Some remarks… on Part 10

Pacing is a crucial element in storytelling. You can’t throw everything at an audience at once. Imagine telling a friend about your entire day. You’d start with when you woke up, gradually leading into breakfast (if you eat breakfast, and by all accounts, you should), then onto work or school, then off to lunch, then the afternoon, then evening, then whatever is beyond that. That’s a ton of information to regurgitate. And you don’t want to bombard the listener with everything you’ve experienced at one time. For one, it’s boring. Two, it’s anti-climatic if you’re trying to keep interest, and three, there’s no sense of relief. You’re smothering the person you’re trying to connect with.

And yes, that’s bad.

I find that with Spirit Run, there’s plenty of instances where I need to address my pacing. If I’m always charging forward with no sign of slowing down, then the reader is properly getting exhausted. As a writer – or a storyteller – telling a tangent thought may feel like a great opportunity to “wow” the reader. But in reality, that “wow” is only exciting to me. The reader/listener has no semblance of what’s going on in my head. If my message is jumbled, then they’ll be jumbled. So I have to give what I have in small chunks. I have to slowly build my case, release small tidbits, and gain momentum until I’m fully able to unveil the climax of a story.

It’s as simple as that. In practice? Not always so easy. Ever been at the brunt of a really long, really exhausting story a friend is telling you? Well, that’s a writer’s worst nightmare as it relates to storytelling. Stories need good pacing or else they become nothing more than poorly crafted run-on sentences; rehashed by the author out of some need to fulfill some storyteller’s buzz. I get that sentiment at times. But as much as I look to my own writing as being therapeutic, I am not in a position to keep my work to myself. Nor do I want to. It’s meant for sharing. And to be shared at a good pace.

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