More on "Pace your novel"
Published: December 30, 2005
|Here is some additional material to accompany Dan Gillespie's article on the art of pacing in fiction, which appeared in the February 2006 issue of The Writer:|
ONE You can learn more about the art of pacing by taking a story of your own and pacing part of it differently. Look for a revealing detail that you may not have developed to its full potential, or material that can be developed into a revealing scene. Rewrite with the newly developed material and then compare the old and new versions. You've now slowed down the reader, and you need to decide if it is worth it. Will you captivate the reader with the new material?
TWO Write a car-chase scene involving a police car that has as much tension as you can muster. The descriptive pace will be brisk and the action fast. Focus on the rhythm of the event, and what kind of balance you want between descriptive detail and action.
THREE FernWithy, author of one of the pacing articles recommended in the Resources sidebar, offers a few tricks you can use to try to uncover pacing problems in your work. These include checking to see that your paragraphs and your sentences are varied in length. See Fernwithy's article "Breaking away from repetitive parallel structure in sentences can really bring a scene alive.".
Here are some resources where you can learn more about the art of pacing:
"Keeping Pace: Pacing and Narrative in Fiction"
"Pacing" by Vicki Hinze
"Techniques to Establish Pacing" by Gerry Visco