Here is the index to the previous 13 posts on this topic:
Understanding the turning of generations is how great classics become great classics.
There are Eternal Truths -- but there's always a new way of expressing or explaining in terms of the experiences of the current readers.
At some point in life, a generation turns to "seeking" eternal truths, but most of the time humans are too busy to be bothered by eternity. Now is all that counts -- a little bit like sex. NOW!!!
But as a writer, your primary skill set is based on the ability to view any situation from multiple viewpoints at once. In this case, the viewpoints to master are the classics of the distant past (Shakespeare, the Greek Plays, the Bible), the classics of the recent past (anything written in the 1900's), and the current classics in the making ( written since 2000).
That encompasses three disparate points of view on the Human Condition. Three points give you a "line" or curve along which to extrapolate into the future -- writing the novels that will become "Classics" 40 years hence.
I do highly recommend reading back-lists -- yes, and my own back-list as well -- as research for how to create the effects you aim for in your readers.
You want to know how to worldbuild around a theme to punch a wordless emotional message through to a certain reader looking for a certain experience.
Not every book will "work" for every reader. Not every content will overwhelm all readers with tears, laughter or personal exoneration from guilt of wrongdoing.
Very often in life, everyone you know turns against you, blasting you with excoriation, destroying your sense of self-confidence, -- basically grandstanding to puff themselves up, but that isn't how it feels to the target being vivisected in public.
Back-list titles (especially in Romance which were written for a pre-Fem-Lib audience) don't "work" for millennials. The emotional punch is invisible to those raised in a new world.
However, if you are learning to write, studying something that does not "move" you as the author intended can unlock the clues you need to learn how to construct an emotional punch for your modern audience.
It is a "connect the dots" exercise. Pick up the "line" of development from decades ago, follow the statistics of significant changes summarized, then contrast/compare then vs. now.
Flipboard.com is an amazing new thing, (actually probably going to be bought out by something huge because it is so neat, and so successful).
Here is where to subscribe to my Magazines on Flipboard, where you can see what I consider significant developments in terms of audience composition, beliefs, tastes, opinions, and conceptions or misconceptions about science. The Sime~Gen Futurology magazine is a collection of new discoveries about Space, Galaxies, Stars, and Time itself.
Flipboard is a "news aggregator." You set up an account, then sign up to "follow" various newspapers, magazines (all the expensive big names, plus a lot of the best ones from around the world), and you can follow topics, too. It produces a rich stream of professional articles you can save into "Magazines" of your own to read later, or share.
I'm using this post to share with you one of the most data-dense, richly enlightening articles I've found in 2015.
I have not checked the data, the statistics, and the sources cited in this Powerpoint Presentation, slide by slide. But the graphs, curves and slopes seem about right to me. I think it's close enough to let you grasp the Market you are trying to hit, and why you need to hit that market.
Here's a slide about millennial coming to dominate the work force. You need to aim for "the workforce" because they are the ones with the disposable income to buy books. TV Series aim for that market as to films. You want to write novels that can be made into films. If you get lucky, you cash in big time.
It is a very long presentation. Study each slide, share it for discussion, see if it explains how the concept HAPPILY EVER AFTER became implausible.
Here is a link to the website where this whole presentation resides.
http://www.kpcb.com/internet-trends may turn up the 2016 reports and so on.
Here's a page that may last a few years. With the Web, you never know.
And here's another link:
Here is a summary from Forbes
These annual reports make News - big time. Watch for them.
In this blog, since 2007, we've been watching the development of Web 2.0, Targeting that readership used to this "interactive web" or "social media" based web, and Marketing to that Targeted readership.
Here is another Index post listing previous entries on Targeting a Readership: