I think today I want to talk about pacing, because that's what I'm struggling with right now. I'm not sure if I completely understand it because I thought I had enough "stuff" happening in the beginning of my story. I'm one of those readers, that if I'm not hooked in the first few chapters, I probably won't finish the book. (A good trait for a YA writer, since it's a very "teenage" mind set. Or at least that's what I tell myself...) My critique was of the first 30 pages, and my CP said that the problem was pacing; that what happened didn't warrant being 30 pages and that it could have been fit into 20 or less.
So how do we know what to tighten and take out? I reread everything and
tried to take out everything that wasn't essential to the story. That
left me with ... 27 pages. lol. I think I need another set of eyes to
help me decide what is essential to the story, because to me, everything
is important. I was listening to a podcast that said pacing is about
the hills and valleys. An explosion can't happen on every page because
even though explosions are exciting, the repetition is what slows the
pacing. With every additional explosion, the tension fades and it
becomes mundane. I think that might be my problem.
I've redone my outline, which will hopefully help my structure and
pacing. I feel like pacing is one of those mysterious things that you
don't think about until you realize there's a problem. If it's done
right, it's not noticed, but if it's done wrong, it's blatant.