Creating Two New Novels. Writing One Chapter Weekly. Podcasting As I Go. Welcome to The Experiment.
The first book in this category, I actually did stop reading. Why? 200+ pages, 3 days and four hours later I still have no clue about the basic details of the main focus in the story.
First, the beginning of the story is wonderfully written. Ditto for the middle. Even the point where I stopped reading at was amazing. So, why stop? Literally, after 200 pages I lost all faith that the author was ever going to tell me what was actually going on.
We begin in a world not our own. And quite quickly I realize that the characters are not familiar with it either. They teleport to it. It’s seems to be a recent discovery. I don’t know much about it other than it’s a BIG find. That’s okay. I figure I’ll learn about it as the characters do, but twenty pages in I learn that the characters already know a lot about it. The author just isn’t telling these details to me and it shows.
You know the scene where the parents are trying to talk about S-E-X in front of the kids, but don’t want the kids to know that’s what they are talking about? Yep, it goes like that. A conversation where it would make since for the characters to have an intelligent conversation about the new world is instead full of cryptic messages and lost details:
“Imagine the possibilities this means!”
“We could do a lot with this!”
“I never thought we could use it for that.”
What are we talking about? What are those possibility exactly? What did they think it could be used for? Not going to tell me? Okay, the characters are still great so I follow along a bit further. One guy was hired to bring down their project. I like him. I figure he or the people who hired him wants to steal the teleport to the new world. Wait! 50 pages later, I learn they already have their own teleport. (So much for it being a recent discovery) Okay. Perhaps they just want to take down the competition?
No, later it’s their, “God-given duty” to keep people from accessing this world to the full and unknowingly releasing doom. What?!?!
Oh, and now, I learn the Russians also have access to it and are on a similar mission. I stop reading here. This plot is developing without me.
Although I am 200 pages in, I don’t know any of the basic questions: who, what, when, why, where and how. And the author hasn’t given me any clues to figure those questions out on my own. To be honest, if the characters weren’t so intriguing, I would have stopped reading once I realized other “companies” also had access to the world when the first 50 or so pages made it seem as if no one else knew the world existed.
I don’t know what any character’s motive is. I don’t know what the big danger is. I don’t even know what the place is exactly. The characters run around with excitement, anger, and fear and I cannot relate to a single one of those emotions because I have not been told what’s going on. And after 200 pages, I know longer care. The author missed a great opportunity to captivate me by simply including me in the plot. Please do not make that same mistake in your novel.