Beyond whether or not a story is good, for me, there are two primary motives for continuing beyond the first chapter: to see what happens next or to see how it ends. Both can be a pro or con, neither guarantee completion. What happens next is usually the more forgiving of the two; it means that I’ll read until I lose interest, which happens more than you might believe where my reading habits are concerned. However, the further along I get, the greater the chance that I’ll forgive hiccups and the greater the chance that what happens next will turn into see how it ends. On the other hand, see how it ends has never turned into what happens next and since there is an ultimate goal involved, there’s a good chance I’ll tough it out regardless. But, if there are too many things in the story that rub me the wrong way, the end may cease to matter as much as it did in the beginning, if it continues to matter at all. There are no hard and fast rules about which kinds of stories either motive can be applied to, but what happens next has, more often than not, been in play for long series, while see how it ends is usually in play for 700 pages or less. There’s also no patent answer for the question of which comes first: the motive or the first chapter?
requierobl replied: I’m too impatient; I just read the ending if want to know how it ends and I find it hard to stay motivated to read the whole thing.
Even abandoning something is not the easiest thing for me, but I can, however, I don’t think I could bring myself to jump to the end, ever. It would mess with me so much. It would come back to me like that embarrassing thing that happened in 9th grade that you know for sure only you remember, but it still makes you feel like you need to scrub your brain and take a shower.