Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Reader's Guider to Author's Jargon 28


the speed of delivery for a novel, which varies at different points of the work. Generally, books need a moderate to fast pacing at the onset. (The opposite is called - slow burn). The pace should be steady and secure for the exposition and developmental portions of the work. However, the last act should have a significantly faster pace. Pace is a tactical device, taken paragraph at a time. There are many ways to speed up or slow down deliver, including fragmentation, tense shift, anapestic and other rhythmic devices. Word use is important, a simplification of language hastens pace, while metaphoric overlay slows things down. A major fault in many novels (even ones by the big names) is a steady delivery through a consistent style throughout the work. This delivers a slow burn over the entire work and tends to disengage readers midstream. If I could cite one style element that can make or break the structure of a book, it is pacing.

Edward C. Patterson

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