Picking Up The Pace


I had a great night last night, as far as writing epiphanies go.

Twitter friend Elena Aitken, @elenaaitken, sent me a message, asking if I’d be interested in critiquing for her again and I, of course, said yes.

So…around 7:30 last night I downloaded her WIP and began reading.

And couldn’t stop.

If you’d been sitting in my home with me, you’d have thought I’d had about twenty cups of coffee, but that was not the case.  The story had such a wonderful clipped pace with constant ups and downs that I felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride…pure adrenaline….and it’s a love story!

There wasn’t action as in Sylvester Stallone action, but there was action, as in hold on to your seat because you never know what curves life is going to throw at these characters action.

It was exhilarating.

A) I loved the characters..(wanted to EAT one of them)
B) I loved the scenario
C) I said OMG about 100 times
D) I laughed, cried, gasped, gritted my teeth, had boggled eyes, felt heat flush to my cheeks several times as I swooned and even wanted to throw my laptop out the window a few times…

So what epiphany did this cause?

Well….I’m a wierd creature in that I like seeing my weaknesses when it comes to writing.

It will make me a better writer to see in what areas I lack…because I can fix it.

And last night…I saw one BIG, ENORMOUS, LACKING AREA.

Elana’s story moved…fast.  Like a 747 coming at you.  Every scene had the same quick pace, the same constant action and surprise and, as a reader, I loved it.

My own writing?  Not so much surprise.

Now…I know I’ve read it 1000 times so I’m numb to it, but I’m pretty sure I can do better…give the reader a little more shock value than originally planned and pick up the pace.

I want readers to gasp…I want them to cry…I want them to sit and pray, like I did last night, that things work out the way they want.

Basically…I want to evoke emotion…lots of it…and it’s going to take more than just a sweet little story to do that.

THEREFORE: This week, the outlining begins…or at least the brainstorming. 

What more can I do to make each situation a little more difficult or jaw dropping?

Nancy Kelley @Nancy_Kelley (who I love) left me a message on yesterday’s post and said that she basically thinks of every possible scenario that could happen to her characters.  

This is important, and I feel that because I didn’t do this ahead of time through outlining or some other method, the story isn’t all it could be.  It’s boring…a little predictable…and needs an injection of shock and awe.

So today I begin the process of questioning my novel.  I begin looking for any little crevice I can niggle some mayhem in to.  My poor characters may not know what hit them.

I’m going to take my lazy little carousel ride and turn it into one hellacious rollercoaster…

What about you?  Do you enjoy reading books like this?  What do you do to add shock value when you write?

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