How much build up is too much build up?

When it comes to IF how slow of a start do you think readers can manage. To be clear when I say “slow” I don’t mean “boring” or “unimportant.” I just mean that it’s slowly building up to the main plot or making you care a little more about the people involved with it.

Do you enjoy taking time to define who the MC is and learn a bit about the story world? Or would you rather jump into the thick of things?

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I’ll point us here and here as useful threads for this topic.

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I’m saying this because it’s my own opinion and the majority might disagree with me on this one!

Beware, big blocks of text! Also writing tips!

For me personally, I want to learn more about the world, but I don’t want it in the exposition dump kind of way. Maybe sprinkle some lore in to the scenes or something to not make it incredibly too obvious because I tend to skim a lot of stuff(Unless I really love the writing style of the author) when all they’re saying is Expo dump™. That just made me realize that I like slower pace starts than fast ones more because I personally can’t get invested in a world if it’s a fast pace start (Unless if it’s Thom Baylay). On that note, some WIP I recommend for world exposition that I personally look up to are
A mage reborn ( The pacing is just right with this )
I, The forgotten one ( Slow pacing but incredibly satisfying to read )
The Wight King ( Slow-ish pacing because I don’t mind reading about the world)
The Abyssal ( Just right pacing, even though it’s only a few chapters in )

Making people care about them is, hmm. Making them have something at stake is much better than, “Oh I’m character number one!” kind of thing. ALSO I JUST FINISHED GAME OF THRONES and what can I say about George RR Martin’s writing is DON’T BREAK CHARACTER, if it isn’t in their heart to give food to the needy, then don’t. Why didn’t they give that piece of bread that they just got to the starving people right there? It’s because their family is starving and according to that character family is always first in their book. It gives them more of a three-dimensional character and not a complete cardboard cutout imo. Almost forgot about morality scales, too! Almost all people have a scale on certain things, like what weighs more in that character’s opinion.

I don’t know if it’s just a me thing. but I often tend to have choice paralysis because it’s always choosing from one big decision to another, and that just makes me cause to lose interest and drop the entire book.

PS. Sorry if it was confusing English is not my first language and I got carried away because passion just got the better of me and my brain is really out of place rn

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Your beginning should reflect your story. If it is slow and meandering and character heavy, by all means, have that kind of opening. That means players who liked the start will also like what happens past the demo.

However, if your story is drama and action, you need to have that in the opening as well. Distribute the slower pieces between dramatic/action ones.

In short: What the player sees when they play the demo should be what the story is about. Do NOT put things off to the last act, front load as much of the heart of the story as you can.

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