Very recently, a reviewer of one of my stories complained to me, “Reading this is like playing a role playing game. The reader has to advance up level by level.”
This statement was truly said to me as a complaint, although I still can’t figure it out. Should I should have given the reader a complete list of characters and a map of universe, prior to asking the reader to read the story? Do we ever get a map and character list prior to starting a story? Would you read a story that tried to give you all of this prior to the first paragraph?
It’s been 10 days since that comment, and I still can’t figure out what the basis of the complaint was. To me a well told story is where you the reader starts with a tight focus on a single scene, and expands outward as you learn more. Is this not the brilliance of story telling, such that a good story will tease us forward, into the darkness in hopes of learning more?This was originally posted at http://www.jorhett.com/2012/09/reading-a-story-is-like-experiencing-a-role-playing-adventure/. You are welcome to reply at jorhett.com or here.