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Miz Lina's avatar

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LadyNaena
The only backstory given in the first and second chapters is information that's vital to understanding the MC's actions in chapter 3 when feces and a fan make each other's acquaintance. As it happens, my main character absolutely loathes not being in control of a situation because when he was younger he watched his father die right in front of him. Chapter 1 reveals his father to be dead because the inscription on his grave stone is important, but the details of it--the fact that his father was murdered and that it has had a profound effect on the character--isn't stated outright until the end of book, possibly book two depending on how I end up dividing it. My worry is that things like the gravestone will initially be seen as irrelevant and thus alienate the reader who doesn't yet know any better. If you have any suggestions on avoiding that, that would be fantastic!


Don't think of it as irrelevant until the reader has the rest of the information, think of it as foreshadowing. Or of enticing the reader to keep going, to figure out just what that silly stone was talking about, anyway. As long as you play it right, which I'm sure you have (You didn't just throw it in there, right? It's not all like, "Oh, by the way, his gravestone said, No more eating fried shicken and that's an inside joke but I'm not going to tell you what" wink it sounds to me like it should be fine.

ALSO, um- I'll admit I haven't read all of this thread, or even all of your posts in this thread, so this was my first encounter with you describing your story, but- feces? PLEASE tell me you don't have a character named Feces? Please?

LadyNaena


A good bit of advice that; I'll keep it in mind. I think I'll also check out Ms. Taylor. Her blog looks quite interesting though I couldn't find the post you mentioned. THanks so much for the thorough response and the different perspective heart .


DEFINITELY do it. Daughter of Smoke and Bone, her newest, took the #1 spot on my favourite books list the day it came out on shelves. I bought it as soon as it was unpacked, read it in an entire afternoon, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it yet (that was in October). Not only is her story great, her writing is spectacular in places, and she has a way of making you not even realize you're reading excellent writing because the book itself is just so good- you don't even notice how skilled she is with words until you read it the second time.

Before that, she published a collection of stories, called Lips Touch: Three Times, that I thought was going to be shmaltzy and Twilight-esque before I actually read it. The woman is a genious.

Also, I have a habit of latching on to a new writer-blog, or agent-blog, and reading everything this person has ever posted. It's an addiction. So that post could be two, three years back- it could even be on her OLD blog, I don't remember. It's there somewhere.
Pirate Gigue's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

There's no magic window that I give a book to catch my interest in, actually. If it's badly written, I put it down (usually, sometimes I read it just to know what stinks and yeah, that's weird, heh). If it's not, I keep going. That second case could range from me only deciding that the book doesn't cause me physical pain to read or I wind up reading it in three days.

But what I'd call badly written would use, for example, exposition taking place all at once, overuse of adverbs of manner (she opened the door carefully, he buckled up slowly, they looked away languidly, etc.), boring characters, neurotic characters, and lastly, predictable plots. You usually can't spot a predictable plot in the first few pages, but you can tell when a writer has a habit of dumping enter character biographies on you in big blocks of dialogue or when they have every character doing something lovingly or coaxingly or shyly.

Boring characters are harder to explain, especially since they can't be called out in a short read either. But let's say a serious character stays somber and smart and bespectacled for the entire tale. Not once do they reveal a deathly fear of bugs, or a deep love of reggae or a mug with Betty Boop on it. No surprises, no fun. On the other end of the spectrum is a neurotic character whose surprises are planned, so not very interesting. A dark, edgy character who treats everyone poorly but is really very sweet and shy-- Right away, I lose all interest in them. That is if it's not a spoof, that's always different.

...I really hope that some of that helped out somewhere. xD
Alberic of Krufton's avatar

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LadyNaena
OH! Also, I'm going to assume from the 92 students comment that you read at least a bit of the chapter. If you don't mind my asking, where exactly did you stop? Was it right after that sentence, or...
Ugh, that's a good question... It was less a matter of "oh, at this point I lost interest in reading," as per the original topic, and more "oh, my lunch is almost over and I have to get back to do school / work" and there just hasn't been time to sit down and read since. The exact point I stopped reading? Looking back, seems I had to up and leave around paragraph nine.
Miz Lina


LOL! Haha, no, I don't have a character named feces xd . I was simply saying that chapter 3 is when the s**t hits the fan 4laugh . I appreciate the concern tho^^.

And alright, you've convinced me. My spring break begins next week anyway, so I'll be in need of something to while away the hours ^_^.
Miz Lina's avatar

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LadyNaena
Miz Lina


LOL! Haha, no, I don't have a character named feces xd . I was simply saying that chapter 3 is when the s**t hits the fan 4laugh . I appreciate the concern tho^^.

And alright, you've convinced me. My spring break begins next week anyway, so I'll be in need of something to while away the hours ^_^.


