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#amwriting ~ Welcome guest author Cindy Carroll

Pick up the pace


Thanks to Amber for letting me blog with her! 

I don’t know about everyone else but I like a fast paced read and a fast paced movie. I tend to skip over a lot of introspection. I have also been known to fast forward through slow parts of movies to get to the action. But that’s only if there is an inordinate amount of introspection or slow sections. Just like having a book or movie move too slowly, having them move too quickly isn’t good either. You need those breaks. Those moments where the characters (and the readers or audience) can catch their breath, reflect on what’s happened and make more decisions.


I don’t know if anyone here has seen the movie Salt. It’s a typical action movie. But it was all action. There were no breaks, no breathers. And I felt because of that there was no really getting to know the character. It was fast paced but could have used some slower moments to balance it out. 

There are wrong times and right times to slow the pace. I read a book once that had a murder investigation in progress. We’re in the hero’s point of view and he starts reflecting (for more than a page and a half) about why he became a cop. At that point the reader didn’t need to know all the little details.


I tend to write fast paced novels. One thing I have to remember is to slow the pace once in a while. There are a lot of techniques you can use to slow the pace (or increase the pace) and I’ll probably use at least one of each throughout the book. The important thing to remember is to have a good balance. You don’t want to put your readers to sleep. But you also don’t want them to be so on the edge of their seat that they fall off. 

So, what about you? Do you like a fast read? Or prefer a slower read so you can really get to know the characters?


I talk more in depth about pacing in my workshop Is That Hollywood Calling? – How Thinking Like a Screenwriter Can Improve Your Novel. Comment here to be entered to win a lecture packet. If you don’t win, don’t worry! There’s still time to register for the class at:   http://www.writersonlineclasses.com/?page_id=592 


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  1. Thanks for your insights Cindy. I agree that a good book must have a balance of action and introspection. (Of course if Angelina is doing the action I’m all in.) I tend to rush action scenes myself and usually have to go back to flesh them out a little, I believe that’s because when I’m writing them things are going so fast in my head I just have to get to the end to, as you say take a breather.

  2. Hi Dave. Thanks for stopping by! I have to flesh out the description. I tend to leave a lot out in the first drafts.


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