Imagine you’ve read the blurb of a book, getting excited about the story and then you read the first few chapters and it’s nothing but a bitter disappointment. It sucks. Apart from spending money on something that you no longer want, you have also invested your time which in this day and age is a precious commodity.
There could be many reasons for this happening. Sometimes it’s because you’ve taken a chance on a new author and find that their style of writing just does not much the style you like to read. Other times it is poorly edited and the story gets lost amid all the misplaced names and punctuation. And sometimes the story is simply not very good.
But then there are those times you’ve read the blurb and are only half interested in the story. You buy it anyway on the off chance it might prove interesting. It languishes in your To Be Read pile for ages and then one lazy sunny afternoon you pick it up and before you know it the sky is darkening and everyone is asking what’s for dinner while you mumble ‘Just one more chapter’. You reluctantly put it down and hastily throw some food together, shutting everyone up and then dive straight back into that book you took a chance on.
Finally you flick that last page and stare blearily as the sun starts to peek through the window. You’re tired, feel remarkably similar to when you drink too much cider but freaking hell that story was fantastic and you don’t regret a minute of it. For the rest of the day you’re still partially lost in that fantasy world while the real one continues to batter away at you.
Those moments are magic, the shooting stars of the night sky.
It’s what every writer strives for and every reader hopes for when they read that first line. It’s like a pact between the two and when one fails to uphold the bargain there is bitter disappointment from the other party.
Remember that when you create something. Look at it like a reader (or listener/viewer if it’s some other medium) and check your ego at the door, your art will thank you for it as well as your intended audience.