The reader has certain rights. He bought your story. Think of this as an implicit contract. He's entitled to be entertained, instructed, amused; maybe all three. If he quits in the middle, or puts the book down feeling his time has been wasted, you're in violation.
You learn by writing short stories. Keep writing short stories. The money's in novels, but writing short stories keeps your writing lean and pointed.
It is a cardinal sin to bore the reader.
Never be embarrassed or ashamed by anything you choose to write.
And every friend I've got has been writing Mars stories. It was pretty clear I'd never catch up.
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