I find it very interesting when I post something a tad bit controversial and I get sharp divisions in the responses.
Whether it's a picture or a group of words, what we see and what we say trigger anchors within each person. Some people are used to men being jerks, so they respond to what we say with that in mind. Some are used to women burning them, so they reach to what we do or say in that way. Whether WE mean to come across that way or not.
Same holds true for the stories we write. Each reader may take our story a completely different way than we wrote it, based on their life experience.
Aren't emotions a wonderful thing?
For instance, I wrote a how-to manual of sorts. In it, I explained how each sex should treat the opposite sex with love. With respect. Some readers took it exactly that way while others came out of the reading experience saying that the book tells how to utterly disrespect women. How much of a pig I am. So be it. I simply evoked far different reactions within each reader.
This is what we should expect and even HOPE for in everything that we write.
If we aren't evoking STRONG emotions, guess what...that reader will likely NEVER pick up another thing that we write.
That's an aspiring best-selling author's death sentence.
Remember, even a horrid reaction is a GOOD reaction. We've touched their emotions.
Happy Father's Day!
I don't know about you, but when I read, the first line needs to interest me. The first paragraph needs to entice me. The first couple of paragraphs need to greatly pique my interest. And the first page needs to make me NEED to read more.
Anything less and I'm putting the book down for another.
See, I get maybe 10 minutes of pleasure reading time every year. Least it seems that way. So when I do get to read for pleasure, it HAS to be great.
I know, I know. Some stories "need" back story. Well, the reality is, most stories "need" some amount of back story. Thing is, the author does not need to dump the entire back story into the first chapter or two. Unless they are so gifted at writing that they can make the entire back story SO awesome and captivating that it maintains my attention through out. If I jump into a chapter or more of boring back story, I'll never make it to the story itself.
Give me small chunks of back story in flashbacks. Relate that back story to the current scene. Make it MEAN something to me. Then you've got my attention and you're keeping it.
And yes, as a reader, I love dialogue. I also get lost with pages of narrative without characters uttering a word. The book is getting closed. I know, forget about fantasy for me, then. As a pleasure read, yes, I suppose so.
As a reader, I love to have things broken up. Give me dialogue, give me action, wrench my heart with drama and emotion, make me absolutely positively HAVE to turn the page to see what's next.
Do that...and you've got a fan for life with me.
What gets you as a reader?