Oh GOD, and that just tells you how tired I was when I wrote that, because duh. But I honestly thought you were talking about a character in the story, and I tried to rationalize it by thinking "Maybe she's writing about a rock band called Feces? And they meet a fan?" But even that was horrible so I just had to ask.

Nothing to see here, go about your day.
Zytharros's avatar

Friendly Seeker

I crack open the middle of a book, skim one page, flip to the end, skim one page, and then go to the start and skim the opening page and decide if I like it.
If I'm still reading after the first page without realizing it right away, I'll get it and read it to the end. If I get lost as to what's happening, I may give it a few more pages to make sense. Otherwise, if it just gets more confusing or doesn't interest me, I put it down.

As for prologues, if it seems boring or unimportant until later, I'll skip it and check out the first chapter. If the chapter makes me interested, I'll go back to the prologue and read the whole book through. (Unless it's insanely long a boring. Then I'll skip it.)

With that said, I guess it all really boils down to the first page of the first chapter for me. However, it isn't just action that keeps me reading. I'll patiently wait for that later if the conversation or characters are interesting enough.
I_Write_Ivre's avatar

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No conflict whatsoever will make me ditch the story.
Pirate Gigue
There's no magic window that I give a book to catch my interest in, actually. If it's badly written, I put it down (usually, sometimes I read it just to know what stinks and yeah, that's weird, heh). If it's not, I keep going. That second case could range from me only deciding that the book doesn't cause me physical pain to read or I wind up reading it in three days.

But what I'd call badly written would use, for example, exposition taking place all at once, overuse of adverbs of manner (she opened the door carefully, he buckled up slowly, they looked away languidly, etc.), boring characters, neurotic characters, and lastly, predictable plots. You usually can't spot a predictable plot in the first few pages, but you can tell when a writer has a habit of dumping enter character biographies on you in big blocks of dialogue or when they have every character doing something lovingly or coaxingly or shyly.

Boring characters are harder to explain, especially since they can't be called out in a short read either. But let's say a serious character stays somber and smart and bespectacled for the entire tale. Not once do they reveal a deathly fear of bugs, or a deep love of reggae or a mug with Betty Boop on it. No surprises, no fun. On the other end of the spectrum is a neurotic character whose surprises are planned, so not very interesting. A dark, edgy character who treats everyone poorly but is really very sweet and shy-- Right away, I lose all interest in them. That is if it's not a spoof, that's always different.

...I really hope that some of that helped out somewhere. xD


Gigue! Long time, no see ^_^. No worries, your post was quite helpful smile . I especially like the paragraph about characters. I'll keep it in mind 3nodding .
Alberic of Krufton
LadyNaena
OH! Also, I'm going to assume from the 92 students comment that you read at least a bit of the chapter. If you don't mind my asking, where exactly did you stop? Was it right after that sentence, or...
Ugh, that's a good question... It was less a matter of "oh, at this point I lost interest in reading," as per the original topic, and more "oh, my lunch is almost over and I have to get back to do school / work" and there just hasn't been time to sit down and read since. The exact point I stopped reading? Looking back, seems I had to up and leave around paragraph nine.


Ah, I see. Well thanks for taking a look anyway smile .
Cephas Zytharros
I crack open the middle of a book, skim one page, flip to the end, skim one page, and then go to the start and skim the opening page and decide if I like it.


Lol, so methodical! Alright, thank you smile .
Kairi Nightingale
If I'm still reading after the first page without realizing it right away, I'll get it and read it to the end. If I get lost as to what's happening, I may give it a few more pages to make sense. Otherwise, if it just gets more confusing or doesn't interest me, I put it down.

As for prologues, if it seems boring or unimportant until later, I'll skip it and check out the first chapter. If the chapter makes me interested, I'll go back to the prologue and read the whole book through. (Unless it's insanely long a boring. Then I'll skip it.)

With that said, I guess it all really boils down to the first page of the first chapter for me. However, it isn't just action that keeps me reading. I'll patiently wait for that later if the conversation or characters are interesting enough.


Good to know, especially that last bit. Don't suppose I could trouble you to describe a character you find interesting? sweatdrop
I_Write_Ivre
No conflict whatsoever will make me ditch the story.


Ah, but how long will you allow the conflict to manifest itself? wink
I_Write_Ivre's avatar

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LadyNaena
I_Write_Ivre
No conflict whatsoever will make me ditch the story.


Ah, but how long will you allow the conflict to manifest itself? wink


First chapter or first few pages. By then we should know the motivations of the characters an the basic setting.
I_Write_Ivre
LadyNaena
I_Write_Ivre
No conflict whatsoever will make me ditch the story.


Ah, but how long will you allow the conflict to manifest itself? wink


First chapter or first few pages. By then we should know the motivations of the characters an the basic setting.


First chapter? Oh dear. Alright then, thanks for that.

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