Expositional Pacing (Story Engineering and Physics #9 of 12)

Part of a series of posts on story engineering based on the book of that title and its companion volume Story Physics.

Story Engineering & Story PhysicsI love a book or movie that starts slowly and builds. Though sometimes, I like a move that starts with a bang and then turns into a whirlwind on a freight train.

That’s pacing.

Books that start slow and stay slow are fine for intellectual improvement. If we’re writing to entertain, we need to be more aware of the speed of our story.

During the first 25%, the Setup, the pace is often slower, because we’re introducing our characters, setting the stage for the hero so when we get to the First Plot Point we’re invested and engaged; we care about the stakes.

During the Response and Attack, those two middle quarters, pacing rises and falls as we create tension through action, then create tension through inaction, thought, exposition, etc.

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