One of the things many new writers overlook is pace. Pace, the speed at which a story or article moves, energizes the writing. It creates a rhythm that readers remember. Instead of a blend of sentences strung across the page, the storyy transcends the structure and becomes lyrical.
If it moves too fast, it weakens the drama and leaves the reader unfulfilled. Too slow and the story lurches, leaving the reader uninterested and unmoved. This is what you need to do:
Read it aloud slowly. Each work is a balance of facts, scenes and actions. The way you present the information alters the pacing. Vary the length of sentences, use some repetition and keep focused. Use a hook in the lead, and provide some background. Then release pieces of new material that enhance the story as you go forward.
Provide action. Even the smallest ones add intensity and movement to your story. Get your characters moving, encountering obstacles, making choices.
Dump the garbage. Get rid of the prepositions, adverbs, chunks of prose that don’t add to the story. Choose strong words that can stand on their own.
Sometimes repeat yourself. Think of President Kennedy’s speech in 1961: “Ask not what the country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” That speech relies on repetition and parallel structure to deliver drama, reinforce ideas and create momentum.
Count the details. A few can enliven the writing; too many take the reader away from the main focus. You can use objects for catalysts for action – it may be nice to have a vase on a shelf, but it is even better for a character to hide something in it; hit someone with it or even steal it because maybe it reminds him of his mother. If it doesn’t move the story forward, or reveal something new about the character, don’t introduce it at all. When you create action around objects, you have more material to work with as a writer, and the reader gets a well-paced dramatic story.
I do appreciate the comments you have been sending me. One – from my grandson David Lavi – now a talented and successful singer, musician and composer in Israel, was that it would add interest to the Blog if now and again I include a poem of mine or a short piece of writing.
This poem “Nearing the End” was used by a character in my novel “Esther” – a Jerusalem Love Story, at the end of a relationship:
The sadness in your heart and mind
Equals the sadness left behind.
I, sad for the selfish reason
That I lose
Your strong companionship,
And cannot choose
From all the others who will stay
One I would have
Replace you for a day.
You, sad for the simple reason,
That in your place of future –
Far, so far,
You will be searching too …
For something lost
That holds familiar warmth –
Or something new.
Let me know of any writing advice you would like me to cover. I do enjoy your comments.