Hopefully you don’t fall in this category. You know the plot that goes nowhere. The big, the bad, and the flat out boring. Long descriptive details and a wandering storyline are sure to be identifiers of the tortoise pace maker. However, there are times when you need to pace make like a tortoise and slow it down some. Descriptions, action details, thoughts, and longer stretches of dialogue can work well for your shelled self (as long as you learn to pick up the pace when it’s called for).
You bring it…the tension that is. Just as Tom & Jerry are famous for fighting, throughout your novel you keep the conflict strong. Sensitive not to leave your readers exhausted and in need of an actual pacemaker when you write prickly stress-inducing scenes, you pay attention to when a good make up scene is necessary.
(I debated also writing Speedy Gonzales for this one. He’s another favorite… I watched a lot of TV as a kid.) You zip from scene to scene, leaving readers breathless to find out what will happen next. Dialogue moves your book along, well-timed dialogue that doesn’t move so fast your readers are bereft of grounding.
You keep up with trends. You know the market. You’re careful (especially if you write commercial fiction) to tackle relatable plots. You’re intentional about pacing according to present day expectations. No lengthy weather descriptors to kick off your first few pages or overwhelming setting details. You move right along with the help of Fred’s two feet.
You’re an expert at stealing a scene. You swipe it with a surprising twist or a heart-clutching secret revealed. You’re fast. You’re sneaky and your novels will sell (or are selling) like crazy. I’m thinking you’re a mystery pace maker.
Bounce-er-ific. Hoo. Hoo. Hoo. You like to use shorter sentences when you want to speed things along nicely. You’ve got the moves down. And you are known for your moves. Skilled with mastering upbeat, inspirational plots, you encourage readers to follow your pace as it bounces right along.
"Writing simply means no dependent clauses, no dangling things, no flashbacks, and keeping the subject near the predicate. We throw in as many fresh words we can get away with. Simple, short sentences don't always work. You have to do tricks with pacing, alternate long sentences with short, to keep it vital and alive...Virtually every page is a cliffhanger—you've got to force them to turn it." ~ Dr. Seuss
*photos from Flickr