Monday, March 23, 2009

Pacing Your Story - Lynn Tincher

Think of pacing in writing as much the same as the movement of a piece of classical music. Some of the music is fast and furious while some parts are slow, allowing the listener to catch their breath. Writing a story or a novel can be much the same.

The beginning or your story should contain the hook. This is the part that makes your reader want to read more. You can start off with guns-a-blazing in an action packed sequence or you can start off slow; planting questions in the reader’s mind.

As far as pacing in the development of your story, have several scenes or chapters of action or conflict. Then slow the action down from time to time so the reader can have a break. Constant, non-stop action can have its benefits but it also does not always draw the attention of the reader. The reader can get worn out and lose interest.

Use different writing conventions to help speed up or slow down your actions. A change in verb tense from past to present tense can slow the action down. Adding dialog is another great way to change pace.

Adding more description can help slow the pace down and then add action to speed it up again. You can begin by describing the scene in detail. For example, describe the sea breeze causing the palm trees to sway as the seagulls call in the distance. By introducing the character talking to the bartender in the Tiki hut, you’ve introduced the beginning of the action and the pace can pick up from there.

If you have developed your characters and their motives first, it is easier to develop the pace of the story around them. In the end, answer your questions and develop some sort of finality. If you would like to leave it open, ask more questions or leave something unresolved. Most importantly, have fun.

Copyright 2009 Lynn Tincher

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The Literary Lynnch Pen is a weekly newsletter published by Lynn Tincher. About Lynn: Lynn was born in the small town of La Grange, Kentucky and grew up in Goshen. Lynn studied Theater Arts in College in hopes of becoming a Drama/English teacher. She has written articles in local newspapers and travel brochures. Now, she is focused on writing novels, short stories and poems. The second edition of her book "Afterthoughts" will be released in April of 2009 with the sequel "Left in the Dark" to be released on October of 2009. She also manages Artist Corner, an artist social website dedicated to help all artists become successful. Her eZine and website provides helpful tips and information. Lynn also provides email list management services. She has partnered with Constant Contact to help provide authors, artists, and small businesses the services to manage their email lists and marketing strategies, eZines, electronic newsletters, coupons and bulletins. Please visit: