I feel the need to ask this question of my followers, since most of you are my target audience. The people I write for, YA fantasy-wise.
Part of this is venting, because I'm doing rewrites and currently being put through the wringer for a number of things, namely that my story has three major lead characters, multiple POVs, nonlinear storytelling, and an extensive backstory that is revealed throughout the course of the novel as opposed to an infodump at the beginning. I've been told that "kids can't keep up with three POVs, they'll get bored or confused," though whether that means teens or tweens I'm not sure. While I've gotten great line-editing and some decent suggestions, I'm getting aggravated that I'm being accused of giving too much credit to my readers.
There seems to be a bit of a generational gap between me and my critiquers, because I tend to regard YA readers as intelligent and hungry for a world that is as imerssive and detailed as it is capable of a good story. I trust that as long as my story is interesting, my readers will follow me, even if I don't get to the point or answer everything right away.
My crtiquers are of the opinion that young readers are salivating ADHD technoheads constantly on the lookout for the next distraction, in demand of total entertainment and stimulation at every waking moment. If the book doesn't instantly deliver that, I don't have a hope.
Personally, I don't believe that three characters are hard to keep track of, not for a generation that plays Mass Effect and can memorize all 600+ Pokemon (like me.) I don't think a cavalcade of fantasy places and terms are impossible fare, especially not if there's a glossary at the back of the book. I realize there's a necessity in place to strike a balance between exposition and getting to the point, but I feel like I'm being asked to compromise for the sake of readers I'm not trying to target. In addition, I seem to be the only one of my compatriots that is aware of the concept of fanfiction: that there are kids out there willing to dedicate hours of their lives to reading stuff way more poorly structured and badly written than any of my stories. Not that that's a justification; but it is an argument for "kids are lot more patient than we think."
So, that's my question. How patient are you with a book? What turns you off? What makes you stop reading? Do you demand compelling, immediate, cut-to-the-bone plot, or are you wiling to hang out with the characters a bit? Is it more important that the plot starts on page one, or that we get to know the characters and places first?
Please comment, because I swear I'm the only one in my group who actually has conversations with their target audience.
Listening to: PinkiePieSwear - Flutterwonder
Reading: A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Watching: Full Metal Jousting