After Chasing Faith was posted, some time after, the first general feedback I saw on it was from a reader that didn’t much like it because there was no real introduction to the story’s events or the characters. It seems easy to wave it off as “Ah yes but starting it from the middle was the point” but that feels easy. It was absolutely my intention to start without an introduction, but if it didn’t suit the story… so what if it was my intention?
Stories are kind of hard to analyze in a meaningful way. I’m amazed I’ve been able to talk out of my ass for this many blog posts as it is. Because a story only means whatever the viewer gleans from it, there’s no real universal or objective way to qualify them. Hell, until recently I liked the ‘grammatically incorrect’ strategy of ending dialogue with periods instead of commas all the time. I rarely ever caught flack for that, even though grammatically, it was incorrect.
So, with that in mind, even though it was my intent to start Chasing Faith from the middle as opposed to the beginning, does it still make a story better? What even is ‘better’ here? More universally enjoyable? Or more enjoyable to specific people I want to pander to? I don’t really have an answer. I think a big part of this was just me wanting to try something new, as usual. To my knowledge, this is my first sex story I just start in the middle without giving the backstory.
I love stories that leave a lot to the imagination, but at least in my erotica, I’ve kind of sucked at it. I have a bit of an exposition problem where I feel the need to blatantly tell the reader the backstory to what is going on, sometimes transparently through a character telling the main character their own backstory or something. This time around, I really wanted to present the reader with a world through the eyes of people who already knew this world, and thus, didn’t need to provide the backstory. If I wrote it right, I reasoned to myself, people wouldn’t ask to hear about that backstory.
Sadly, it appears I have a bit to learn, and I need to practice more subtle storytelling so that I can start stories at any point other than the beginning and still have readers enjoy it. I’m unsure if any story I put out anytime soon will employ this, but it’s still a tool I need to sharpen a bit more. If it hindered your ability to enjoy Chasing Faith, my apologies, I’ll continue to work at it. I’ll talk to you all next week.