So, yesterday, I'm reading a book a friend loaned me. Very good book. I'm reading, reading, reading, reading and, on Page 141 to be exact, the conflict of the story suddenly appears. Yes, on Page 141!
This, dear readers, made me pause and go huh???? Shouldn't I have known about the conflict a bit earlier in the novel? Shouldn't I have had some clue about the major conflict, the force that will propel the main character forward into action just a wee bit sooner?
So, my thought was get there already, with the there being the introduction of the conflict.
Don't get me wrong. I love the book. I understand characters have to have their introductions, but . . . Page 141.
The question for the day: at what point should the conflict (insert big, echoing, computer generated voice repeating the word endlessly) be introduced? Does the reader need to know the conflict early, middle, or late in the book? Does the place (i.e., beginning, middle, end) of introduction matter as long as interesting stuff is happening up to the introduction of conflict?
As for me, I normally introduce the conflict early so that the readers know what the main character is struggling for, pretty much from the beginning. I don't wait until Page 141. I'm not sure why - again, not dissing the book, love the book, just wondering why - the author waited this long to say: here's the conflict, here's what the MC must do to . . .