Withholding too much: Opinions Wanted!

I am starting to think  about maybe getting around to considering the second round of edits on my newest manuscript. So far the crits in my writing groups have been pretty good, most readers says they are intrigued and would read on from the first few chapters but one thing has been driving each and every one of them a little crazy.

Too much information is withheld.

A while back I wrote a post about how much I loved backstory and tended to overshare.

It seems I have swung to the completely other side of the spectrum and I’m leaving my readers guess about just about everything in the first chapters.

The problem is, I kinda love it.

When a story is full of mysteries, foreshadowing, allusions to a deeper story I get drawn in really quick and start making up my own theories. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is when some of those theories turn out to be correct, especially if they author is vague and remains in the POV of the character (side note, when it’s obvious and the character can’t figure this crap out for themselves its actually infuriating instead).

That doesn’t mean I am not willing to concede. I believe that writing is for the writer, editing is for the reader.

So the the first four chapters of “Summer’s Circle” only offer questions. And there are alot of them.

-What’s the dynamic between Danica and Summer? Why is Summer telling her the story?

-Is Joviah actually magic or a con artist? And why is Summer still talking to him?

-Did Chris actually humiliate Summer in front of her peers?

-Is Summer crazy?

-Is Summer a heartless bitch or is there something we don’t know about her past with her family?

-Why the hell does this phrase keep showing up?

-What is up with Summer deciding one thing and then immediately doing something else?

If I promise you it all will be revealed some very quickly and some of it drawn out in a slow dawning realization that makes you feel as trapped and horrified as the the MC does as she comes to understand the truth, would you be okay with all these questions at the beginning?

Or, like my crit readers have suggested (having access only to the first five chapters) should I clear up a few things early on? Do you like to make theories and see how they unfold? Do you like to be surprised? Or is too much uncertainty in your reading frustrating or anxiety inducing?

Your feedback is most welcomed!!

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