Previously, I talked about pacing according to narrative arc–the whole story. Today, we are going to talk about scene-level pacing.
Pacing really happens at three levels:
– in the overall story (the narrative arc)
– in the scenes
– in the lines (passages and paragraphs)
We often think that the way to control pacing is to add or subtract words (probably because many of us were told that). But that’s only a partial truth. Word count contributes to pacing, but it’s not the sum of pacing.
Word count –(influences)–> Pacing
Word count = Pacing
Just like with the overall narrative arc, many problems that come up with pacing at the scene level actually stem from underlying structural issues.