I started to read a sample of a book on Kindle. Once I had finished the sample I found I was enjoying the story and now have to decide whether to buy it on Kindle or actual paperback. That’s beside the point though.
The first ten pages or so of the book I found quite convoluted. Quite a few characters introduced maybe too quickly and some background history that I didn’t entirely follow. I persevered and before the sample ran out found myself enjoying the story although it only seemed to get going after the character/history preamble. I found myself asking why an author begins a book with a ‘convoluted’ section?
Surely, especially at the beginning of a book, the idea should be to hook the reader with an easily flowing piece of writing, maybe a dramatic opening but if not dramatic certainly easy to read, writing that can be read effortlessly, without reaching for the paracetamol?
Maybe for a well known author this doesn’t matter quite so much because they know their loyal fans will buy the book anyway. For anyone else it might be more of a struggle and some may give up and possibly lose out on a great story because of a hard going opening section.
I’ve always been fascinated to read reviews where the conclusion is that the book takes awhile to get going but to persevere because it gets better, is hard going at first but improves. I’ve always wondered why I should have to persevere? If my frame of mind while reading is ‘to persevere’ then hasn’t the book failed in its mission to provide me with enjoyment? Maybe the author was, in the first ‘difficult’ pages, getting to grips with the story themselves, feeling their way into it. Or may its just my impatient brain that generally needs a story to be easy to get into, have an instant hook to it and if there are parts later that require reading glasses and intense concentration to get through then I can deal with that as I’m into the story. Maybe I expect too much. I’ve also heard people say that you should never judge a book until you’ve read at least fifty pages, allowed yourself to ‘get into’ the story. I’m afraid my patience generally doesn’t extent that far.
But why make it hard right at the start?
Or maybe, not having written a novel yet myself, I don’t quite get why an opening section can ‘get away with’ being like treacle to wade through even if later it dilutes into some freely flowing cream.
Any thoughts welcome 🙂
Thanks for reading.