Writers Tricks of the Trade VOLUME 8, ISSUE 4 - Page 8

FLOW IS KEY F RED R AYWORTH What makes the action in a book work. There are many misconcep- tions, and that’s why I wanted to take a look at the concept of flow—one of the things that makes you want to keep turning pages. I n various forms, I’ve talked about this before. Story flow. I read a lot. Okay, I’ve also talked about that a lot. At Disneyland, the most inspiring place in the world, a lot of things popped into my head, including the seeds for this article. That spark of an idea came to roost when I’d finished the book I was reading during that trip and started the one which had 152 short chapters. That made this thought come full circle back to what I’d read while stuck in the hospital. Story flow. It can make or break your story. First off, I’m not going to condemn every style I don’t like personally, but then again, I am going to explain why I think they’re a detriment to an easy and enjoyable read. Being a writer is one thing. However, before we were writers, we were readers, true? I certainly hope we still are, because that’s the whole reason for taking up this passion, to make something readable ei- ther for ourselves, or eventually for other people. Why torture your readers? HERKY-JERKY W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE T RADE Digging up examples of past books I’ve read, there was the example of a recent science fiction novel I read. The style was herky-jerky, frenetic pacing. The author wrote in random thoughts, expected the reader to have read the previous two books, and buried the action, which was admittedly relentless, within that jumbled mess. In a way, the pacing was steady, but the writing distracted from that. I’ve read other novels where they would start slow, pick up at a frantic pace, slow down, have a burst of action, then nothing for a very long time. Finally, they’d end with a small burst of action. The chapters were very long, like thirty pages or more, with no scenes. To me, that’s as herky jerky as the sci- fi writer with the relentless pace. SNAILS-PACE This is getting more into the literate way of things. The pacing is almost non- existent as the author spends all their re- al-estate developing the characters. Plot is a side issue. The chapters are long, the paragraphs are very long and the narra- tive tends to be rambling. This is a word lover’s dream. During a period of time when I was stuck in the hospital, I read a murder- serial killer story that moved at a snail’s- P AGE 3 W INTER 2019