How to slow down the pace of a story?


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Thread: How to slow down the pace of a story?

  1. #1

    How to slow down the pace of a story?

    Is this too vague a question? If it is, I'm sorry. I'm still new to writing, and therefore not able to be more precise. All I can tell is that my stories ''move'' too fast.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken11 View Post
    Is this too vague a question? If it is, I'm sorry. I'm still new to writing, and therefore not able to be more precise. All I can tell is that my stories ''move'' too fast.
    A couple of ways that spring to mind are to take time out to be descriptive within the story; if the pace is a bit fast for you as a writer, there's a reasonable chance a reader may feel it too.
    Another way is to enter the main character's thoughts, possibly at the end of a chapter when he/she might be lying in bed. If the MC has been having a fast and furious time of it and some baffling things have been occurring, writing down their thoughts as they try to make sense of the mystery(ies) could slow things down.


  3. #3
    I had the same issue when I started writing. I was so excited about my story idea and all the cool scenes I envisioned that I rushed from one to the next and my stories felt hurried and choppy. I started to slow down when I realized readers aren't reading just for the exciting parts -- even though that may be what they remember most -- they are reading for the entire experience; characters, setting, and story. I wasn't spending enough time on developing my characters, or in establishing an effective setting. Once I realized I didn't have to go from high-point to high-point as fast as possible, I started to spend more time with the people in my stories and started to work harder at making the setting seem real. This doesn't mean you need to spend a boat-load of words on character development or scene setting, it just means you need to spend enough words to make your people and places real to the reader. Read some of your favorite author's work to see how they handle the 'stuff' which goes on between the action parts. I found that those in between places had some of the best writing. Sometimes what makes a book, or story, terrific isn't what happens in it, but how it is told.

    If you are wanting to write short stories, you have anywhere from 1,000 to 7 or 8,000 words to tell your tale. That can be a lot of room. If you are wanting to write a novel, you have all the room you could possibly want to explore and investigate. Take the local roads to your destination, it's a lot more interesting than the interstate.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken11 View Post
    Is this too vague a question? If it is, I'm sorry. I'm still new to writing, and therefore not able to be more precise. All I can tell is that my stories ''move'' too fast.
    Has anyone read your works? Sometimes it's easier to get the objective opinions than to try to be objective yourself.

  5. #5
    If people are telling you that your story moves too quick, then they're prolly saying that it's too skinny, not enough meat on the bones, more like a police report than fiction.
    Stands to reason, it takes practice to get used to painting the whole scene. The Sistine Chapel wasn't Mike's first painting gig.

    Start with character introductions, just start talking about your hero, or heroine (or trans-heroine, no judging here... ). What do they think of the current scenario, blending back to wherever they came from, or hints at their peculiar belief system, or their secret angst...for this read John Grisham and study how he introduces his characters. Use real people as your models for best results.

    Setting: Paint that world complete, but be careful that you don't go nuts with the adjectives. When describing characters or scenes, use only details that speak to the nature of the character or the scene. No one cares if your hero wears pants...everybody wears pants. But if the pants have a red blood stripe down the leg (or a black officer's stripe) then that is worth mentioning.

    Practice these 2 skills. Writers write a lot, don't plan on publishing everything you write. It's okay to just write scenes for practice. Go to a Starbux and just make up a scene involving the people there drinking coffee, 3000 words. Write it, read it, study your strengths and weaknesses, and throw it away. Rinse, repeat.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    I had the same issue when I started writing. I was so excited about my story idea and all the cool scenes I envisioned that I rushed from one to the next and my stories felt hurried and choppy. I started to slow down when I realized readers aren't reading just for the exciting parts -- even though that may be what they remember most -- they are reading for the entire experience; characters, setting, and story. I wasn't spending enough time on developing my characters, or in establishing an effective setting. Once I realized I didn't have to go from high-point to high-point as fast as possible, I started to spend more time with the people in my stories and started to work harder at making the setting seem real. This doesn't mean you need to spend a boat-load of words on character development or scene setting, it just means you need to spend enough words to make your people and places real to the reader. Read some of your favorite author's work to see how they handle the 'stuff' which goes on between the action parts. I found that those in between places had some of the best writing. Sometimes what makes a book, or story, terrific isn't what happens in it, but how it is told.

    If you are wanting to write short stories, you have anywhere from 1,000 to 7 or 8,000 words to tell your tale. That can be a lot of room. If you are wanting to write a novel, you have all the room you could possibly want to explore and investigate. Take the local roads to your destination, it's a lot more interesting than the interstate.
    I was going to reply to this thread, but this is pretty much exactly what I was going to write haha. It is easy to fall into the trap of 'skipping' to the fun parts. But it is those in-between parts that really make the fun parts of the story more exciting, the anticipation really works.

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