Finer Points of Pacing

Let’s quickly wrap up Pacing so we can move on to Setting. Here are the last few items in the Pacing segment of the Elements of Fiction Editing Checklist: ☐ Excessive step-by-step description of actions is avoided. When you describe each individual movement the character makes, you slow pacing to a crawl. For example: She …

Logical Flow Propels Pacing

As we look at this item about pacing, it may sound familiar, because it is related to plot: ☐ Events flow logically in cause-and-effect relationships. That is, each scene doesn’t just happen after the prior scene, it happens because of the prior scene. When events flow from one to the other in a cascade of …

Tension Keeps Readers Turning Pages

Writing teachers often say there should be “conflict” in every scene. There’s a problem with this, because too many writers think this means everyone always has to be arguing with everyone else. As if no two characters can ever agree on anything. There’s a difference between conflict and tension. We talked about that before, in …

Pacing is a matter of proportion

Pacing is one of the more difficult elements of fiction because it is so subjective. A reader who loves rich description will enjoy a scene that lingers over the setting details, while another reader will complain that it’s slow and boring. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of pacing we can apply to our novels to …

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