Friday, March 28, 2008


I'm always curious to see how other people write books. Mainly because mine are always such a damn mess.

When I hit the 3/4 mark, I have to go back and hack apart all the pacing. It's all about timing action scenes and shuffling POV scenes into the right order. Putting in additional POV scenes where necessary, adding foreshadowing elements. I like to do this right before the last quarter because if I'm prepared for it properly, the last quarter flows like a dream. But you have to get the pacing right first, and everybody's plot threads, before you can tie them all up at the end.

Yeah, yeah: details.

And then there's chapter length, varying sentence length (there's a lot of rambling in this one. Cutting commas is going to be one of my biggest projects when I do the first pass of rewrites).

Books are like any other type of writing, on a grander scale. It's putting everything in the right order, in just the right way, to produce just the right emotional effect in your readers. Marketing writing is like like. Technical writing is drier, but you're still trying to take complex concepts and make them comprehensible to the greatest number of people possible.

And you do it in fiction, too. You organize it in a way that gets you the emotional reaction you desire. You want people to connect with your characters. You want them to care. You want to show them a complex but (mostly) comprehensible world.

And you do it all with letters and punctuation.

And pacing.

Fucking pacing.

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