Welcome to workshop week
I’ve already vented about pantsers, so I’ll spare the diatribe. Suffice to say I’m not a proponent of vomit it up and clean it up later writing. Why write and edit yourself to death when you don’t have to?
So what’s my tip . . . don’t forget pacing when you’re plotting your book (or even writing the synopsis). Your story has to unfold so the characters are different on page 500 from when we originally met them. Pacing properly can help build this character and story arc. You need to remember a few things . . .
First, your pacing should look like an EKG. There should be peaks and valleys as the story unfolds. There are places when you want serious action or deep emotional conflict and places where the story slows to develop information.
Second, sentence structure is the key. If you’re writing for the valley – use longer, more descriptive sentences. Conversely, for those high impact moments, you want short, stark sentences that convey urgency.
Third, don’t start in mega high mode. If the emotional impact of the story or the action is at an all-time high, you don’t have anywhere to go. Yes, your opening should be strong but if you start out at warp speed you have nowhere to go but down. And you don’t want to write a story that is only on an upward climb. The characters and story must unfold at a natural pace. Think about it – you don’t get the same high when you buy a pair of shoes as when someone is shooting at you. Okay, maybe that was a bad example, shoes are important.
So as you’re thinking through your story, remember to think not just in terms of character development or plot specific, think pacing too. Keeps you from writing dead space.