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So Maybe I’m Not the Audience for This One…

By Jim Zoetewey, editor, author of The Legion of Nothing

Oct 3, 2008: I couldn’t quite get into it.

That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it might mean that I’m not the audience for the story. I don’t know.

In any case, the premise is that the main character can jump into books. It’s an interesting idea. A writer could do a lot with that—if only because people read in part to vicariously experience things they couldn’t in real life. Going one step further might be fun.

So far though, the story has only shown the reader a couple worlds in any detail and hasn’t really stayed in either of them particularly long. With more updates, this will probably change.

If there’s a problem with the story, it might be in the structure. It starts off with a prologue in which things start coming out of a book into the real world. Then, it backs off from what is probably the story’s (or at least this arc’s) plot and attempts to establish the main character’s day to day life.

I suspect that this is a bad choice. Prologues are (at least according to books I’ve read and writing teachers I’ve had) generally a bad idea. Usually people put things into them that can be revealed in the course of the story, making them something that can be skipped.

In this particular case, it might have been better to make the prologue the first scene of the story and then show the character’s day to day life as it’s being changed as a result of invading fictional entities.

Alternately, it might have been better if there were some other less immediately threatening mystery that would pull people along through the character’s daily life. After that, having the scene from the prologue would really ratchet up the action.

As things are, it feels as if the author walked the reader up to the part of the story that drives the plot and then walked away.

I may have to check back after the part that’s in the prologue actually happens. In all likelihood, that’s the point at which the story really begins.

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