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By: Chelsie Olson
Definitions: Pacing is the rhythm of the novel, of the chapters and scenes and paragraphs and sentences. It is also rate at which the reader reads, the speed at which novel events occur and unfold Or it is defined as, In the great novel the plot is compelling, the characters are vivid and memorable, and I‟m filled with a sense of being in a different place and time because the setting is brought to life. That‟s pacing.
Your pacing should have an ability to create a picture of what is going on. You want to give to your readers a sense of things going on with your characters while using pacing.
When you are writing a story. Make sure that you have at least a basic idea of what it is first. You do not want your story to be dubbed as a “Bathtub Story” ◦ “Bathtub Story” is defined by Professor Crowley as: “A man/woman walking into the bathroom. They go sit in a bathtub; looking up at the ceiling. Thinking about their life”
One thing that could possibly help you, using different color of highlighters while reading a story it will help: ◦Characterization setting: Pink ◦Plotting devices: Blue ◦Setting Contributions: Yellow
“I‟d been working in the emergency room for about three weeks, I guess. This was in 1973, before the summer ended. With nothing to do on the overnight shifts, I just started wandering around, over to the coronary-care unit, down to the cafeteria, et cetera, looking around for Georgie, the orderly, a pretty good friend of mine.”This is a good example of pacing because Johnsonis giving us a general idea of what is taking place.For me it gives me an idea of how much speed it isgoing to be during the night shift at the hospital.Some hospitals are not exactly that busy duringthe night. I have been in a hospital, so I was able topicture this easily and understand where thecharacter was coming from.
“Around 3:30 A.M. A guy with a knife in his eye came in, led by Gerogie. „I hope you didn‟t do that to him,‟ Nurse said. „Me?‟ Gerogie said. „No. He was like this.‟ „My wife did it,” the man said. The blade was buried to the hilt in the outside corner of his left eye. IT was a hunting knife kind of thing.To me this could be considered not a very goodrepresentation of pacing due to all the conversation thatis taking place while reading the actions taking place. Itwas showing too much detail and not a lot of thingsgoing on. It feels not exactly what I would want to bereading considering a guy has an object in him. Inreality this would have been less talking more action.
“Georgie and I had a terrific time driving around. For a while the day was clear and peaceful. It was one of the moments you stay in, to hell with all the troubles of before and after. The sky is blue, and the dead are coming back.” This is an interesting piece that shows pacing. The author shows us, the readers, a very good sense of what you might see during a drive. I feel like I am sitting in with the characters during their drive around.
Hinze, Vicki. Pacing. 2003. 17 March 2013. Carr, Robyn. Practical Tips for Writing Popular Ficiton. Ohio: Writers Digest Books, 1992. Book.