Are you too fast or too slow?

Your pacing, is it too fast or too slow?

Complications is a TV series on USA Networks.

When I started watching, I found the show intriguing and fast paced tension. The story is about Dr. John Ellison, a disillusioned ER doctor. He intervenes in a drive-by shooting, saving a young boy’s life and killing one of the attackers.

After a few weeks, I was exhausted.

The word complications, is defined as “a difficult or confused state caused by many interrelated factors.” That describes the show in a nut-shell. Every action taken by the main character results in a compounding reaction beyond his control.

After non-stop tension I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt as if I were trying to outrun a bunch of race cars.

The NASCAR Busch Series field at Texas Motor S...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was no down time for Dr. Ellison (main character) or his sidekick.  So, I quit watching. Not because the writing or acting wasn’t great, but because I needed breathing space to take in what was happening.

This got me to thinking more about pacing. Back in Feburary I wrote a post on the importance of pacing. But a TV show really brought the point front and center. Boy oh boy if you ever need an example of the importance of story pacing this is it.  A little of this and a little of that goes a long way.

For suggestions on story pacing check out these writers.

  • Holly Lisle gives several techniques for controlling the pace of a story. She explains that Not everyone wants a breakneck race through the pages. We all need to breathe.
  • Fiction Writers Mentor, talks about giving your story balance.
  • Fiction Factor explains how we shouldn’t let our story become a victim of lousy pacing.

Have you got this pacing thing down pat?

Let me know in the comments. Please click on the Facebook and Twitter links to pass my post on to your friends.

If you’re not already, I’d be much obliged if you would follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter or jean.cogdell on Facebook!


15 thoughts on “Are you too fast or too slow?

  1. This is where I think good beta readers can help. You can ask a reader to tell you when they feel exhausted or bored. Either one is important to know. I find it hard to judge my own writing in this respect. If more than one reader has the same comment about pacing, then maybe it’s something to alter.

    Liked by 1 person

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