Pace Your Story for Maximum Reader Engagement (Seven Tips to Keep the Pages Turning)

Have you ever received a rejection letter where an editor or agent said there are problems with pacing in your story? Pacing problems can be hard to analyze and fix. The whole concept seems much more abstract than, say, characterization or plot.

So what, exactly, is pacing?

Pacing is the rhythm of a novel and the speed at which the events unfold. It’s what propels the story forward and pulls the reader through each new scene. If the pace is too fast, characters seem shallow and the story lacks depth. The reader doesn’t connect on an emotional level, which leaves her feeling unsatisfied. If the pace is too slow, the story drags and the reader becomes bored.

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