Pacing, With Kim McDougall

Variety Makes the Pages Turn Faster

The first WCYR workshop of 2020 had us diving into pacing, with the amazing Kim McDougall. Having attended Kim’s workshops in the past, I knew this was going to be helpful and informative. One of the first aspects of pacing Kim discussed was intention. As a writer, we make choices to create a mood or feeling in our reader. A great example of intention in pacing is the Gary Provost meme: “This Sentence Has Five Words.” It is a visual and cognitive example of pacing, clearly showing what pacing can do to a paragraph. Reading it aloud, especially, we can hear the difference.

As Provost shows, readers need variety and time to rest. Pacing doesn’t just happen. Writers create it. Short and medium sentences, followed by a long one, keeps the scene moving, the reader listening, and evokes intentional feelings. If you want something to drag, you must do so with intent. “Telling” transitions are another intention. Sometimes you just have to say that your character drove from point A to point B, without detailing every little thing. Get to the next important scene.

Make sure to check out Kim’s blog, where she provides a list of “junk words.” Take them out of your writing and pick up the pace! Make the reader feel immersed in the story. Writing is much more than grammar or pretty sentences. Writing is about creating a story that connects with the reader. Study page-turners. Where do the chapters end? What do the sentences look like? Create a pace that works best for your story. Get up and go!

Special thanks to Lauft in the Upper Canada Mall for donating the space.

Reminder: Workshop proposal submissions are open for next year. Everyone has something to share!

Upcoming Events:

Write Better Faster with Maaja Wentz – March 26, 7:00pm to 9:00pm, Lauft, Upper Canada Mall. Free for members only!

Annual General Meeting & Agent Q&A – April 5, 1:30pm to 4:30pm, Aurora Public Library

Querying about Queries: How to catch an agent/editor’s eye and plan for success with MJ Moores – April 23, 7:00pm to 9:00pm, Lauft, Upper Canada Mall

Written by

When Loni isn't reading other people's words or running around after her two young children, she spends time writing stories of her own. She finds inspiration in the little things, but also in momentous events. Loni currently resides in York Region. Twitter: @LoniStorm Instagram: loni_storm Facebook: @LoniCameronWriter

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