A lot of my posts seem to start with the words, “So I read this book…” and this one is no different. For the book in question, when I first started to read it, my initial reaction was, What the H? There was a character talking about stuff but there was no goal, no conflict, no nothing but, well, stuff. It felt like something had to happen but it took until 1/3rd of the way through the book before a goal (and plot) became apparent.
I started to think about why it took so long to get to the goal and it finally came to me: the goal was a secret. The author set up the story so that the initial hook for readers was in finding out what the goal was. The problem, of course, is that the only reason I didn’t stop at around the 10% mark was because I’d been PROMISED that this book was FABULOUS.
So what does this mean? It means that you might be able to get away with things like not having a plot or goal for 1/3 of your book if it is so fabulous that word of mouth will force people to stick it out, but in my opinion, you are going to have a much harder time getting to that point.