Create powerful opposition that deepens the conflict.
Set up a compelling situation or duty that binds the character to his struggle.
Establish one problem that can be solved in two ways and force a decision.
Stay in one POV throughout a scene and make sure it’s the person with the most at stake.
Balance action, dialogue, introspection, and narration throughout the novel.
Resolve one conflict with a new one already established.
Dialogue moves a story along. Write to allow white space on the page.
Avoid long, involved paragraphs. Use short paragraphs and sentences of varying lengths.
The shorter the sentence the more excitement grows.
Don’t over-describe the action. Clip it and focus only on the most important actions
Tension arouses emotion so focus on the conflicts and slow up on the setup.
Techniques to Slow Pacing
Rather than cutting other less important elements, they just barrel along and the ending can leave readers feeling unsatisfied. They want to savor the romance or the criminal’s capture or enjoy the resolution of family issues. So why and how do you slow down pacing?
For example, in the scenario above, the mother of the child freezes in times. She turns icy, her heart explodes, her adrenalin kicks in, and she races forward, her arms flailing, and she screams. Emotion must work this way. Picture this as a movie, each frame capturing a moment in time.
In romance or women’s fiction, it’s a time when one character ponders the relationship and makes decisions what he’ll do next. Even Shakespeare knew that high drama can only be sustained for a time and then needs a release. His tragedies always provided an occasional comic scene to allow the audience to recover from the weight of the tension that had followed.
Use the frame by frame feeling in presenting the scene.
Use longer sentence with more descriptors.
Add sensory details.
Use introspection techniques, back-flashes or flashbacks. (Know how to use these well.)
Use more narrative in shorter paragraphs and less dialogue.
Groom in Training