Anonymous asked: I feel like my story is going too fast. Within the first page, my character’s hometown is ransacked, but I’m not sure what I should do to slow down or transition to that.

Although every writer runs into pacing trouble from time to time, there are a couple of key things to remember that will keep this problem from occurring frequently. First, let’s define pacing.

Pacing (n): The act of controlling the speed at which an author tells the story; how quickly the story moves from one element to the next. 

Controlling the speed of your story will make it realistic and relateable. It keeps your story from being one-note and gets the reader excited for the more exciting parts. Being able to pace your story is a skill that is often overlooked, but getting a good grip on it isn’t that tricky. Here are some things to remember when working on pace:

Pacing is valuable in controlling the speed of your piece and building long-term tension, but you probably noticed that it does much more than that. Good pacing forces you to emphasize certain events, use stronger imagery, develop themes more broadly and more deeply, plunge the reader into the moment, and give your readers reason to care. As with many aspects of writing, discretion is everything. 

Further reading: 

As always, if you have a question or comment related to this post or anything here on WriteWorld, please us our ask box.

- O


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