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Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.
“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.
Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.
In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.
Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Pacing and Timing
Timing also changes with a writer’s choice of POV. I often write in third person because I want to show simultaneous events, which I can do by heading a new chapter with a different character’s voice. When the characters finally do meet up in time and space, the reader knows how each of them got to that point in the plot. The characters’ separate fractions add up to a whole, which I think is realistic, given that individuals focus on one aspect, following their own logic and interest. First person POV limits time to that of the main character.
In mystery, the reader anticipates that justice will prevail while watching or reading. That feeling of anticipation, produced by the writer, is what defines pacing. The main character’s (s’) interaction in the plot and its culmination defines timing—in many TV shows and books that karmic split-second timing. HEA or JP is a great way to finish. But like a TV show or in a book series, the formula becomes anticlimactic. For a writer, this is a double-edged sword. We want our readers to believe in our hero and champion our protagonist. But isn’t it all so predictable and boring to write the same ending repetitively?
I suspect that although anticlimactic, this is one aspect of books or TV shows that audiences like, and is probably the reason that romance and mystery are popular. Those HEA and JP endings reassure those whose lives are less than predictable. And really, doesn’t that include everyone? They’re what readers want, and what a writer needs to give to them for marketability. So how does a writer pace a novel with mounting tension and create a HEA or JP endings without writing a formula novel?
Marilyn Alt’s main character Maggie, in her Bewitching Series, breaks her ankle. The broken ankle has become a plot device she uses, so far, in two books, lengthening her pace, as we hobble along. What does it accomplish? Rather than rely on her body, Maggie develops more of her witchy powers, forces her to rely on a newly formed love relationship, and depends on friendships pulling secondary characters into the plot. Maggie also finds that although she thought her timing was horrible, it’s not. Alt brings the idea of timing full circle.
In Snow Falling on Cedars, David Guterson uses snow as a character, which paces the book like silent and steadily falling snow, masking truth as it covers the ground. While the main character remembers and reveals the truth, the snow melts. “Real” elements of geographic coordinates, winds and tides become the “timing,” upon which the main character solves the murder. The author’s literal use of timing becomes figurative.
My book, TOASTING FEAR, relies on split-second timing at the end. But I won’t reveal why this timing will dismay my characters, even when they do solve the murder. Sometimes great timing isn’t all it’s cracked-up to be.
How have you paced your books? Does timing play a factor in how you structure your novel? Have you chosen your POV utilizing what each has to offer in the pace and timing of your plot? Do you use devices to change pace?