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Plotspider said:
I am gathering a roll-over button in a Kindle doc would be no better received, yes?
In my opinion, that's a better option, but still not a great one. Most readers are not going to be able to pass up the button. Curiosity is going to get them.

Again, I'm thinking that pulls the reader out of the story.

But as you mentioned, footnotes in comedic writing generally work better than story-driven tales. At least if the footnotes themselves are funny and add to the comedy.
 

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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...."
 

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I'm not usually a fan of footnotes (because like several people noted on here already, they tend to jerk you out of the story) unless they read like snarky asides, loaded with humor. Then, I love them. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green accomplished this to perfection, and it was part of the book's voice and so not distracting at all.
 

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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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jason10mm said:
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...."
Ha! I had to laugh.

With the exception of ravenous undead hordes, you pretty much just summed up the Gormenghast series by Mervyn Peake. The books are full of what seem to be extraneous information, though the author usually doesn't do it in the middle of a tense scene. Descriptions of tapestries, clothing, a section of a castle wall ... it goes on and one for pages upon pages. Peake had his points and his strengths, but readability wasn't necessarily one of them. And I say this as a fan of the first two books (the third one left me cold, but then again it wasn't fleshed out before the author's death).
 

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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...."
I bet that story is way more interesting than whatever tropetastic things the hero is up to...
 
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