Editing for Pace: Inner and Outer Conflicts

A character can only run non-stop for so long. So look for paces in your structure that end themselves to changes in pace. Change where the most energy is expended — inward or outward.
A change in pace doesn’t mean all forward motion stops.Every scene has both internal and external conflicts and obstacles. Change the emphasis to avoid reader burn-out and boredom.
Internal and romantic elements are typically seen as “slower” pace elements. This doesn’t mean that they lack conflict (they thrive on it). It also doesn’t mean that plot doesn’t move forward (it does). But they are usually considered “slower” because they develop the inner world.
“Faster” pace elements are typically physical conflicts and obstacles. This doesn’t mean there is no inner component (they require it). It also doesn’t mean that physical violence must be used (dialogue can become a weapon too).
Every scene also has description and may have exposition too. These are typically “slow” pace elements — especially if they stop forward action for a moment. Include more of these to slow a too-fast scene. Also try loner sentences. Or do the opposite to accelerate the pace.
Scenes typically have dialogue. This is a “fast” pace element. Speed it up more by keeping sentences and exchanges short. Include physical motion to give the reader the illusion of forward story movement. Or do the opposite to slow the pace.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s