Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Your responses please

Shakespeare's story as it is written in his play Macbeth is an important element to understanding the workings and motivations of the characters alive in this novel. How much of the 'back story' are you interested in? Just memories, in snippets or do you prefer longer recollections?

A number of you had suggested early on that a plot summary of Macbeth should be put as a preface to the novel and I argued then, as I do now, NOT knowing Shakespeare's play is not a problem. Fleance doesn't know a lot of what happened and neither does the reader unfamiliar with the play. This reader will discover the 'story of Macbeth' when the key characters learn about their history.

When you read this type of novel, are you irritated by the inclusion of the backstory and just want to get on with the present plot or do you enjoy reading them (provided they are exciting and mine are and will be)


flavia said...

I think perhaps people would be a bit put off reading it if they didn't know the story of Macbeth...

Although, I started reading the drafts with no clue about what happened in Macbeth and went along just fine. I did wikipedia Macbeth a few days ago just to be sure, it was very interesting but I don't think it really helped all that much after I was fifteen chapters into the story.

(so basically I'm saying that I don't mind)

Imy said...

I agree with Flavia!

Anonymous said...

You have a very good point re the "Fleance doesn't know a lot of what happened and neither does the reader unfamiliar with the play" but personally, I'd just be irritated by the lack of inclusion of a backstory. Yea, I usually skip reading it, but if it were there was a preface or introduction or whatever, then it's not like the reader is obligated to read it, and those people who ARE irritated by lack of backstory (but aren't quite so hypocritical as *cough*) won't be irritated and the people who don't like backstories can just skip it.

Then again, you've got the people who are irritated with having to find the start of the actual story after the intro/preface. (*coughguesswhocough*)

So really, all you've actually got is the knowledge that you can't please everyone, which you knew to begin with, so while you're at it, you might as well please yourself. Besides, there will be other editions coming out later which probably will include/exclude the proposed preface as per response of more readers.

Which brings me to my main point: I want to read it


and btw, is 'ulaste' an actual word or is your captcha just a nonword captcha?

Anonymous said...

I don't think you really need heaps of big long bits of talking or thinking about the past because it just detracts from your story. It's good to include a little bit but not to much. With the family tree at the start if you make sure thats good then it reveals enough history for a reader to understand the story.