Quote of the Day – “Why Starting a Book Sucks” Edition

Thanks to Elana Johnson for being able to succinctly put into words the reasons behind my revision nightmares.

So basically you’ve got 50 pages to hook a reader, set up the world (and how the MC sees the world), introduce the theme, build a character people will care about, and advance the plot through a catalyst.

You know, easy stuff. Being a writer is easy, after all. Right?

By B.J. Keeton

B.J. KEETON is a writer, teacher, and runner. When he isn't trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he is either writing science fiction, watching an obscene amount of genre television, or looking for new ways to integrate fitness into his geektastic lifestyle. He is also the author of BIRTHRIGHT and co-author of NIMBUS. Both books are available for Amazon Kindle.


  1. 50 pages seems… generous. I’ll defer to greater experience on trends, but my own experience suggests the number is smaller, perhaps as few as 10 pages.

    1. I tend to be a lot more lenient than 10 pages, personally. I actually go close to 100 or even half the book. I don’t like to quit a book once I’ve started it, even if I think it’s bad. I very rarely stop, and if I do, it’s at about the halfway mark, when I feel more intimidated that the book hasn’t improved. Ten, even fifty, pages just can’t show me what the whole book will be like.

      1. Well, it’s not just me I’m talking about. I do tend to dig in a fair bit, but that’s because I read fast. (Even though I do find some books where 10 pages is sufficient to nix reading the rest.) I’m also talking about some of my friends who simply don’t read as much as I do, and need to have a reason to soldier on, and they need it fast.

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