I’m going to do each answer as a separate post.
You can ask more questions if you want.
coppervale asks: Do you write for yourself, or for your imagined reader?
Short answer: Yes, both.
Longer answer: It depends on what I’m writing and where I am in the process.
On this blog, in case it’s not obvious, I’m always thinking about readers, those of you I know in real life and those I haven’t met yet. That’s why I like asking questions so much — I want to know what’s up with y’all.
When I’m writing a novel, I don’t think about imagined readers until I’m fairly far along, like at least the second draft or maybe even the third — I’m too busy being inside the book, getting to know the characters and figuring out what the hell they’re doing to (and with) each other.
When I’m writing a comics script, I’m writing for myself, imagined readers, and for the artist, who needs a clear idea of what I’m seeing for each panel. Imagined readers come into the process much earlier when I write comics, because the nature of the format is so collaborative — at least for people like me who cannot draw to save their lives.