I have been writing the second book instead of blogging – sorry, but there is only so much time in a day and I’d rather move forward on the book.
Has anyone tried NaNoWriMo? If yes, are you still sane? I’m up to 22,000 words on the second book and realized that I need to slow down the pace a bit.
When you decide to sit down and write an insane amount of words in one sitting, chances are some of them:
- Won’t make sense
- Have nothing to do with the plot
- Your character has just hijacked your story and you let them go to the wrong town in the wrong color truck (it’s all in the details, folks)
- Your pacing is so fast that the book can be wrapped up in six chapters
- Your pacing and detail are so slow that it takes three chapters for your character to walk out the door
- You’ve written four chapters that have nothing to do with the plot line
In other words:
“Good pacing is all about variety. You want some slow moments or moments where the emotional tensity is turned down a notch because they allow the reader to rest and take a breathe in between the faster, more intense moments - which are also important because they keep the reader interested. You want some moments where the character reflects on things and moments when he/she is caught up in the action. Scenes can alternate with exposition. And you want to switch emotional tones regularly. For instance, scenes of anger, fear, jealousy or sadness can alternate with scenes that are light-hearted, romantic, or comic. Events the main character feels good about should alternate with negative developments - or developments that go in a different direction entirely. (Of course, this variety must be appropriate to your story and genre. Not every book needs comedy.)
The important thing is that you don't stay on one note for too long. For instance, rather than three intense scenes followed by three slow-paced scenes, you might be better to alternate between the two. Keeping things intense for too long can tire the reader out, while too long a rest period can start to bore the reader.”
Taken from: http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/how-to-know-if-your-pacing-is-too-fastslow.html
5 Ways to Pace Your Story:
This article by http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/5-ways-to-pace-your-story/ explains the 5 ways to pace your story:
1. Length Controls MomentumShort scenes and chapters, terse sentences, and snappy dialogue all contribute to a feeling of intensity and speed, just as long scenes and chapters, leisurely sentences, and extended dialogue ground the story with a sense of place and time. This is probably the easiest way to control your pacing, simply because it’s so obvious. As your story nears its tense scenes, make it a point to condense everything. Limit the length of your scenes to 500-800 words, cut your scenes short at important moments, and switch back and forth between POVs.
2. Vary How You Pace Your StoryAs important as the high-tension race-‘em-chase-‘em scenes are, it’s even more important to vary how you pace your story with slow, introspective scenes. Without the slow scenes (“sequels”), you’ll give neither your characters nor your readers a chance to catch their breaths. Even the most exciting of scenes loses its intensity if it’s never balanced with moments of deliberate quiet.
3. Build Momentum by Paying Attention to DetailsIn film, directors often put scenes into slow motion to indicate something tremendously dramatic is happening or about to happen. One of the best ways writers can mimic this technique is to slow their own writing way down by piling on the details. Let’s say one of your characters is shot. This is an important moment in the story, and you want the readers to feel its impact. You can do this by taking your time and describing every detail: the look on the gunman’s face as he fires, the recoil of the pistol, the flash of the barrel, the horror that chokes the victim, and finally the collision of the bullet.
4. Control Your Tell vs. Show Ratio
Although “showing” your audience the details (the blow-by-blow account of your characters’ actions) is key to engaging them and making them feel the tension, sometimes the best way to hurtle them through a scene is to condense certain actions into “telling.” Perhaps you want to use that same scene in which your character is shot, but you don’t want to linger on it. You want to do a quick flyby, shock your readers, and plunge them into the action after the gunshot. Instead of taking the time to show the details, you can thrust the gunshot upon the readers simply by telling them it happened.
5. Manipulate Sentence StructureThe mark of a professional writer is his ability to control the ebb and flow of his sentence structure. The most subtle way to influence your pacing is through your structuring of sentences. The length of words, clauses, sentences, and paragraphs all contribute to how the pacing is conveyed to the reader. Again, long=slow, short=fast. When it’s time to write the intense scenes, cut back on the beautiful, long-winded passages and give it to your reader straight. Short sentences and snappy nouns and verbs convey urgency, whereas long, measured sentences offer moments of introspection and build-up.
How you pace your story will vary from book to book. Some stories demand an almost continual breakneck speed; others rarely emerge past a leisurely walk. But all stories depend upon pacing to accurately convey the writer’s message.
Have a great week and keep writing!