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What's more engaging? (Story development)

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What's more engaging? (Story development)

Postby Redav » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:13 am

So, I've been toying with the idea of writing something for a while. Nothing grand with no aims other than something to do for myself and maybe with a friend or two.

I have a bit of an idea for a canvas of a realm or two and it's backstory. The story I was thinking of writing wasn't about characters who are directly involved with what's going on but this stuff goes on as a backdrop to their story. What I'm wondering is whether it's more engaging / interesting to start their story before things in the background descend into anarchy or after things have fallen and then settled a bit and then take off again.

Any thoughts?
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Re: What's more engaging? (Story development)

Postby Lawkeeper » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:36 am

If you've got the time you could do both, perhaps leave a gap in the middle like a 'before and after' comparison.

When you start before the 'fall', the readers will be more engaged with the background story and will understand what's happening or has happened better. They will develop a relation to your story and hopefully see it before their mind's eye.

Starting after the 'fall' will have the readers start without much knowledge of what is going on and they'll have to figure it out for themselves using the pieces of information you provide to them as a writer. This is more challenging and enveloping for the readers but the writing needs to be done right. If you leave them in the dark for too long they'll put the book down/close the file and won't read any further. If you explain the entirety of the previous leading to that downfall it might be too much to swallow for the readers and they'll be buried in a heap of names, dates and events. It's really a matter of balance, I believe.
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Re: What's more engaging? (Story development)

Postby Medieval Guy » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:15 pm

I like to understand what's going on in a story. Then again, I'm much more detail oriented when it comes to books than all my friends are. Maybe your decision depends on your target audience?
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Re: What's more engaging? (Story development)

Postby DarkTemplar » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:32 pm

Try both and see what flows better for you while you write. If it flows well when you write it should dothe same for readers. If you feel while writing it that it's like pushing a boulder up a hill then you should try a different angle. Also have someone else read it when your done, but before publishing to see what they think.
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