So I'm reading someone's work. I like it. I like the voice, the tone, and I'm mulling over this one specific question the writer has about the sample.
When I'm finished, I know exactly why they have this one specific question.
They're wondering about rewrites (and there are always those) and about making the beginning more obvious. Maybe stating more explicitly exactly what the MC is up to.
But I'm kind of thinking that the fact that I know the MC is up to something but I'm not sure exactly what, or rather, what the MC's motivation is, is what's making me turn pages. True, I don't want to put up with not knowing for long. But the intrigue is getting me invested.
So I'm emailing this writer and sharing my opinion that, "I like it. I'm curious about why exactly the MC is doing what they're doing. But if it was a book I just picked up, I would want to know the answer within the next five pages. In my opinion it doesn't need to be a huge back story kind of thing. Even a simple, but powerful, sentence that captures WHY she's doing this would be huge."
I always think around page 20 is your trigger point (for me anyway.) If I'm interested in the first few pages, you have until around page 20, give or take, to get me completely invested in what you're up to.
Working full time, having a family (and trying to write myself) I've been known to put a book down. If at page 20 I'm not invested, then I don't have time for you. Unless of course you've come with glowing reviews from sources I trust.
Time is a valuable thing.
But I so enjoyed reading this writer's first 15 pages that I'm wondering if there are others who might be interested in "Becky's Opinion." So would anyone like some feedback on their beginning? If so, let me know in the comments and send your first 10-15 pages to:
If there's any interest, I figure I could probably read about 10.