Developing Your Creative Process as a Writer (Instead of Working Against Yourself)
While the writing process naturally falls into different broad stages, each of us will have a slightly different personal process for moving through and between those stages.
If you try to follow someone else’s creative process, you’re going to run into difficulties. You might have to push against your own inclinations – meaning that you’ll be more reluctant to write, or you’ll take longer to complete pieces (even if the process you’re following is supposedly faster or more efficient). You may even end up wanting to give up on writing altogether.
There’s no “right” way to put together a story, novel, article, blog post, essay, memoir, poem, or any other piece of writing. All published writing begins as nothing at all … and how exactly the author gets from the blank page to the finished, polished piece is going to vary wildly depending on the person and their natural creative process.
What is Pacing in Fiction? (And Is Your Pace Too Fast, Too Slow, or Just Right?)
Your friend recommends a thriller to you and tells you it’s “a fantastic page-turner”. Another friend tells you about a sweet romance novel that’s a “gentle, slow burn”. Both your friends are describing something to do with the pace of the stories they’ve enjoyed.
What is Pace in Fiction?
Pace, or pacing, is the reader’s sense of how fast the story is moving. A fast-paced novel keeps us on the edge of our seats, feverishly turning the pages because we’re right there in the action and desperate to find out what happens next. A slow-paced novel can be just as absorbing: we relax into the story world and enjoy the gentle company of the characters, perhaps appreciating the beauty of the writing, too.
Pace isn’t about the timeframe in which a novel takes place. A novel could take place in a single day and still be slow-paced (James Joyce’s Ulysses is a good example). Alternatively, a novel could take place across months or even years, and the pace could still be fast and relentless.
Having a short timeframe can potentially help the author increase the pace of the story, especially if characters are racing to achieve something before a deadline, but it’s definitely not a requirement.
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My contemporary fantasy trilogy is available from Amazon. The books follow on from one another, so read Lycopolis before the others.
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