This is a short post and it comes from a discussion I had on CC. But I figure it's been a good month since my last post here (AA anyone?), so you might like to hear from me. :)
I'm thinking that my main priority is to make sure AUC remains an interesting read throughout. Discovering a whole new world, with hints of underlying conflict involving your beloved big sister, could be conflict enough for the first four chapters as long as readers are still interested in Paige's story.
I've been rereading a bunch of classics and greats, from Ender's Game to Harry Potter, and realizing that they break tons of the "rules" we all endeavor to follow.
From this, I take that the number one goal of any novel should be to entertain the mind. If it's doing that, keeping interest, keeping the pages turning, then it succeeds.
I think that there are a lot of ways to do this and that it might not be as formulaic as many of us treat it. Heck, if it was formulaic, everyone could write a great novel. I think it really comes down to whether we can write a great story or not.
I, for one, sure hope we can!