Of course, this is my typically long-winded and overly-verbose way to introduce the actual topic of my post this week. Faith in readers. And no, that doesn’t mean I plan to talk about the religious beliefs of readers. It’s something else entirely (and hopefully a bit less contentious).
It’s another one of those things that people often tell you. You have to start your book with a big bang. You have to attract readers from the very beginning with excitement and adventure and lots of stuff happening. Don’t give them time to pause and think and reflect. Just bash them over the head right away, so they don’t have any chance to escape.
Okay, I can kind of see the point of this. Beginnings are vitally important, and you need to make the most of them to attract readers to your story, especially with all the competition out there. It’s just that the whole “bash your readers over the head with action” thing to me is a bit of a downer.
I’ve always taken a bit of time to concentrate on my story beginnings. I try to start with something that will attract attention. But I also don’t want to be too in your face. I like to leave a little room for a sense of intrigue. A bit of “hmm, what could possibly be happening here?”
Of course, there are some readers I won’t bring along for the ride. That’s okay. Better to find out at the beginning that my stories are not for them. But I like to think there will be enough readers to wonder what it is all about, and decide to keep going. In short, I like to have faith in my readers to take the time and the mental effort to engage, without me having to knock them out and drag them back to my cave.
If you’re the type of reader who likes wham bam thank you ma’am, then enjoy. If you’re interested in taking a little more time for something different, maybe I have something for you.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as