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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not yet begun to use footnotes in my fantasy novels, except occasionally using comments to help myself remember things between writing sessions.  My question to the world today is:

How do you feel about an author footnoting things in their fantasy novels?  Do you feel that this is a distraction?  Or does it help add another dimension?  How many people here footnote their own creations?  Do footnotes (references to other things that happened in the world in which you are reading or writing) turn you off?  How many feel that a good author should not need to use them?  These are merely curiosity asking. 

Thanks for any replies. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
David Alastair Hayden said:
I don't do footnotes in my books. I'm terrified of boring the reader with exposition as it is.

Footnotes automatically pull me out of the story and ruin my suspension of disbelief. This is probably the result of reading a lot of non-fiction scholarly texts where footnotes are common. I like to stay in the flow of the story.
These are pretty much what I was thinking, but wanted to confirm before I tried using them in anything heretofore publishable. Still, I thought some people might draw them in, perhaps even in a Pratchetty way. Oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So most people do not like being pulled out of the story by footnotes. 

Some think footnotes are rather appropriate for satirical or comedic reasons.  I agree that Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's use of footnotes in Good Omens was absolutely necessary, and incredibly funny.  I'm still laughing about the "Bugger Me For a Lark" translation of the Bible they talk about in that book. 

In story-driven fantasy, most people on here think footnotes and etc. are not really all that appropriate. 

I am gathering a roll-over button in a Kindle doc would be no better received, yes? 

 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
jason10mm said:
About the only time I like footnotes in fiction are for historical fiction tales that use the footnotes to tell you all the cool little true tidbits that are woven into the narrative. But for a 100% original world this doesn't really exist, so unless you are apeing a specific real world book in a scholarly or mockumentary style, I think expositionary "flavor text" of this type should be put into intro quotes at the start of chapters, clumped into an appendix, or doled out in interstitial mini-chapters (this is pretty common in sci-fi for the highly technical infodumps necessary).

Now an "annotated" book with your personal comments or factoids as a 4th wall breaking coversation with the reader would be cool, hopefully that becomes possible on the kindle. I would want to be able to hide them completely for a distraction free first read through, then I could go back to see what you had to say about specific areas or do a second read-through with the "commentary track" on.

But nothing is as bad as the "while our hero battles for his life agains tthe ravenous undead hordes, let us digress for a moment about the founding of the empire and why exactly the king always wears yellow on the 3rd tuesday of the month...."
Hilarious. Yeah, I hate it when authors do that.
 
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