Monday, April 19, 2010

Plot and Pacing

My mind is full. I've been struggling with pacing my novel -- either I race through everything or linger over details that only I care about -- and however it has happened, at the conference, several of the presenters touched on exactly that. Plot, pacing and suspense. Yeah!


In my quest to be efficient (after all, I write short stories) I have managed to write about the various plot threads running in my current novel all in the first chapter. But EN spoke about the importance of having a slower revelation. After his critique, listening to Jay Asher talk about how to build suspense made a lot of sense and I'm eager to apply this in the last third of my book. The basic idea is to ramp up the tension on one plot thread as you're resolving another. That's what keeps the people turning the pages. Of course, the middle can get very tangled, as is the case with my manuscript.


Laini Taylor has generously posted her talk on plotting here. And she has a wonderful site for her writing process (titled Not for Robots). I've found it very helpful. So check them out. Also, a while back there was a discussion on plotting here and here on the Blueboards. All good stuff. Lois Peterson even made a three-in-one plot diagram that shows how three different methods dovetail. Edited to add the link.

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5 comments:

Marcia said...

Isn't it amazing that the more you learn, the more you need to learn, and the more there is to learn? Writers must be the original lifelong learners.

Hema P. said...

Writing is a slippery slope, isn't it? The faster you try to reach the top, the faster you lose ground, too. Thanks for all the great links. I'll definitely check them out!

Vijaya said...

Marcia and Hema, you are both so right, and perhaps this is why I love writing so much because it keeps my brain sharp. I'm always learning.

Marcia said...

Oh dear, if writing keeps my brain sharp, do I lose my excuse for playing online word/math games? :D

Vijaya said...

Nope! They complement your writing :) But only in moderation.