Opinions · Reflection · Uncategorized · Writing

How Important Is Pacing?

Pacing needs to be just right, there is something that we cannot deny. I have read and dropped many books due to poor pacing, such as reveals happening too late in the story or something. Which tells me that pacing is important.

The right kind of pacing does depend on the story. Here are some questions which I think can help with deciding the pace you’re moving at. And to decide whether a story might need revision.

#1 Is There Breathing Space?

It is extremely important for many books, you cannot have too many reveals at one go. Have a moment where the reader can take a break from the non stop action. There are plenty of ways to make the breathing space seem less like fluff, but ensure that there is enough space so that it does not overwhelm the reader.

#2 Is something happening?

Usually this applies to a book around the first half, since I have read books that seemed to have zero plot movement for the first half or moves at a snail’s pace. And then, there are authors who save everything for the last book in a series, creating what everyone calls middle book syndrome where almost nothing happens but setting things up.

Pacing doesn’t need to be fast, but it must be able to move and reveal certain things about the character or perhaps a certain development. Something has to happen otherwise why is it even a book if the main characters do not go through a journey.

#3 Are all the characters still the same?

For me, character development need not always be good. And also, they need not to have grown, but something must be revealed about them and changes them. It doesn’t always have to be their personality, perhaps their attitude towards a certain issue. Or perhaps their perspective.

Or if you tend to write characters who don’t grow but have plenty of depth, and different aspects to his character that just need time to be revealed.

If your character at the beginning is still the same person, without anything that gives them more depth, then I will say that it may need some work.

So overall, this is how I judge pacing of a story. However, do tell if you have another opinion.

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2 thoughts on “How Important Is Pacing?

  1. I think pacing can be very subjective. I imagine each audience and genre probably has different pacing expectations. I remember reading Jurassic Park as a kid. I skipped the first third of the book! The beginning was so slow, but once dinosaurs were eating people, I was hooked! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same, pacing does affect but for me unless the story is gripping when it is moving at a snail’s pace and not making me want to skim then I will be hooked. And there is where I mostly give it a chance until around half of the book and if nothing changes, then I’m out.

      Liked by 1 person

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