marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

narrative drive and series

Narrative drive, the forward motion of the story, is a great thing to keep people reading onward (to long after they should have been in bed, often enough).  But one curious thing  I've noticed, reading series that were long established but not complete when I stumbled on them. . . .

Reading a series in rapid sequence can produce narrative drive as well as vice versa.  Reading a webcomic in great gulps of twenty or more in a sitting -- or four or five books of a twenty-book manga series, or two books in a trilogy -- can create an insatiable desire to read on, find out what happens.  Annoying when it is literally insatiable because you've reached the end of what is written and have to wait (and wait and wait).

Except that the waiting can take the edge off of it.  Reading a webcomic one day -- or once a week -- at a time is a lot less dramatic.  Even when the writer is filling it with drama and creating an eager longing for the next posting, it's not as dramatic as when you plunge through the storyline as quickly as it can be read.

Intriguing, that.

Tags: graphic novel/manga, narrative drive, reading, series, webcomics

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