problemo, so long as you close with the
of disaster. Readers will fill in theblanks and get the same bang for their buck as they would if you included thedisaster full-on.
Variations to the
as a Whole· The entire
is skipped, implied, or summarized.
One of the easiest ways to control pacing is to manipulate the length of
. Emphasis on
speeds things up; emphasis on
slowsthings down. Although
are both integral halves of the Scene,we can sometimes perform a sleight of hand with either of them. In the case of the
, you may sometimes feel your story will be better off for downplayingcertain events. The
may take place entirely off-screen, or it may besummarized briefly at the beginning of your
. This is an importanttechnique but always one to be used with caution. Your
is your story.Avoid too many, and your story will teeter.
is interrupted by a new
Sometimes the introduction of new information or events will stop the currentgoal/
before it plays out and, in its place, begin a
scene dynamic.Your character may begin a
with a specific goal, only to be interrupted bya new catalyst that causes him to abruptly change goals. Maybe he wants toapologize to his wife with a huge bouquet of roses. But when alien lasers takeout the flower stand, his priorities are going to change in an instant. Whenpossible, you’ll eventually want to return to the original goal, just to tie off loose ends, but this might not happen until the end of the story.
· A POV switch interrupts the
If you’re using more than one POV narrator, you may sometimes find it necessaryto switch horses midstream. Because a POV switch is indicated on the page inthe same way as a normal Scene break, we tend to think a new POV alwaysmeans a new Scene. But this isn’t necessarily so. For example, in one Scene inmy historical novel
Behold the Dawn
, I switched POVs smack in the middle of adialogue exchange.Annan swallowed and brushed his hands across the front of his tunic. “That is what he has deceived himself into believing.” He stood, andhe could sense more than see the tension that swept over her. Shewas suddenly like a hare, tensed, ready to run if the hound came butone step nearer. “Lady Mairead.”