The Power of Tension In Our Stories
We all understand that the thing that keeps readers reading is tension. So, we writers always want to include as much tension as possible in our stories.
What Kind of Tension?
You have to consider if you're writing the story this way in an effort to create tension because the story itself has so little tension.
Why Do People Read Books?
Think about some of the greatest stories you've ever read and consider whether or not they were exciting and kept you reading simply because of some interesting viewpoint switching or if they were interesting simply for two reasons:
- great writing
- great story
In other words, if the author is a great writer and the story is a great (interesting) story then viewpoint switching on top of that would simply be a gimmick.
Gimmicks Work: But New Writers Are Advised To Steer Clear
You will find that the examples where gimmicks work (like Pulp Fiction) are actually few and far between. And, even when they do work, it is probably because the writing is great and the story is interesting.
SIDEBAR: Interesting Viewpoints?
Have you ever read one of those stories where the main character is in prison and he goes on to tell you about his captors and how they treat him. You get the idea he is on an alien planet, then it all ends something like the following:
"But today something different happened. After he fed me, he walked
away without closing the door. I flew out of my prison and up, up, up
into a tree. I was free again with all the other birds."
Isn't that terrible?! Lot's of new writers write that story and think it is beautiful and meaningful. "But," they whine, "it is such a cool viewpoint. I've tricked the reader into listening to me."
Yes, just like those stories where everything is a dream. Terrible.
Easily Determine Which Is Correct
You can easily determine which is correct. Write the story the normal way and then read it. Does the story have enough conflict to keep the reader reading?
Write your story as fast as you can and gather feedback.