Monday, January 30, 2012

Pacing

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.

2 comments:

  1. I think you're exactly right! Pacing is one of those things you don't notice unless it becomes a problem. I think one of the best ways to fix it is to just leave it alone for a while. Work on a different part. Then when you come back to read it again, you can more easily find the parts that are dragging.

    Best of luck!

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    1. Hi Peggy! Thanks for the advice! I definitely think I'm at the point where I need to leave that part alone for awhile, because everything is so familiar. Hopefully when I come back I'll be able to see the dragging parts. Thanks for stopping by!

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