Pace of a story

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Pace of a story

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    Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)


    So recently, one of my “friends” (internet) told me that one of my stories I’m still working on right now seemed to be moving along to fast.

    So that got me thinking. “How does one write a story at a good pace. More importantly, what is a good pace for a story?”

    I know what a fast paced story looks like. The Lego Ninjago Movie (Any Ninjago fans out there?) was a fast paced movie. Seemed a bit too fast to me.

    Any questions, comments, remarks or tacos?

    (P.S. The story I’m talking about is a fan fiction posted on Scratch.mit.edu. I’m easy to find.)

    *Forum Signature here*

    Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)

    Ugh.. now i’m going to get a million notifications from this.. -_-


    No comment.. i’m trying to finish editing my story for the short story contest, and i have to much stuff to do to get in a debate, or discussion with this many people.

    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

    Josiah DeGraaf

    Hey @thewirelessblade,

    Great question! Just so you know, though, we do have a max tagging limit of 12 people per post unless you have moderator permission. 🙂 https://storyembers.org/forums/topic/forum-guidelines/

    To answer your original question, if your story is moving too fast, you probably don’t have enough Sequels for the number of Scenes you have. K.M. Weiland has a helpful post outlining the difference between these two types of scenes here: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/structuring-your-storys-scenes-pt-1/ and you can read her entire series on this subject here: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/how-to-structure-scenes/ The terminology is confusing since ‘scene’ and ‘sequel’ are often used to mean something else, but I think looking at your use of these two types of scenes in your story will help you clarify your pacing.

    Lit fanatic. Eclectic reader. Theology nerd. Writing fantasy at https://josiahdegraaf.com

    F.C. Tait

    @thewirelessblade sometimes if my story moves along too fast it’s actually a show vs. tell problem. If I’m more interested in the action scenes than what’s happening in between, I have a bad habit of summarising characterisation and scene-setting so I can get to the interesting parts more quickly. It actually just makes the story confusing and disjointed.

    I don’t know if this is the problem you’re having, but it might help.

    Parker Hankins

    Adding more description will definitely slow down the scene.

    Living in a world of mystery and dangerous predicaments while working with the AWESOME Meraki's.

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