A Lesson by Brian W. Hastings

How to use pace to achieve an effect.


This is actually something that is hard for a lot of writers to do.  That is to pace a story just right. 

As far as horror goes, Poe is the best to learn from.  His view of pace was simple.  Use smaller sentences with quick syllable words to get you through to the important parts.  Then he would slow the reader down by starting to write huge, heavily descriptive sentences with multi-syllable words.  In essence, Poe treated his prose like poetry and it was damn effective.

Other writers use different tactics for setting pace.  Some use quick descriptive statements to guide the reader through quick parts and then slow it down by using an entire paragraph to describe one scene.  Others will use dialogue only durring the fast parts and then slow it down by jumping to a descriptive third person.

There are many tricks but the rule of thumb is this........
1. quick pace through the not so scary parts
2. slow pace durring the scary parts
3 slow it down right before the climax to build tension
4 let the climax happen fast and hit the reader hard

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Posted 8 Years Ago

I like this, it's quick, to the point and outlines the key ideas. Pacing is so important; especially with something such as horror. =)
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Added on December 18, 2010
Last Updated on December 18, 2010
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Brian W. Hastings
Brian W. Hastings

Cambridge, MD

I am a horror writer and avid devourer of strange reports. I am very much into the paranormal and it inspires me to huge degree. I wouldn't call myself a gay fiction writer, but my main characters..