Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Princess Bride--Perfectly Paced Pt. 2

I could wax eloquent on this, but there's no need. The marvelous writer, Vicki Hinze, has done so already. (Check it out here.)

But I can give you a couple of tools to try. Or, as Inigo put it so well, "Let me 'splain. No, there ees too much. Let me sum up":
  • Have your computer read your scene to you. I find that listening to my story reveals a great deal, especially where the pacing is too laborious or too frenetic.
  • If you don't have a good voice program on your computer, read it out loud and record it. Or have a friend do so. Then listen to it.
  • Keep an eye out for scenes that lose your interest as the writer. If you're in the middle of a scene and suddenly realize you haven't a clue why you're there, or what you're hoping that scene does, take a look at pacing. It could be you've been, to follow Vicki's comparison, yelling or whispering too long. Too much of either can lose readers.
  • Finally, pull out one of your own favorite movies. Watch it once, all the way through, so you can remember why you love it. Then watch it again and evaluate the pacing. Notice what they use to speed up the pace and to slow it down. See what you can learn from it.
Hope that helps!



Teri D. Smith said...

Thanks for the great tips. I'm seriously thinking of investing in a computer program that can read my work to me. Do you have a suggestion for one that works with a PC?

I enjoyed your late night chat with Julie at the ACFW conference. You gave us good information, but let us see your personality too. Such fun.

Pam Halter said...

Reading out loud is the very best thing we can do for our writing. It's amazing what you can find to fix when you do that!