I've heard of a book needing to hook a reader right at the start, and it makes sense. However, I've now abandoned the second book that had a hook, but then went on in a way that irritated me. (Both were self-published, though that may be a coincidence owed to my giving a lot of those a try lately.) The first chapter contained something really dramatic and attention-grabbing. The second and following chapters took place before that
It felt to me like the writers thought their beginnings weren't strong enough, so they pulled a chapter that would have belonged later in the story to the front, leaving a sort of cliffhanger.
When the end of chapter 1 leaves me wondering what will happen next, I'd like to know what happens next
, not what happened before. If the book goes on with a "flashback" for three of four chapters, and the first page of the next chapter showing no sign of returning to the events of chapter 1, chances are good I'll be put off and look for a book that does a smoother job of telling its story.
I do believe it can be made to work (maybe by touching on each "timeline" in alternating chapters?), but offhand I can't think of an example I read.
...General question, what do you folks think about reviews that are middling to bad? I post stuff like that - down to "I gave up after 4 pages and here's why" on my goodreads account
, but would it be interesting to blog?
My sorta reading-related to-do list includes
- Quick review of the Sharing Knife Series
- Re-read and review Encrypted by Lindsay Buroker
- Re-read and review the Jokka stories by haikujaguar
(Well, and read some of the new stuff I got.)
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