Thursday, August 18, 2011

CONFERENCE GOLD: Picking up the pace

Here's a brief summary of Kelley Armstrong's 'Picking up the Pace' session:

-AIM: you want the reader to not be able to put the book down

-HOW to do this:

-shorter chapters (between 10-12 pages)

-end chapter at a point where something about to happen naturally (don't need to invent cliffhangers, let the events happen naturally.)

-'go in late, get out early'. (look for the soonest moment to end a scene and stop there.)

-avoid repetition
eg. Action scenes
1) Set up
2) Action
3) Aftermath
Don't labor the point.

-Taking care of business (eg. starting car, climbing stairs, etc...) CUT these to increase pace UNLESS building suspense.

-RUE (Resist the Urge to Explain.)

-Don't write parts that readers skip (eg. scenery, description, backstory, repetition of character, technical info.)
If need to convey, use in small chunks broken up by action, dialogue, etc...

-Dialogue: if conveying info only & nothing revealed, get away with a couple lines of narrative instead.

-Look at the pulse beat of your story (go back through your story after written, analyse each scene for conflict/interest/high stakes. Rate 1-5. 1=low, 5=high. Should have a good mix.)


Lacey Devlin said...

Great advice. Thanks for another fab post, Nic!

Nicola Marsh said...

Glad you're enjoying them, Lacey.