Reply To: Pace of a story

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K.M. Small

@thewirelessblade interesting that you should bring this up, as I was just thinking about it 😉

I think the pacing depends entirely on the genre and the story. Sci-fi will be fast-paced, and high fantasy will generally be slow (from what I’ve read of it). Setting the pace is a lot about action and reaction scenes, and how long those scenes are. If the pacing is quicker, there will probably be a lot of action scenes (K.M. Weiland has a great series on this), less description and quicker characterization, and reaction scenes will probably be a lot briefer. I think fast-paced stories are pretty plot-driven, then. A slower pace will have more build up to the action scenes and greater reaction periods, and could be considered character-driven. I know that I write pretty slow-paced stories, as I love to play around with characterization, and making them go any faster stresses me out 😉

On a scene to scene level, you can set pacing by the length of sentences and how much description and thoughts you have. Reaction scenes will typically have a lot more thoughts and descriptions, and compound and complex sentences to give it a slower feeling. Action scenes will have snappier descriptions and dialogue and a many of the sentences may be simple sentences.

Anyway, that’s my two cents 🙂

~ Khylie
"Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

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