First, Liz is the winner of All Our Yesterdays. I'll be in touch with her soon. The final book in the give away is Becoming Your Own Critique Partner, written by Jane Toombs and myself. This is a book about writing a novel and about finding the flaws when you don't have a critique partner or even when you do, There are checklists and exercises at the end of each chapter. Jane has published over a hundred stories and I have done about fifty. Not all of our works are novels, some are novellas and others short stories.
Now a bit more about pacing. This part of the tale on pacing is about the overall pattern of a book. The four most common patterns of a story are shown.
1.The steady progression. Here the story unfolds gradually. The beginning introduces the characters, the setting and the time frame. Facts about the background are woven in and the progress toward the end is steady with the tension gradually building.
2. The spiking pattern - There are high peaks and deep valleys. Think of the peaks as significent scenes that show the character in conflict. The valleys are periods of rest before the build up to a new problem or crisis begins. Each peak raises the stake for the focus character.
3. The roller-coaster. Here the story may begin gradually as in the steady progression but the tension rises to a peak with the crisis and the story then speeds downhill to the conclusion. A difficult task since all the ends must be tied up in the final event.. This can be a useful pattern for a scene or for a thriller or action story.
4. The circular can also be a difficult one to achieve. Here the ending must mirror the beginning. Tension builds as the story progresses. There is a conclusion and then a reflection on what was learned . There can be a here we go again momet and the ending though satisfactory may not be a happy one.
Next week pacing will continue with pacing in scenes.