Friday, December 10, 2010

Writing Tip - Pacing - Winner of Whispers. Next book up

Today's winner of Whispers Out of Yesteryear is Jennifer. I'll be in touch with her soon. The next book up is the first of a fantasy trilogy The Jewels of Earda - The Quest For the White Jewel. On the world of Earda, the Jewels rule all. Power flows from their depths and the world responds to the will of their holders, and the will of the holder of the Black Jewel, which rules all the jewels. Yet legend speaks of a time when there was no Black Jewel and the lands were ruled in peace by the White Jewel. They are merely legends. The truth is lost in the midst of time. Liara and her foster brother, Brader, intend to discover the truth.

Now to Pacing - Again from Becoming Your Own Critique Partner by Jane Toombs and Janet Lane Walters.

Just what is pacing. Actually it's tempo in music but in writing it means the movement of the prose and the characters. This means control by the author. Each scene has a pace and so do the three sections of the book. The beginning, the middle and the end. Pacing keeps the beginning from plodding and the reader being bored before they really find the story in the pages. Pacing keeps the middles from sagging and the endings from being too rushed. Of course any of these problems can occur in a book section or a scene.

Pacing problems in the beginning of the book can be several. The opening can sag because the author decides to give you ever moment of the person's background. The opening can begin with an explosion of action or of characters, introducing too many people or giving so much action there is no time for the reader to sort out what's really happening. The book can open with a big bang and allow nowhere for the story to go.

When the author comes to the middle there are some things to look for and try to avoid. Once again are the action scenes piled one on top of the other and not allowing the reader time to sort out the data? Is there more tell than show? Are there too many repetitive scenes using the same setting, the same characters and the same reasons for the scene?

The ending can also have some problems. Is the ending rushed? The writer can say 'Thank heavens" and end abruptly without showing the scene in full. The opposite can occur and the writer can play out the scene until the reader decides they've had enough. Yes, they did finish the book but they might never purchase that author's work again.

Since pacing is such a big part of writing I'll continue this next week and talk about patterns and how story patterns help the pacing.

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