Desperately need help with pacing.

#1
Hello there forums,

Potato speaking. I'll give you a quick rundown about myself, before presenting my problem.

I'm a brand new non-native English speaking author, who just started writing since last week. I've never done any writting before (excluding essays for school and uni), and thus am completely new to the literature scene. The work in question that I've been writing is called: Demonic Intervention (Cover art is a depressed red imp)

Last night I posted my chapter (Friday, 24th March) in a hurry. Telling myself that I would proofread it and edit the lore snippet at the top tomorrow. I was quite giddy when I got out of bed this morning. I felt I did a good job on the chapter, the way I was reading it in my word documents the days before.

The problem came when I actually read said chapter on RR this morning. It just felt off, it felt like I was reading the chapter at a breakneck speed. Never taking the time to actually enjoy what was written, something I didn't suffer from  when I was writing it. 

Maybe it's the different format that RoyalRoad uses, where it skips an entire line when introducing a paragraph, example:
''Hello, how you doing"
''I'm good, thanks for asking''
''Well that's good to hear''

becomes

''Hello, how you doing"

''I'm good, thanks for asking''

''Well that's good to hear''

Or maybe it's all in my head, and I'm just blazing through the chapter since I've reread and reedited paragraphs multiple times.

Suffice to say, if there are any authors willing to suffer through 2 chapters and a prologue (problem is with chapter 2), I would be very gratefull for any and all advice you can give on the pacing of my work. Or maybe confirm that this is something author's tend to suffer from, reading their own work at an unsatisfyingly fast speed.

RE: Desperately need help with pacing.

#2
Most of this is an author problem. Your own intimacy with your writing creates a forced change of perception. Do you know how sometimes you use or say a word often enough that it becomes weird for you for a time? You think it's wrong, and even if you look it up to find it's right you still feel it's off. That's the same with reading your own work. The more you do it, the less likely you'll be able to properly gauge whether what you've written is any good. In times like those, it's best to simply let it be and come back to it in a few days or weeks. So keep writing. And then come back to it later and decide then whether you want to change/improve it.

But the problem that you -do- have is that your sentences drag on. You use commas too much. You need more full stops to bring pauses for the reader so that they can digest the information at a good pace and flow through the story. Try reading your work aloud. If any sentence is too difficult/long, fix it or change it. Reading aloud and reading inside of your head works the same, with 'breaths' being required to continue moving forward. I'm not sure whether it's a subconscious thing, but we need it.

Overall though, it isn't too bad. I've only read through a few paragraphs here and there, but for a non-native English speaker you've done really well. So congratulations. And keep it up :)

RE: Desperately need help with pacing.

#3
03/26/2017 04:45:45AndrewJVarela Wrote: [ -> ]Most of this is an author problem. Your own intimacy with your writing creates a forced change of perception. Do you know how sometimes you use or say a word often enough that it becomes weird for you for a time? You think it's wrong, and even if you look it up to find it's right you still feel it's off. That's the same with reading your own work. The more you do it, the less likely you'll be able to properly gauge whether what you've written is any good. In times like those, it's best to simply let it be and come back to it in a few days or weeks. So keep writing. And then come back to it later and decide then whether you want to change/improve it.

But the problem that you -do- have is that your sentences drag on. You use commas too much. You need more full stops to bring pauses for the reader so that they can digest the information at a good pace and flow through the story. Try reading your work aloud. If any sentence is too difficult/long, fix it or change it. Reading aloud and reading inside of your head works the same, with 'breaths' being required to continue moving forward. I'm not sure whether it's a subconscious thing, but we need it.

Overall though, it isn't too bad. I've only read through a few paragraphs here and there, but for a non-native English speaker you've done really well. So congratulations. And keep it up :)


Thanks for the reply AndrewVarela,

What you said seems to make a lot of sense. Now that I think about it, it's like hearing the same catchy song the whole freaking summoner on the radio. The first few days it's nice to listen to, but that spark of enthusiasm tends to diminish the more often I hear the same song. It's sometimes so often repeated, that it starts to annoy me ^^

About the comma thing, your absolutely right. I need to put in more pauses, the comma thing is blatant lazy writing from my part. Since the story is in past tense (which I try to stick to as much as I can), I need to start a new sentence with some past tense verb. After which I usually try to stretch the sentence as long as I can, by the use of commas, so I can keep using present continues to keep the action flowing. But mostly so that I don't need to come up with a creative way to start a new sentence, which in turn should start in past tense. It probably has to do with that doing things too much that they begin to sound weird thing, you talked about. Since I tends to feel ''weird'' to me when I use the past tense many times in succession, even though I never notice it when I read other people's work.

Again, thank you very much for taking the time to help me. Reading this has motivated me to pick up my slack again. (I felt quite bummed out yesterday, didn't get more than a few lines on paper Sad )

P.S. Anyone else wishing to reply, feel free to do so. In fact, I encourage you to do so! It would be near impossible for me to improve myself, if no one pointed out the mistakes in my work. Just make sure you leave me some constructive criticism to work with Wink