Truth and Dare

Truth: Although trying to tell the readers as much as you can about the story and its characters may seem to fasten the pace as you write the novel, it actually drags down the story.

A couple of days ago, my family and I went to Six Flags: Discovery Kingdom instead of the camping trip we have been planning for forever. It was really fun. I haven’t been there since the eighth grade field trip. I ate funnel cake, went on pretty much ALL the thriller rides…I even found the raft ride (which is so freakin’ hard to find. I had to ask five workers with the map in hand just to find the ride). From 10 in the morning until 9 at night, it was non-stop riding and eating.

It wasn’t so much fun for my mom. Unlike the rest of us – we slowly built up the “levels” of the rides – my mom’s first ride was on V2, a ride that goes upside down the majority of the time. It was too much for the first ride and she ended up sick. She even left the park soon after because of it.

This is something some writers do to the readers. Instead of building up the intensity of the conflict/story/characters/ect, the writer goes straight to the action (which may or may not work), info dump, or have a story with so much impact in the beginning, the more the reader reads, s/he ends up disappointed because nothing could compare with the beginning. When the writer does this, like my mom, the reader will get sick of reading the rest and would go home (or in this case, put the book down).

And that’s something we writers do not want to do.


Truth: Too much, too fast = makes the reader sick

Dare: Although it may seem TOO slow to you as you write, slowly build up the characters and conflict. Read the story out loud to see if it flows. Have someone read it and ask your CP if the pacing seems off.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Asia Morela
    Jul 09, 2011 @ 10:54:42

    Ha ha! Love your analogy between Discovery Kingdom and writing! 😀

    I think I did that with a short story I wrote earlier this year. It started really strong, with intense action, but then I couldn’t make the end as exciting, both because I was writing last minute and ran short of inspiration, and because I had to fit in a limited number of pages (it was a contest of sorts). I’m thinking of adding some extra pages and action at the end to balance it before putting it on FictionPress.

    I also agree that we get a slightly distorted feeling of pace as we write, since by definition writing takes more time than reading. The page that took you an hour to write will get swallowed by the reader in less than a minute. So don’t rush it. The reader also needs time and development to really understand and *feel* what’s going on.


  2. dustin
    Jul 11, 2011 @ 14:18:12

    That’s funny that you wrote that, because I did that just the other day when I wrote a fanfiction about a heist. In the second chapter it immediately starts out with the heist not just going, but in hell. The only thing that builds up is that a monkey shows up. So, yeah, now I’m going to edit it doing just what you’re saying.


  3. Monica "Choppy" Nguyen
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 10:10:21

    @Asia Morela Thanks! Discovery kingdom was fun and i love writing so…I just had to do an analogy. haha. Funny thing too, is that I wrote this post and had to re-read my story I was writing because I realized the pacing was off as well. So, writing this post actually helped me with my writing too, which was something I didn’t expect would happen. I mean, I wrote it to help others! But somehow, it ended up being something I needed to see too. 🙂

    @dustin A monkey? I find that very interesting (because monkeys are my favorite animals). haha. Good luck on your edits! I’m glad I was of some help. 🙂


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