What Reading Levels do you write for?



A lot of us here on the forums don’t have English as a first language, so throwing a lot of words into a story that aren’t normally used becomes tedious. Especially if it happens in every single paragraph. Then it becomes more a sort of “how many times will I have to open to the dictionary” rather than the focus being on your story.


I have no idea… How do you tell?


Ah, that makes sense. I probably should’ve considered that sooner since using irregular words was my only defence against my parents and their friends reading my work lol


My story is fine for anybody over the age of 13, but you’d probably have to google some words. Additionally, some of the themes of war, corruption, and death are pretty heavy and a lot of characters kick the bucket unceremoniously.


My target audience is educated, literate, and omnivorous. Readers usually have a decent background in the classics, and have read such novels as Jane Eyre, Gone With the Wind, The Thornbirds, Rebecca; and the mysteries of P.D. James and Dorothy L. Sayers (especially the later ones with Lord Peter and Harriet Vane). Often they’ve read SF (Dune, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress), and epics such as Airport, the stories of Windhaven, and Hawaii.

I expect a literary quality in my language, but it is not allowed to get in the way of the story. As I don’t use a narrator, I am careful to have characters speak and think as they would. Stopping the plot to rhapsodize about flowers or sunsets is not allowed - unless in character (and I don’t have any characters so far who would).

Reading well and abundantly for pleasure usually results in a vocabulary that can handle 99.99% of the words I might choose; and any odd ones I absolutely have to have are understandable in context (that’s how I learned what they meant).

My main aim in writing is to make the reading so smooth that the reader doesn’t notice it, but can’t put the book down.

I write PG-13 in respect to violence, sex, and use of swear words - no complaints so far.

It takes a lot longer to polish the language, but I won’t write that many books in my lifetime, my name is on them, and I follow the dictum of ‘if you cannot find the book you want to read, write it.’

I love writing.


I write Teen Fiction, so maybe that’s kind of a cop-out for me to use rather simple writing, like not too many big words, trying to keep it fairly straight forwards. Not too many big descriptions or long paragraphs of metaphors and whatnot. My first language also isn’t English, so it is easier for me to stir clear of big words before accidentally using them in the wrong context. All in all, I hope to make my work easy to read for any kind of audience.


I seem to gear toward teens early twenties, even though I’m not one and haven’t been a teen for a while now. But it teen fiction and teen characters are just easier for me to write. I’d like to think it’s because I’m still young at heart, lol. Even though my writing is gear toward teens I know that some adults have enjoyed my stories and I even use big words from time to time that you have to use a dictionary for.:wink: I’ve tried adult fiction but it just isn’t my strong suit.


My target audience for vocabulary falls into the YA range, so about 13-15 but at times it can go to the higher end of YA. 16-17. Meanwhile for my ideas i’d say they very from children to adult ranges. 10-Adult ranges


My target audience is such that whoever reads the story understands. The vocabulary is simple and the writing is accessible easily. I don’t want people using the dictionary to look up a word.

Sometimes, I have the rare word sometimes, just to tease readers. A flowery prose is appreciated, Gerry :slight_smile:

My genres range from general fiction, poetry to romance. Have dabbled in a bit of scifi too. Mostly one shots written for contests on Wattpad.


I like having my stories available for everyone. Still trying to get more followers so that I can get more reads. Right now I am writing a fanfic called Danny Phantom vs the Forces of Evil and I might post it on Wattpad if I get more followers. Still don’t know what I would like to write for the episode Monster Arm. I like that episode from Star vs the Forces of Evil but I m stuck for ideas.


The last time I checked i was writing at a 9-10th grade level, but I think most of that came from sentence structure and not vocabulary. (I try to use simple words as much as possible.)

A lot of my readers are people who have English as their second or third language. Some of them can’t even fully write in English and comment in the language they are comfortable with. It makes me happy that my writing is not inaccessible to people like them.

My reading block is kinda divided. I have YA books, and N/A | A books, and I do think there’s a change (on a technical level. My vocabulary is still very simple) in the way I write for teenagers and the way I write for people in their twenties and beyond.


I don’t know? I just write so it is whatever it is, but I’d say YA.


The reading level is probably pretty young, around eighth grade.I’ve read somewhere that that was recommended, so that’s what I go for as much as possible. I try to keep my language simplified because I know so many readers on here are reading English as their second or third language and I don’t want to pull them out of the book.

As far as my target audience, I would say they are between fifteen and twenty-five.


I just took a quick look at my demographics, did some math and about 61% of my readers are from non-english speaking countries, with the majority (38%) being from the Phillipines. So, I’m guessing the language I use is simple enough for non-native speakers to grasp. Which I’m happy with because I want to reach as much people as possible.

Luckily, english is flexible enough to be flowery, poetic and symbolic without using SAT words.


Given the level of blistering criticism and one star reviews online for my novel…? The 4th grade.

Apparently, writing in the style and voice of Isaac Asimov and J.R.R. Tolkien isn’t higher on people’s lists of “graduated reads” as a book read by one President Bush called My Pet Goat. (Aimed at 2nd and 3rd grade readers.)

Maybe this should be my next book idea in line…that way people won’t be so mad?


Between you and me? We’re facing down a broken education system in America wrought by decades worth of budget cuts at the state and federal level–which has created a generation or two’s worth of illiterate Americans whom can’t process such works as Homer’s Iliad or War and Peace on a fundamental level.


I can’t comment on other’s reading criteria and especially not of education levels of a different country (or even today’s educational systems).

I’ve been away from education institutions for a long time. I did object to some formats given to my children (Again a long time ago).

As with most writers I observed their current patterns and use of the language. I geared my stories to that level. To this day I wonder if I short changed both my children and readers.


Hmm…that would be an interesting Pandora’s Box. But we never can tell what will happen after we publish our respective works, now can we?

I only write and publish what I can to help chart possible futures with humanity. But like with everything, change happens very quickly without warning or notice.


Pick your ad copy carefully once you publish. Who is attracted by the copy may not be the same person as who you want to read the story.

My subtitle is ‘A novel of obsession, betrayal, and love,’ but it is NOT a thriller or a Romance. It is mainstream fiction. I like my subtitle, and it describes the story, especially the whole trilogy, and I won’t be changing it, but I have to be careful with my ads. The wrong people leave rather angry ratings and reviews; I think they jump in too quickly.


That’s what I experienced as well, even after I’ve been telling people, it’s not mainstream fiction. It’s sci-fi/romance and they don’t understand that. So I don’t know how I’m going to be able to break this impasse.

I think most discount the fact that it is romance–but with LGBT elements in it–and it’s not your atypical conventional novel.

To be honest, I think that’s my fault more so because I base everything on the dreams I’ve been having in recent years: Where nothing makes a lick of sense to the average reader, but to me…it’s a gold mine full of opportunities to write a really…strange book?


Unless I plan to post the story to Kidpub I don’t write with a target age/grade in mind. If the story is made with KP in mind it’s probably geared for 15ish, because that’s the middle ground between the oldies and the new generation. And even then, I don’t change my vocabulary or sentence structure, I just redact swearing and try not to get too graphic.