Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Wicked Wednesday - the fast-paced novel
Many paranormal romances are fast-paced novels. They keep hitting you with one thing after another, keeping the reader on a supernatural thrill ride. A fast pace heightens suspense, mystery, and romantic tension. Your story must pose questions. Some are answered lightning fast and bring up new questions while others are answered more slowly to draw out the intrigue. You must always have the reader wondering and wanting more.
As I've mentioned before on Wicked Wednesday, emotion is key to a good paranormal romance. Not only do you need plot questions to propel it forward, you need character questions. You need characters your readers can relate to, but also ones that are different enough to make your readers think. Plot drives the external pace while characters push the internal pace. The trick is to combine the two in a leapfrogging pattern: plot question leads to character question, plot answer leads to character answer bringing up more questions.
Here are a few tips to pick up the pace of your novel:
- Use shorter sentences and paragraphs.
- Incorporate more action.
- Create more conflict.
- Give your characters various goals and motivations.
- Cut back on internal dialogue and backstory.
- Eliminate scenes that don't advance the plot.
Yet always remember a good novel needs fast and slow scenes. Ups and downs. Too much action can diminish a reader's emotional experience. You don't want to exhaust your reader by going too fast. Pacing may seem like a simple thing, but if you can master it, it's a powerful tool.
There's only one more day to enter to win Cherie Reich's giveaway. Just leave a comment on Thursday's guest post. Cherie talks about running a book blog tour and offers some great advice.