Pace — slowing down
When to slow the pace:
You slow the pacing after dramatic, fast-paced scenes to give the reader a chance to catch her breath. You also slow down the pace during love scenes or romantic moments where you want readers to linger. It’s also possible to have a slower-paced scene right before intense scenes. It provides a nice contrast that makes the following scene seem even more intense.
Techniques for slowing the pacing:
- Make chapters longer
- Use scenes that are longer and don’t necessarily end in cliffhangers
- Write longer paragraphs
- Use longer sentences
- Make sure to include sensory descriptions, sensations, and setting details — what does the POV character see, hear, taste, smell, and feel?
- Use introspection/character thoughts. Let your characters reflect on what happened.
- Use verbs and words with soft sounds (e.g., soothe, soft, etc.)
- Include a few adverbs and adjectives in your writing, but don’t overdo it.
- Flashbacks slow down the forward movement of the plot and reduce pace. I’ll blog more about flashbacks in another post.
Check out my other writing tips for an example for how to achieve a more effective pace.