Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Short #Writing: Tips for Pacing and Structure - Part 4

In SHORT WRITING, word choice is key for specificity...
But STRUCTURE is key for readability.
If all the words sounds or meanings are the same or too similar, the reading gets boring. The emphasis is the same for every word and/or sentence. If the sentence structure is the same throughout what you get is flat, boring, or dull.
I'm ready to snooze. ZZZZ How about you? The monotone puts us to sleep or we can't stay focused on the subject.
BAM! Wake up! Use impact words. Shorten your sentences. Place emphasis where the reader won't expect it. Use different words and sentence arrangement to change the reader's mood. 

What about humor? 

It is often created by surprise. Something changes in the scene, or is unexpectedly different. This may catch the reader off guard and surprise can create humor. Humor can be merely something the reader wasn't expecting. 

What about Structure? How you structure your sentence increases or decreases the emphasis on the words you choose.

When we write short, creating good pacing is important. You have a minimal number of words to create that special mood. Don't waste any words making it happen.

What do you want the readers to remember about your book if the house burns down before they finish the story? What will make them want to finish reading where they left off before their world flipped upside down?

Vary your sentence structure. Make it interesting. 

Hooks. Emphasis should end on the short sentence.


BALANCE is even more important in Short writing.


Use dialogue effectively to write SHORT. Dialogue tags can be replaced with SHORT, descriptive narrative that tells something IMPORTANT about the character, location, or scene. Even that should express necessary information with impact.

Narrative slows pacing. Show don't tell.
  • Inconsequential details slow the pace
  • Confuse the reader
  • Take away from the important information.

This is where reader skimming begins. The reader's eyes glaze over until an interesting word or phrase jumps off the page and grabs them back into the story.

Beware! If it happens too often, the reader may not return. And since we're talking about writing short, you don't have the word count to waste.

  •  Use short paragraphs.
  •  Include white space.
  •  Apply sharp, crisp verbs and sentences with punch.
  •  Think advertising.
  •  Think fragments.

This All Affects Pace…and Pace Creates Mood
  • Vary your word choices for impact and rhythm.
  • Every word, every sentence, should have a reason for being.
  • Not every word will carry as much weight as another.
  • Not every sentence should have the same power as every other.
  • Pacing keeps the reader reading.
  • Word choices and word count determine pacing.
  • Pacing impacts mood.
  • Mood is what the reader wants. Then change it to keep them interested.
Choose your words wisely. Vary sentence structure. Mood makes the writing interesting. Change it up. 

copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved Maureen Sevilla
I will be presenting a two hour workshop while joining a host of other speakers at the LVWC next month. here is the information if you plan to be in the area.

The Henderson Writers’ Group

April 28 – 30, 2016

Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall
Las Vegas, Nevada

Throughout the weekend, you will be able to meet and socialize with our faculty, pitch to agents and publishers, and learn from experts in fields connected to writing and publishing. The faculty is now complete; the Keynote Address will be given by “story fixer” Larry Brooks at the final banquet on Saturday – a treat you won’t want to miss.

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