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bear by san

March 2017

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criminal minds gideon and morgan gun

and as i stand before you now i am hopeful in my rage

A thing, brought on by reading slush.

Yes, it's important to start with conflict of some sort to engage the reader. But it's also necessary to ground the reader in the character and get her engaged in the narrative--caring about the stakes and the outcome--to make her want to read on. If we don't know who the protagonist is, or why they are doing what they're doing, or why it's important, we'd rather be having a snack than reading the story.

Readers is fickle. And if you confuse us, we wander off and go find chocolate.  

Comments

I love that song. :)

You've mentioned reading slush several times lately. For whom do you read it, or is it a sekrit?
Ideomancer. It had better not be a secret--I'm on the masthead.
Cool. I must have missed the announcement. Maybe some day something of mine will cross your virtual desk. :)
Announcement? I've been doing it since 2006 or so.
My bad. :)
Mmm, chocolate.

(Got a couple homemade bars off a friend of 60% dark with cinnamon, chipotle, habañero, and cayenne pepper. Mmmmm... endorphins. :-)
Huh. Endorphins? Weird.
Wow... why not just eat a chocolate bar and then smash your hand with a hammer?
*snerk*
It's hard to type with your hand in a cast. Besides, peppers are tasty. :-D
I assume endorphins are the pain- and often depression-relieving chemicals whose production I find stimulated by sufficiently spicy food. At any rate, it seems to work for me. :-)
Yeah. I know it works for some people. Not so much for me.

I don't get the tattoo endorphins either. Alas.
D'oh! At least it's still tasty. :-)

Mmm, chocolate.
Mmm. Mmm, chili peppers.

I keep wondering away from the Fantasy Magazine slush and snacking on pita chips and hummus...

Hmm...

>>Yes, it's important to start with conflict of some sort to engage the reader. But it's also necessary to ground the reader in the character and get her engaged in the narrative--caring about the stakes and the outcome--to make her want to read on. If we don't know who the protagonist is, or why they are doing what they're doing, or why it's important, we'd rather be having a snack than reading the story.<<

For me it depends on the context. You want to hook me on a character? Introduce them in a way that highlights what is unique and appealing about them. You want to hook me on the setting? Angle wide, then zoom in to show me something fascinating. Pretend I am walking beside you and I'm going to randomly stop and say, "Golly gee whiz, what is that thing?" ... anticipate that, put it in your description. You want to hook me with action? Open with the characters in some absurd situation that makes me wonder how they got there and how they'll get out. Heck, you can even hook me with the title if it's insane enough to make me wonder how you're ever going to explain it.

My tastes are diverse. Entertain me; your options are broad. My time, however, is limited. You have 60 seconds to convince me that I want to read farther. Go.
Sounds like a challenge: Can you write a story in which we have no idea who the protagonist is or why they're doing what they're doing.....
I'm certain I've read that story.
I reject it every week.
I'm living it even as we speak... or type rather.
Oops, I suppose we all have; what I meant was that the challenge would be to write the story and still have it be interesting to the reader...
Report back! *g*
It may be a while.....