The other day I received an email that a friend and fellow writer sent out to the AAAWG email list. It was about how one handles pacing in a novel. Initially I didn’t have a cogent answer, and I still don’t think I have a satisfactory answer, but I ended up by responding with this:
I’m afraid I don’t really know how to answer this question as I have approached it primarily by gut feel. Perhaps a more honest answer is that I have really ignored the question of pacing and just wrote the novel (or short story) with the assumption that it would work out as I went. One (implied) concession to pacing is that as I near the end of a major draft I read the story through as fast as I can (no edits) and see how it hangs together. I think one of the things I am trying to determine when I do these quick reads is to see if I have achieved a good pace. One of my stock questions to my beta-readers is about pacing and I rely on their less-biased feedback. You can also tell a lot about pacing by asking your beta-readers when they put your story down (or just give up) to do other things.
Anyways, that’s my pre-published opinion.
Anyone want to share their insight into pacing a novel?
How very cool! A noir novel by Roger Zelazny lost for thirty years to be published by Hard Case Crime. The Dead Man’s Brother is due out in Feb. of 2009. You can also check out an excerpt.
Merideth, John, and I went to see Speed Racer last night. Here’s a my mini-review:
If you overlook the simplistic plot, trite clichés, and the not infrequent wooden acting, it was a visually spectacular. Eyeball laceratingly spectacular. Don’t go see Speed Racer if you can be induced to vomit just by watching bright colors in motion. Do go see Speed Racer if you want to see the closest thing to a live-action cartoon (yet).
Aaron Diaz has a brilliant, oh, I guess I’ll call it an essay, called Enough is Enough: A Thinking Ape’s Critique of Trans-Simianism. A most excellent analogy! And I for one embrace our trans-simian nature.