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  1. U.G. Ridley

    U.G. Ridley I'm a wizard, Hagrid

    Jun 21, 2016
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    How to pace a story?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by U.G. Ridley, Jun 29, 2016.

    I've read and seen a lot of great stories that have been ruined for me due to bad pacing. I think bad pacing is what leads to stories and their meanings just going over a reader's head. It leads to jarring transitions and stretches of boredom despite the actual chapters/scenes being good.

    I know that the best pacing for a story differs on the story itself, but I imagine that there are at least some rules that generally apply to almost every kind of story, regardless of genre or length; and I have yet to find them. Most of the time, when people complain about a story's pacing, or even when I myself notice it, I don't really know what caused it, and I know for a fact that it is even harder to notice pacing issues in your own work.

    You guys got any pointers?
  2. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

    Jan 12, 2016
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    I noticed it in my own works sometimes. And also in films where something that is very crucial that can be made into a big threat or even its own story by itself is given a short time and only explains half of it.

    All I can say is that when you're done with your first draft, read it and if it is exactly how it is in your head then it is good.
  3. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

    Mar 13, 2016
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    I'm not are there are any hard and fast rules regarding what the pace should be. It's more so dictated by the story itself, as you said.

    There are, however, ways you can speed or slow your story if you think the pacing is off. Dialogue can speed things up. You can add small plot point to slow things down.

    I think it boils down to intuition on the writer's part. Writing friends help with that as well. It can seem like the pacing is perfect, but everyone who reads it says it's too slow, that should be taken into consideration. Obviously the choice is always yours, but it always helps me to listen to the people I trust.

    As the person above me said, you should have a pretty good idea if the pace is working for or against you as you read through your work.

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