Some of you may remember that I recently asked whether I should keep my novel in the fantasy genre or if bl would be better, since I've got a central m/m romance going on.
Now I'm back with an equally naive question!
I start my novel with a quote of one of the characters that's central to the story. That's it, that is the whole Episode 1: the novel's title, and the quote summarizing the overall theme:
Family is not something you're born with. You find the people you care for the most, you stick with them. Blood ties or no.
I'm a sucker for chosen families, and I hate the "blood is thicker than water" trope (because, coming from a dysfunctional family, I can attest that it's a lie). So naturally, my dystopian fantasy story still is mostly about family and putting your childhood trauma(s) behind you, finding joy and purpose in life (again). And while love doesn't heal all that, the central romance will certainly help with that healing process with some much needed new strength.
Which makes clear why the quote is needed in the first place.
As for having it as a whole episode? I just treated that like the first page of a book. Followed by a world-building excerpt from a newspaper in the main city of the novel's world as the next page—THEN comes the actual first scene. Just what any published book could look like. At least that was my thought process.
You can have a look at it here if my description is a bit confusing.
So, as the topic states: my stats got me thinking that this might not be the best approach here on tapas.
"City Asunder" (episode 1 in tapas terms) has over 70 clicks/reads, while the rest slowly but surely finds a balance at around 50 (the last two episodes less than that, of course, since they haven't been there for long).
Now there's a few reasons for that that I can think of:
just people having a look at the novel's premise in the left column, then opting out
people reading the quote, thinking to themselves, "but where's the rest wtf?", then leaving because we're lazy online xD
- people seeing the quote, discerning the overall theme from it, and leaving because it isn't their cup of tea
The things that wouldn't bother me, because they'd be out of my control, would be 1 and 3. But is it likely for tapas audiences that they're just "scared" away by the simply fact that the "actual" novel doesn't start for another episode? How likely is that, what do you think?
And if that's pretty likely, should I somehow... fuse together the episodes to avoid that? Or continue to do whatever I think is best for my novel, without paying this any mind?
Yes, I'm an overthinker.