I learn much from sessions taught by experts at writing conferences and from writing magazines, such as The Writer and Writer's Digest. One of the latest conference sessions and several recent magazines have covered "pace in writing."
One genre that greatly depends on pace is mystery, and all sub-genres such as suspense and thriller. Pacing is a device writers use to control the speed of a writing, how fast or slow events unfold, how much time elapse
Some times, the plot requires the pace increase. Other times, it needs to slow down.
Here are a few suggestions to increase the speed.
1. Use action scenes, written in short-length and medium-length sentences, which more the story along. According to Writer's Digest, July/August 2009,action scenes must contain few distraction, little description, no or limited character thoughts.
2. Use dialogue, especially rapid-fire, pared-down version of conversation.
3. Trim extraneous information.
4. Don't introduce new characters.
5. Use short chapters and scenes.
According to Clive Cussler, in a 1979 The Writer, writers should avoid throwing readers too much, because their interest will wander from the story.
Jessica Page Morrell, in the July/August 2009 Writer's Digest, writes, "If your story zips ahead at full speed all the time, it might fizzle under this excess." She goes on to say there are times and reason for slowing down, such as emphasizing a moment or building a scene to maximize the the payoff.
Sometimes, the pace needs to slow so readers can absorb what's happening.
Ways to slow the pace include the following:
1. Description slows the pace, but a writer needs to be careful not to overuse description.
2. Distracting readers with characters performing small actions slows the pace.
3. As Morrell states later in her article, "Protagonists need to stumble, make mistakes, experience reversals and hit dead ends ... Troubles and setbacks slow the pace, increase suspense and keep readers interested.
4. A character's thoughts or introspection slows the story, and if used, should be used carefully and not during an action scene.
5. Sentence structure can slow the pace. As short sentences pick up the pace, long, more complicated sentences slows it.
More ways exist once can use to change the pace of a story, but the previous ten give a writer a good start.
Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap