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Be careful with satire

Writing satire can be difficult but can produce some very funny work. However, you need to match the satire to an appropriate audience.

Some time ago, I wrote a satirical piece about being a year 12 student – I referred to the wonderful social life (visiting a newsagent, a library, seeing movies of books under study, etc) and the joy of always having something to do (hmm, now I think of it, it is pretty similar to running your own business!)

I know it worked as various friends and teachers at my writing course read it and laughed. Yet I gave it to another person once and she took it very seriously. Her comment was along the lines of “That’s an interesting piece, but I’m not sure how many other year 12 students would agree with you about the highlight of the year”

Personally, I found her response funnier than the original story! However, it does prove a point – if you are writing in a style that is not mainstream or is perhaps different to the norm in a particular context, then take care that your piece will not be misinterpreted in a way that it becomes meaningless.

Learn about your target audience and preferably test your work on a couple of them. You don’t want to waste your best writing on an unappreciative audience!