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Sunday, 3 June 2018

Quick, Quick, Slow...

I've had several reviews lately, describing the beginnings of my books as 'slow'. I don't have any problem with this, especially as the rest of the review has been stellar, but it did make me think.

Why do they say my books are slow, and is there anything I can do about it?
This is my actual face as I asked the question
And then I sat down and though again, and I thought 'no. I understand why they say the beginnings of my books are 'slow'. And I'm not going to do anything about it...' This is why...

You know that girl? The one you briefly met on a train once? Well, she's just madly in love with a bloke. Oh, I don't know which bloke, just a bloke. Anyway, she's madly in love with him, but there's a problem, because his sister hates the girl, you know, the first, girl, the one you met once on that train.

Do you care? Thought not. Okay, try this...

Your best friend, the one you've known since you were five, the one you've had loads of in-depth conversation with, whose hopes and fears you understand, the one you know inside out? Well, she's just met a man. And, you'll never guess, but he's that chap that you got friendly with over a coffee, the one who told you all about how afraid he is that he'll never find anyone to love him because of his background? It's him! And they are in love!

I bet you care a lot more about those two. About whether they get together, and the story of their relationship, because you know them. You know about the struggles they've faced and how much they both deserve their happy ending. The girl on the train, I mean, obviously, you hope she's happy too, but you can't get too invested in her romance, because you don't know anything about her. All you know is that she's pretty and she seems nice.

Now, there's a place for the first type of story, of course there is. And there are people who want to read it. People who want their couple to meet quickly, for there to be loads of intial attraction, but something that prevents the couple from getting together.

But that's not what I write. I write about the second kind of relationship. About characters you already know by the time they fall in love. Characters you are cheering on, because you know how hard their lives have been and how much they deserve their happy ending.

And that is why my stories have 'slow beginnings'. Because I think readers need to know the characters before they fall in love. Otherwise, why should they care?
Because sloths are adorable, that's why...

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