One large question when writing anything that has the purpose of publishing. Choosing your audience. Young? Old? Somewhere in-between? Religious? Trauma? So many people to write for. How to choose? The answer to that question is, “It depends.”
It depends on who you are, what the story is, where it’s set, the kind of language used, how detailed it will be. First and foremost, though, is the story. Is it fantasy or sci-fi? Western or young adult?
All these things, though, don’t come at the outset of writing, or at least not for how I write. There are people who like to and endeavor to write genre fiction, and that’s fine. A lot of writers do well with that. I’ve read books that I’ve enjoyed that were written solely because the author wanted to write a “fantasy” book or a “mystery” book. For myself, I like a story to dictate itself, which comes with its own pros and cons. Several stories I’ve written seem to sit on the edge of realism and magical realism, which, for me, seems to be a side-effect of this process. Some enter completely into magical realism, while other veer the other direction. I like the unpredictable nature of that. I like not knowing what’s going to happen, whether or not my characters are going to stay in this universe.
Writing thus, I never think about my audience while I’m writing my first draft. That comes much later in the revision process. I go back, look at what I have, and ask something like,” Who would want to read this.?” Once I have an idea of who might be the best audience for the piece, I tailor it to what I decide.
Again, first and foremost when writing something is getting the story out. However long that takes. If it takes an hour, great. If it takes years, fine. Trying to make wholesale decisions early on can make the whole process take much longer and much less enjoyable.
So, I you have a story, and want to get it published, write it first, then worry about all the other details later.