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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Just Pacing, No Racing

Since I last checked in 20 days ago, I did, in fact, finish the novella-in-progress. I'm wrapping up proofing/editing now, and then I'll write the %#$&-ing blurbs, and then I guess it's ready to ship off. Yay.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm not 100% thrilled with the pacing in parts. It is a bit back-heavy, but a lot of that is due to the romance scenes. I know, I know, the obvious answer is "go back and fix it!" I even know exactly where I should add another scene/chapter to help balance it out. (In between Chapters 4 and 5, if anyone's keeping track.) The problem is, I don't know *what* that scene/chapter should be about. And if I'm forcing it, it's probably not going to be my finest writing.

On the other hand, though, I had similar qualms about another chapter I inserted into my original outline to help with pacing. (And, um, hitting the minimum word count.) And that chapter wound up being one of the better ones, and I'm definitely glad I included it. But that might have exhausted my reservoir of logical scenes to include.

So...I don't know. I think I'm going to leave it for now, and then if wiser people tell me to go back and add something else, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I guess this could go either way - either my instincts are right, or I'm totally overthinking this. One day I'll have all the answers, right? (haha no.)

Monday, February 5, 2018

Racing and Pacing

I've finally arrived at the final chapter of my novella-in-progress (okay, there's going to be a little epilogue, too), and as always, I'm sprinting toward the finish line. I don't know what it is about endings that gets me to write faster. Maybe it's because since I write in order, I've been thinking about the ending for so long, it's planned out spectacularly well in my head. Maybe I just want the accomplishment of getting the damn thing done.

Either way, as I ponder this, I sometimes worry that this phenomenon affects my pacing. I ran into this issue a bit with Seductive Suspect - so much happened at the end of the book, I had to go back and balance out the beginning a bit. (And then that all got chopped up in editing anyway, but I digress.) Same thing here - word count-wise, these last two chapters are taking up, like, a third of the book. I'm going to have to go back and expand on those earlier chapters, I think, but for now, I just want to get to the end before I start working on the smaller details.

Then again, as I ponder this even more, I wonder if this issue crops up often due to the structure of romance stories. It depends on the structure of the story, of course, but there is a certain...format? template? that focuses on the journey of the characters getting together, and then explicitly stating what happens when they finally accomplish that. Or, as I sometimes joke around about, there's the climax, and then there's the climax. ;)

I've done it both ways, either saving the big bedroom scene for the end, or peppering them in throughout. For me, it seems like shorter stories are more likely to have just one explicit scene in them. Obviously, those scenes require words, but since it's expected in my genre, does that *really* count toward the overall balance of a work?

I think I've been navel-gazing for too long, instead of just writing the damn story and figuring out the more minor things later on. Also, I should turn off the word count display to avoid more crazymaking, but that's a different story for a different day.