The pace of your story is only one of many things you must consider. People who love to read but have never written books are cognizant of the pacing. I have read many a good book that I skipped portions of because I was tired of reading about the duchesses frilly dress or the description of the inner hull of a slave ship. I’m glad the author did their homework and provided historical information, but sometimes it can be a bit much and totally bog down your story. There has to be a balance.
So how do you control the pacing of your story? Once you start writing it seems to take on a life of its own. You have to be cognizant of the tempo and your audience. You have to strike a balance between the amount of information in the pages you are given, and the patience of your reader.
There are three main ways to control the pace of your novel:
- The number of pages/words in the novel vs. the time period covered – Long books that depict a short period of time are going to move at a slower pace. Short stories depicting long periods of time are going to move at a faster pace. This is common sense really. You have to move a story along faster if you have a limited amount of time to share it.
- The density of the narrative – The length of the story versus the number of twists and characters within.
- Scenes vs. Exposition Scenes are the important events that move the story forward. They are the action and dialogue that occur during the course of the story. Exposition is the back story or descriptive information that stands outside of the story and slows things down.
I love fast-paced novels. Slow dragging stories full of description put me to sleep. They can’t hold my attention. However, with this being said, there has to be a balance. I will discuss this more in my next blog.
-Something to think about.