Booklover’s Bench has a new contest for August. This time, there will be 8 winners, so what are you waiting for? Gift cards and books are all on the table. Pop over to the site and click the contest tab to see all the prizes.
Continuing recaps of CraftFest workshops: Today’s post is from the “10 Ways to Amp Up the Pace,” given by Andrew Gross. He co-writes with James Patterson, so pacing is something he knows all about. Since pacing (or the lack thereof) is something I am always aware of when I’m writing, I tend to attend as many workshops as I can on the subject. There’s always something new that I learn.
Gross’s overview of pacing says there’s no right or wrong—it depends on what you want to accomplish. The only wrong pace is when the reader notices it.
Everything you do in a book involves a tradeoff. More good, rich descriptions slow the pace. Sparse prose speeds the pace, but lacks the richness.
Make sure your goals and techniques are totally aligned.
He entertained us with his “proven” mathematical formulas. One of his examples:
He defined the terms as follows:
S=Speed (or pace)
G=Good guy stumbles on a crime
B=Good guy kills bad guy
U=Your urge to use “writerly” stuff
Ns=Number of times the good guy has sex
But, on to his 10 ways to amp up the pace.
1. Short, linking chapters that end in a hook.
2. Scenes: eliminate what doesn’t
advance the story.
3. The writing cadence should reflect what’s happening in the story
4. Don’t bog down the narrative by showing off. Give readers what they want.
5. Eliminate the parts readers skip.
6. Pare, pare, pare it down.
7. Do not overprovide information. Think ONE paragraph.
8. Orient readers quickly at the start of a scene.
9. Know what each scene/chapter is supposed to deliver. Do that and no more.
10. If all else fails, use a larger font.
Causes Terry Odell Supports
Pro Literacy Worldwide, The Nature Conservancy, The Adult Literacy League, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society