Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 month ago

Is shifting from a plot-driven story to a slice of life story a good idea?

My novel has been mostly plot driven for the first 200 pages, but I want a period where the characters are just hanging out and having small issues for a few chapters, to show them as people outside of the wider narrative, would it be too jarring to make this transition? It'll be a pretty long book when it's done, so the vast majority is plot-based, but I don't want to lose people with the plotless section.

2 Answers

  • Zac Z
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Every reader is different but I like my books to have plot. I don't need non-stop action on every page (actually, I would NOT want that) but I generally don't enjoy books that are very thin on plot. It's great to get to know important characters better but I don't need to read an entire chapter, and even less several, to be shown that they are people - they obviously are, I'm not stupid; tell me about things that are relevant to the story but spare me of chapters of them doing random stuff that's got nothing to do with the story. 

    I think switching a plot-driven story to a plotless one for several chapters is a very bad idea.

    People who read for character development, theme, language, or whatever it is that draws them to plotless stories will most likely not get to this section if it comes after 200 pages of plot-driven stories, while readers like me who enjoyed the first 200 pages might not like this segment at all.

    You can of course do whatever you want but you should be aware that changing the nature of your story in midstream, not matter what kind of change that is, risks alienating and losing readers.

  • 1 month ago

    "Jarring" is not a problem in itself. But "too" jarring obviously would: that's what "too" means.

    Nobody can tell you whether what you suggest would be too jarring or even ordinary jarring. Or maybe even just plain boring - have you considered that? Will your readers prefer to be jarred or bored? 

    It will depend on your own writing skills. As does EVERYTHING in your story. Maybe you can do it well and naturally; maybe you can't. It's your job as the author to work out the best way to tell your story.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.