I read an article the other day that made me stop and think. It went against everything I had been told, but it also supported everything I had been told. I know that was confusing so I’m going to clear it up for you.
We have all heard show don’t tell. Telling is a sell-out and the result of lazy writing. Right! Wrong!
Showing is the rule of thumb and I support it wholeheartedly. The problem is people who take it literally and want to show everything down to the most minute detail or those who think you can never tell anything, and of course, that’s simply not true.
If you show every single detail, you will never finish that novel and your reader will get lost in the minutia.
My husband is always telling me you can’t check your brain in at the door. Of course, he’s referring to my reliance on the GPS in my car, but it relates to every aspect of life.
Rules are great and give us guidelines to follow, but yes, rules are sometimes meant to be broken.
Something to think about.
I’m busy with the grandson today but had to take a few minutes to give my followers something to think about 🙂
“Describing your writing as trash while you’re still drafting is like looking at a bag of flour and an egg and saying, ‘My cake tastes like crap'”. Paul Grealish@paul-grealish
“Don’t be so quick to put yourself down. Remember we are all a work in progress.” Me 🙂
Hope you have a great day!
Pacing sets the tempo of your novel. How fast or slow it moves depends on the function of the scene and the intent of the author. As discussed in a previous blog, you can speed your story up or slow it down depending on how you use exposition and action.
Intensely dramatic or violent scenes can be either fast or slow depending on your intent. If you slow down the scene, you can ring out the last bit of suspense and mystery, as well as heighten the drama by stretching out something that occurs in seconds.
Sudden shifts in pacing from slow to fast can shock your reader and make your book memorable. Nicholas Spark’s books are a great example of sudden shifts in pacing. In his books, Message In a Bottle and The Best Of Me, he uses the entire book to build a relationship between the main characters only to kill one of them off on the last page. I was totally shocked and a little mad after reading those books. I like happy endings. But he achieved what he set out to do. They evoked strong emotions and I’ve never forgotten them.
Tolkein’s, The Lord Of The Rings vacillates between exposition and action. The varied pace and information provided, allows us to visit middle earth and participate in its history.
Remember, a fast pace is action-packed leaving your reader breathless, and slow pacing is meditative and dramatic.
While I love action-packed, fast-paced books, I realize we need exposition to give the reader a breather and prepare them for what comes next. Balance is the key.
Pacing is an important part of your novel, and if you are a novice, it’s something you probably haven’t given much thought too. I know I didn’t. I love to read and knew that some of the books I read were more fast-paced than others, but didn’t stop to think that the author intentionally wrote them that way.
When you begin the editing process, the pacing is another fundamental to add to your list of things to review.
Hope this helped.
What’s the draw? What makes you pick up a book and proceed to the next step? Most likely the first thing that catches your attention is the cover. At least that’s the first thing I notice. I do look at the title, but unless it’s something totally overboard, it doesn’t stop me from taking the next step.
I was at a discount store this past week looking at books. An employee had put the price tag over the face of the heroine on a book that I was interested in purchasing. I couldn’t believe it. I wanted so bad to yank that tag off.
The cover matters, and yes, that tag could have been a deal breaker. I did see enough of the cover to know that it was an inspirational romance set in the civil war era. That was a plus and enough to encourage me to read the back cover to determine the premise of the story.
I know some people read the first couple of pages, but I have to admit that is not something I do when determining my selection. Maybe I’m shallow. I have no doubt I have missed out on a lot of great books because the cover failed to get my attention.
I can tell you this, the process of determination I use to choose a book appears to be the norm based on my observations of others in book stores. The author’s name may catch a customer’s attention, but when they pull that book off the shelf, they look at the cover and then read the summary on the back before deciding to purchase.
Just something to think about as you prepare to publish your work. What’s important to you. What compels you to choose one book over another?