I’ve had a few people read my book now and the most consistent feedback I get is, “Once I got to chapter four I was hooked.”
Now I know that my particular story starts out a little slow. But it’s intentional. I wanted time to build a base for the rest of this book, and the two that hopefully come after it. I wanted time to show what a normal, everyday situation was for my characters before the catastrophe hits, at the end of chapter three. For me, books are like swimming pools: I want to take my time getting acclimated to the temperature. I don’t usually like to just dive in to immediate breath-holding. I like time to warm up to the idea.
But does that make me unmarketable? Here’s the problem with the first three chapters being a warm up; that’s all agents want to see right away. So when I get a rejection (like I did again yesterday) I just think “but if you would’ve kept reading, you’d be hooked!” Which begs the question; should I scrap the warm up? People are used to 80-90K words in a novel these days, and my book ends up in the 133K range.
What kind of books do you like best? The kind that abruptly throw you in the deep end, or the kind that let you lounge in the wading area for awhile first?