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Read what you want too, not what people tell you too.


Many writers believe that limiting backstory and dialogue is imperative when trying to write a good novel. I am going to present a very different point of view. Not because I disagree, I do not.
I am one of those people who wishes to know everything. Not content with foreword, afterword, prologue, and epilogue I read the appendices, and everything printed. That is just my nature.
So, to my point.
Most readers will be put off by info dumps and reams of back story unless it is relevant to the tale. My wife, June, is like this and so do a few of my friends and so I know that criticism of my view is valid.
They (mainly) read bestsellers.
But there is a rarely followed and written for group out here in the reading world that grow so involved with what they are reading that they wish to know everything. They wish the book to be challenging, they do not mind reams of extra information, nor bucket loads of back story, nor mathematical theory, if required. Those readers tend to be educated and devoted to books and all that is contained in them. Book aficionados.
Now, here is the rub. There is nothing better for a writer than readers buying their books, especially if the quality or strength of them is passed on by word of mouth.

June reads every night. Many others do. Ask what books she read last year, and she will not be able to name any. Ask me what I read ten years ago, and I will tell you, book, author, and a summary of the tale, rarely missing one out, as would most of my ilk.
The writers we enjoy rarely make the bestsellers lists but still sell millions of books.
Dan Simmons does not sell as many books as Dan Brown (where the backstory is limited) Nor did Robert Jordan sell as many as JRR Tolkien. Mervyn Peake not as many as Charles Dickens, but all sold in droves. There are as many types of readers out there as there are writers. I do think everything that most writers espouse about back story and dialogue is valid and makes good sense just not for all readers.

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