be and what they should know.
If an inspired writer first sits down to write without fully understanding the audience, everything written will become detached and muddled. Once presented, the true audience will not feel the intended emotion attempted in the piece. The tone and language will feel generalized, scattered and the reader or viewer will not feel the connection. They will begin tuning out.
Once the audience has been identified, it’s important to start envisioning what the audience should know. Will that person agree or disagree with you in real life if you were telling this information to them in person? How knowledgeable are they and do they need to know certain bits of information versus, omitting others? Sometimes, the omission of certain parts leaves the audience connecting the dots for themselves. Once the audience has contributed with their own knowledge, they will begin to feel invested and want to read or watch further.
Most of the time writers write because they want their work to be liked, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not nearly as important for the audience to like it, as it is to draw out specific emotions from them, whether they like it or simply hate it. The goal is to enable them feel and connect to something. Once they feel like they are the only ones that the passage was intended for or watched something they connected to, you’ve done your job well.