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I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.

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Thursday, 31 December 2009
If you remember, before the Christmas blow out, we were looking at pace. Now let’s discuss what slows it and what creates it. Slowing Pace. Nothing slows the flow more than over use of prose. It’s a shame for what writer doesn’t enjoy writing the descriptive sections? But admit it, if you skim a book, which parts do you choose to neglect? In dialogue keep a beady eye out for characters making long speeches. People don’t in real life and it is even more so with fictional people. Whereas we can waffle, character in books don’t. There is no need for polite talk, what they say is only relevant to show character and to MOVE the story along. The flow will stall if you use unfamiliar words or make references to little known facts. Your reader might even stop and look them up and perhaps not bother to go back. The same can be said for strange names. Do watch out for repeated words, scenes and setting. If your plot is predictable then you will find the pace declining. There is nothing like a twist to get the steam up. Watch out if you have been fiddling endlessly with work, the freshness and thus the pace can easily be deadened. Encouraging Pace. Remember the engine? Pulsating away with your strong plot with equally strong and believable characters. Conflict is one of your most important tools. Conflict can take many forms. Large as with jealousy or war. But don’t forget that misunderstanding can add conflict too. Wise use of causality creats pace. The happening that leads to another. And it can surprise the reader – making them hungry for more. I warned about deadening your writing with muddied work, so it follows that good spare writing adds that elusive pace. As does good dialogue where you can give information quickly and with lack of artifice. And you know that one of the simplest devices is to vary the pace and by doing so you add to it. Strong phases followed by weaker. Hysteria followed by peace. Tragedy followed by its kissing cousin comedy. Above all that strong story line you have created nothing makes a reader hungry to know more than the NEED to know. See, it’s not as hard as you thought.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for another well explained and helpful post. I'll try to remember it all.

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