Tag Archives: Pacing

Pacing (Non-Toolbox Post#2)

Pacing Trouble:

Many things can destroy pacing. The reader could be struggling the the dialogue–slang, accents, etc. Slogging through an info dump or getting caught up in bad grammar and worse punctuation. But what if that’s not the problem.

If the language is clear, and poses flow, how can there still be a pacing problem? 

When to Slow it down

Has a reader complained that a scene made them feel uncomfortable or nervous? Maybe, even upset. These are all symptoms of pacing being too fast.

Every reader needs to breathe. Process. Gather their thoughts.

T0 slow the pace:

  • Add inner thoughts
  • Write longer sentences with descriptive detail
  • Use language that is more relaxing
  • Insert some passive sentences
  • Slow time down and stretch it out with more details

I’m not suggesting a writer use all of these techniques, however, selecting what works for them will help when revising.

When to Speed it up

If you are getting feedback about the chapter being boring, not holding the reader’s attention, or they are skimming/skipping ahead; pick up the pace:

  • Use short, quick, simple sentences and paragraphs
  • Throw in some sentence fragments
  • Punchy words. Energetic, and active language.
  • Avoid linking verbs
  • Fewer inner thoughts
  • Less overall description

Again, the writer will have to select what works best for them and not go too far. Or they are back at too fast.

Pacing needs balance

Depending on the genres, the pacing may tilt more one way than another. Faster paced for thrillers, and more of a slow burn for some romances.

A well balance story entertains your readers and compels them to read to the end.

Gleaned from:

 

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