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Writing a novel is like riding a bull… And you have no saddle, no strap, or no harness. You’re naked too. And the bull is actually a Boeing 747.

Purposeful Scene Construction

First of all, you’re probably wondering what in the heck we mean by that title. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that it can be broken down. And you’ll be even more pleased to learn that once it is broken down, it’ll be very useful for you and your writing.

So, how exactly can you write slow and fast at the same time?

The answer is simpler than you think.

We’re clearly talking about pacing here, and the truth of this article lies in two different types of pacing. We like to refer to them simply as internal and external. The internal pacing relates to the details – the character thoughts, descriptions, world-building etc., and the external pacing relates to the transitions, speech, and character actions.

The Purpose

We’re going to break down the mixing of these combinations in a simple way that doesn’t make your head want to explode. But before you can understand that, let’s quickly touch on the purpose.

The reason behind writing a scene like the one we’re going to go into is quite simple, but it’s also very useful (for any genre in the novel-crafting game). You can’t go wrong with this method. These scenes crop up across the board, and working this out in regards to your own style is exactly what will help you to level up your writing.

This is going to be incredible for those scenes that need to move fast, but at the same time mustn’t be rushed. You know the ones we mean. You’ll have written them hundreds of times before. And you’ll have read them many times too. You want the scene to move quickly to keep the reader engaged, but you also want to stick around with it for a while so it stays in their mind and isn’t easily forgotten. A murder scene in a crime thriller would be a perfect example. Or the first meeting between the love interests in romance.

Now For The Juicy Part

What you want to think about is this: slow internal pacing; fast external pacing. You want the descriptions to drag a little, to be quirky and full of voice and metaphor. That will help the reader to know that what is happening is important. Then, between those longer descriptions and thoughts, you make the transitions short and snappy, with fast-paced sentences and word choices.

Make sense? Good!

Don’t over-complicate the matter. Just think in simple terms. If you want to slow a piece down, use longer sentences with lots of metaphor and focus more on showing. If you want to speed up between those longer inserts, use shorter sentences and focus more on telling the reader of the transitions.

Mastering the blend of the two is what will take your important scenes and level them up. And leveling up in that sense is what will make your writing ability stand out greatly. That is what you want after all, right?

Trial and Error

As with any article we post here, this is just a general guideline that you can follow and switch up for your genre and writing style. This isn’t a quick-fix solution. This is something to stimulate that writerly mind of yours.

We fully believe in finding your own way to do things. You should be reading these articles and feeling stimulated; they should be giving you ideas on how you can improve your writing. That’s our aim with these, and we certainly hope it comes across.

Think of this as a half-finished blueprint. The foundations have been laid, now all you have to do is build the house.

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