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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...


Aug. 3rd, 2006 01:09 am (UTC)
It depends. Are they necessary to the story?
framing quotes are overrated, imho; don't knock yourself out searching for just the right bon mot to lead into your writing, just leap in.
As for prefaces or forewords, aren't those usually by way of a "you go" pat on the back from another Name writer or editor, that we should think well of their positive words about you and the work and read it? I'll read those when I pick up a book in a store, idly.
Is the pre-story that might go in a preface better suited to an earlly chapter? is it spoilerish (nooooo!)?
front quotes are usually something the publisher takes care of, as in short reviews of the work, or lovely quips from authors in the genre or field who say "this one's good, gang." Ditto a foreword by someone else introducing you or the work.

Do I read them, though. Yeah, usually. Even if they're not all on the order of Peter S. Beagle's essay introducing the Tolkein Reader, they're generally interesting.
Epigrammatic quotes have started to annoy me, showing up out of place in my work editing disseratations (where we're all pretty sure they just Don't Belong), so I'm apt to skip them anywhere else more often than not these days. It would take something as fascinating as Princess Irulan's exceerpts from the Encyclopedia Galactica in Dune, these days, to make me glad it's there at all.
Sorry if I come off as cranky, I'm seeing this at the end of an editing day (*gnarf, snarl*).

Aug. 3rd, 2006 11:42 pm (UTC)
Cranky? Not!
Seeing the care and specificness of your comments, it makes me wish you were proofreading/editing MY work!



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