Pacing the pace

Working today on editing and pacing. Pacing is one of those sausage-making aspects of writing that readers don’t generally consider too much or notice, but for the writer? Oh, it is a doozy.

How fast do things move? Where are the lulls and moments of reflection? And how do you tell the story you need to tell at the correct rate that will keep the reader engaged and interested, but not so action packed and breathless that a reader feels stressed out.

One thing that is true of most books is that they are about the most important period of time for the main character/s, and in that respect the pacing shouldn’t and can’t reflect what real life is like.

For example: me, today? I had a nice breakfast of leftover things on the edge of wilting, played with my kids, and then wrote a bunch of thing.

My main character: she woke up, went to Hell, almost drowned, and then made the great decision to follow a demon into a dark forest.

I often think about how, in all my writing, at the end of the story there comes a great unspoken and unwritten about time where the character chills out hardcore and recuperates from all that happened to them.

There’s TV programming, in, I think, Norway? Or one of those gloriously socialist and Scandinavian countries, where they show five hours of a train moving through the countryside. Or four hours of a burning fire.

Really. This is all it is, and it’s wildly popular.

I get that, I really get that as a writer: that desire to leave behind some of the sturm und drang of the stressful culture of narrative and relax.

I get it, and maybe someday I’ll write my opus about drying paint. But not today.

And speaking of narrative, a picture tells a thousand words, no?This is my kid, diligently picking up flower petals after dropping them flower-girl style, because she didn’t like the mess they made.

lywedding

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