The Problems I Talked About in the First Parts…
Are still the majority of why I pass on a story, or why a story does not hold me as a reader. No depth, information flow, wrong character and so on.
But the last couple of days I found and remembered a couple of other things.
Now, understand, there are no real rules in writing. If you are a skilled enough storyteller, you can make just about anything work for readers. But the key part of that is “skilled storyteller.”
So really skilled writers can make these two problems work.
Writing in Second Person…
You know, the writer got so arty, they wanted you to be the character in their story. Uh, not me. Talk about making it impossible for the words to vanish and the story to come alive. Mostly this is arty-farty crap (I might have an opinion on this (grin)).
I usually make it a paragraph in a second person story and then start laughing before I send the story back.
It’s All A Dream…
So I get pulled into a story. I’m right with the character, and then suddenly there is a white space and the character wakes up and it was all a dream.
99.99% of the time my reaction is disgust and a rejection. Openings are to ground the reader with depth through the character so we can go along with the character in the story until you let us out at the end.
If your story is about dreaming, start in the real world, ground the reader, and then escort us readers into the dream in a way we know it is a dream.
As I said, skilled storytellers can make both of these work. No rules, but for me, my reaction to second person or starting with a dream is almost always a rejection.