Thursday, August 28, 2014

As A Reader

I’m writing this post as a reader, not as a writer. So this will not be a how-to. Consider this more of a rant… a rant from a reader. It will not be a post on how you should write. So, as a reader, let me begin my rant…

I’m tired of books trying to “hook me” in the first few paragraphs.

What does that mean?

Well, since I am an author, I’ve read many blogs about how to write the first page or first few pages of a novel. I’ve read how you are supposed to hook your reader. And this may be from just my perspective as a reader and not anyone else’s, but… I don’t have an attention span of a gnat.

I’m fine if something huge doesn’t happen in the first few pages. In fact, I prefer it. I know this may sound mean, but I am an adult, not a child. I have a bit of patience while a reading a book. Maybe that’s from having four children, who knows!

Either way, just tell me a story and I’ll stick with you through it. Don’t give me cheap action, thinking that I won’t be able to put it down. That, in itself, may make me want to put it down.

If I am to trust you as an author, trust me as a reader.

Now, I feel this is a more modern development, and there are those who may disagree with me (on both accounts). That’s fine. But I’ve developed my own theory as why the publishing industry (including agents) has pushed this idea.

With the advent of movies, books have had to become “tighter.” (Again, I’m not saying I agree that this should be so or not. It’s just my own thought). It was another form of entertainment with which books had to compete. Now, I think books are becoming more like television series. The first few pages have to have a teaser of sorts so the reader won’t “change the channel.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a story to dive right into the action. I want to build to it. I don’t want to buy a $15.00 book (or more) to read only 100 pages. Give me a novel. I want to get lost in the story, and that’s hard to do in some of the more recent books.

Now, regardless of what these websites say, I don’t read a book because of the first page. Nor do I put it down because it didn’t “draw me in.” If the story is a story I want to read, I will read it regardless. 

After all, I am an adult (not to mention that I have an OCD tendency to finish things.)

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, I love being grabbed on the first or at least the first chapter. My attention span is getting shorter with age - that's really true.