Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: When you start reading a novel, do you prefer to be plunged right into the action, or do you prefer a slower, more descriptive introduction to the plot and characters?
Typically I suppose I prefer something in between. I like a chance to get to know a world and characters before too much action is happening, but I want something happening in the opening chapters. I don’t want to be plunged directly into the Battle of Helm’s Deep with a lot of people I don’t yet care about, but I also don’t really need to go strolling through the Shire, listening to an extended history of Elvish linguistics for the first three chapters. So to speak.
Mostly, though, I think this is not unlike my thoughts about multiple narrators—it’s all fine, if done well. A book can start mid-action and reveal plot and character while a lot is happening, or it can start with less action but still hold interest. It all depends on what’s right for the story, and how skillful the author is.
2 thoughts on “Blog Hop: …And We’re Off!”
I agree. I’d rather write a proper introduction, but I find I need to have something happen in the first paragraph just because people expect it. But unless I get to know the characters pretty quickly, I won’t stick with it.
I agree with your second paragraph. If done well, a story can start with action and provide character development later, but if it’s too confusing as to the characters, then it’s lost me as a reader.