Pacing Mistakes or Who’s Feeling What?

November 3, 2008 § Leave a comment

writing3    In this post, I asked the question, “Should you cut the first three pages?” taken from the November Writer’s Digest article by Steve Almond.  The second half of the article offers three pacing mistakes:

1) Covering too much ground: Are you outlining the story instead of illustrating it?  Let the reader experience the revelations, not read about them.

2) Front-loading the background: Are you offering all the exposition and background information up front instead of revealing it within the context of the action?

3) Not cutting the B+ material:  Are you leaving in material that is good, but not A-material? Don’t. Cut it, and leave only the best – your piece will then read like the best.

Mr. Almond concludes by describing pacing as when the reader only feels what the characters do and at the same time.  

I know my pacing is right when I’m not bored, and when I don’t feel as if I’ve skipped ahead or cheated. How can you tell?

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