Date posted: 8/6/2002 8:23:57 AM
Thanks so much for demystifying the pacing problem that can plague new writers. This article gives concrete suggestions as to the remedy an author may take.
Date posted: 8/6/2002 10:20:32 AM
Your stories are great, but man do you write excellent articles! Every time I see a new one written by you I rush to the fan fiction area to read it and correct my own stories :D. Also loved the story about your melodrama in the first part.
Date posted: 8/6/2002 11:13:16 AM
I enjoyed this article very much, because now that I have finished my first story, I'm looking to rewrite it and pacing/narrative is the first thing on my list to re-work. So not only was the article helpful, it was a confirmation that my self-critique wasn't all in my head!
Date posted: 8/6/2002 11:27:40 AM
I'm only a beta for SW fic, but this is a great article that works equally well for any other story. I look back at many of my stories, and they do have this exact problem... (But as you say, it gets better with time!) Thanks for writing it!
Date posted: 8/8/2002 1:14:44 AM
That is a nice point about varying the lengths of the paragraphs. And you are dead on when you say the only way to learn pacing is to read what you enjoy, and what sounds good to your own ear. Unfortunately, sometimes the story you want to tell is not the story that needs to be written out completely. Excellent article.
Date posted: 8/16/2002 6:08:02 PM
I am a beta-reader, as well as that "nice person" in English class who helps others with their reports/stories/poems. As a beta-reader, it's so easy for me to overlook pacing and plot errors because the person made so many spelling and grammatical errors (betas are people too =-)
I advise any person getting their stories beta-read to make sure and have less than 3 grammatical/spelling errors per page so that the beta can also focus on plot/pacing, instead of being distracted by all the "technical" errors.
Also, a pet peeve of mine is: many sentences that begin with the same words. Variation is important when writing a story that appeals to readers.
Date posted: 8/19/2002 8:47:52 AM
This is a very excellent article, Fernwithy! *Applauds* For me, pacing is perhaps one of the greatest problems I face when writing a story-- I sometimes may dwell on a certain topic for a prolonged amount of time, due to my personal preferences, but soon after, I realize that such long scenes have no significant impact to my story as a whole. In fact, these prolonged scenes just drag me back and take away from my narrative. Other times, I am faced with scenes that I just cannot write, so instead, I choose to rush through them with hurried words and sentences. After reading your article, I have more insight on how to improve my pacing problems and I am glad you took the time to share your own experiences and suggestions dealing with this facet of writing. Once again, excellent job!
Author: Mcily Nochi
Date posted: 8/25/2002 1:54:56 AM
Mcily Nochi's Comments:
*considers* Well, I, too, am a beta-reader. Except I find it harder to tell an author that her climax is wrong than to fix individual words, which I do constantly . . . :)
Good article. It's often hard to point out pacing problems, and hopefully this article will help.
Author: Raven Nyquist
Date posted: 8/26/2002 1:10:14 PM
Raven Nyquist's Comments:
One addition I believe is important.
Some Fanfic authors write just ahead of what they post, and if the Fanfic author does not stay somewhat disciplined to their plot and pacing, it can throw a reader off.
Current fanfics suffer from this problem.
Date posted: 9/26/2002 12:20:51 PM
A while ago, I burned a CD as a soundtracks of sorts to this big story idea that I had. Thus, I really appreciated the reference you made to John Williams because listening to my CD really helps with the pacing of certain scene. Plus, the points you made about building up to the climax gave me an idea that completely twists around my story.
Your articles are incredibly helpful. Can't wait for the next one!
Author: lori f
Date posted: 9/30/2002 7:45:55 AM
lori f's Comments:
thanks a ton! an agent told me i had pacing problems with both my novels and i need to rewrite them. this helped immensely. i will get going on rewrites and read a bunch of old agatha christie books for rhythm. and pray for the ol' intuitive thought.
you are an angel.
Author: The Stormtrooper Shrink
Date posted: 2/15/2004 3:24:34 AM
The Stormtrooper Shrink's Comments:
Man, that first few paragraphs sound like me. When I still knew everything about writing...Yep, that's me. Except I discovered the dreadful truth at the age of thirteen. So the tear was heart-wrenching. Great article.
Date posted: 10/26/2005 11:18:59 AM
Great tips, especially the last about rereading your favorite novel. Another tip I got was to retype the first chapter or two, to further get the rhythm and style and flow into your head. Music students play works of the masters, art students copy paintings. Writers can retype works they love.
Author: Mary Schoenecker
Date posted: 11/12/2005 5:52:40 PM
Mary Schoenecker's Comments:
I'm going to try your sugestion about telling my story to myself. Hope it reveals something!
Date posted: 1/5/2006 1:48:02 AM
Very thoughtfully written. Will prove to be helpful specially as I write my first novel.
I found it immensely detailed.
Date posted: 1/12/2006 11:50:33 AM
I recently attended a writer's conference in Surrey, B.C. where Donald Maass conducted a workshop on pacing. I attended because some of my readers said a section of my novel moved too slowly. Donald told us that pacing is closely tied to tension. This made sense to me. The pace can be very slow, he said, but if the tension is high there's no sense that the story moves too slowly. In fact, slowing the story down can increase tension if it's done right.
Date posted: 11/7/2006 6:14:45 AM
Hmm... Maybe this will help me get archived.
Date posted: 10/19/2007 9:02:35 PM
Wow... this artical is wonderful. Overall I think I have decent pasing to my my stories, but I'm as much of an amature as anyone else who just started writing. This is very helpful as I go back and rewrite my epic.