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Do You or Don't You?



As I struggle to finish WRITING my first book, I need some feedback: Do YOU read forewords, prefaces, front quotes, etc. when you read a novel for fun (as opposed to when you are ASSIGNED to read them, and so forced to pay attention to them...)?

Edit: Anyone wanting to SAMPLE before/after they comment, the story is "hiding" back at http://pandemo.livejournal.com/2001/01/

I began putting more polished bits in what I hoped was in order, one part per date. That way, by changing the date, I could rearrange the pieces as needed. As I edited, I added a date for when I last revised. Later on, some entries will have a WC (word count) feature, and some an RL (reading level).

(Yeah, I do NaNoWriMo.)

The current table of contents is a MESS at present. Avoid it.

Maybe I shouldn't post this... It sounds too much like a commercial...

-- Maybe I should. You all are GREAT commenters! If I ever want to publish, I *need* good quality feedback...

Comments

( 44 pithy comments — Say something pithy! )
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lady_grace
Aug. 3rd, 2006 03:27 am (UTC)
Eh, I usually skip intros written by another author. Sometimes I'll skim them just to see what they say - but I'd rather just read the novel than read someone's review on it. ;)
mrmist
Aug. 3rd, 2006 06:11 am (UTC)
I sometimes read them, but more often they would be skim-read, and only paid real attention to if I notice something interesting / funny enough to make me slow down.
(Deleted comment)
pandemo
Aug. 3rd, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
Helpful!
Oh, yes! Even the people who apologized, thinking they were being negative, were helpful, AND encouraging.

I think I was not fair to the lot of you. I figured one or two MIGHT answer! But this is a super debate, and generally on topic.

Most people talk about the preface, which is posted in my lj here: http://pandemo.livejournal.com/23129.html
professoralan
Aug. 3rd, 2006 11:06 am (UTC)
I read EVERYTHING . . . acknowledgments, dedication, the front and back covers, before I start the actual "book."
xterminal
Aug. 3rd, 2006 01:19 pm (UTC)
Yes, though I get really, really annoyed when prefaces/forewords/introductions contain spoilers.
integritysinger
Aug. 3rd, 2006 01:36 pm (UTC)
Yup, I sure do!
crowyhead
Aug. 3rd, 2006 01:55 pm (UTC)
If it's a nonfiction book, I always read the foreword and afterword.

If it's a fiction book, and the foreword is written by the author, I usually read it. The exception is sometimes what I think of as the Infodump Preface that spec fic writers stick in there -- usually it's some kind of "In the beginning..." sort of quasi-mythological thing, and it's almost never necessary to understanding the plot or the world the book's set in.

If the foreword to a fictional book is written by someone else, I usually save it until after I've read the book, since there's sometimes spoilers and there's often analysis that makes a lot more sense once you've actually read the text.
fegs
Aug. 3rd, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC)
I read everything,
but i started reading the preface thing to Crime and Punishment and my boyfriend, who'd lent me the book, told me not to cos it ruins the story apparently, but if he hadnt said anything i would have read it and probably did anyway...I like to get the most information possible out of a book, and that means reading any additional notes or anything!
does that make me sound sad?! ah well whatever!
pandemo
Aug. 4th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)
Sad? NOT!
How could I think it sad, when I do the very same thing! I'd be really a hypocrite if I condemned it in you...
annieannie_fl
Aug. 4th, 2006 12:50 am (UTC)
I usually scan them and if they seem interesting I read. If I have read the author before generally I will read them. I like to know something about the person who is going to be taking up my time reading their book. Looks like your book is going to be fascinating. I want a copy.
pandemo
Aug. 4th, 2006 02:37 am (UTC)
Not Complete
It's not complete yet -- at least, I don't think so...

I'll let you know when I'm satisfied that the whole thing reads straight through with no problems.

I can't get there, yet. Maybe I'm stuck.
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( 44 pithy comments — Say something pithy! )

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