Monday, June 30, 2014

An Interesting Side-Effect of Serial Writing

A while ago, I handed the Wyrdsmiths the first twenty or so pages of my work-in-progress, the sequel to Precinct 13 that I've been posting serially to WattPad.  Since my ultimate plan is to have a publishable e-book at the end of this, I really wanted my writers' group's professional feedback, particularly since I wouldn't have the benefit of an editorial letter to direct my revisions.

Last Thursday, we sat down to critique it.

I wasn't exactly surprised by what they had to say about it.  Much of what they said was, in fact, encouragingly positive, but almost every single person who was there had one strong, universal piece of advice: slow down.  

They're right, of course.  The pacing of a novel is not the same as the pacing for a serialized work. 

With each one of my short posts for WattPad I'm striving to have a kind of cliffhanger at the end.  I want my readers to be anxious to read the next one.  Given that these are very short (often no more than 1,500 words), they're intended as a kind of teasing quickie.  But, you can see how that might read as jarring and odd in a novel format (though I hadn't really until the Wyrdsmiths pointed it out to me.)

So today, in preparation of writing the next section, I've been re-reading my handout and finding places to slow the action and fill in more of the details.  And, of course, for Eleanor Arnason, I'm also looking for the places I can really highlight the local flavor of Pierre, South Dakota (also excellent advice, since one of the many reasons people read is to be transported to another place.  You can't give that to a reader, if you don't put in the sights, smells and sounds!  We actually had a discussion about how Pierre smells....)

At any rate, this was an interesting side-effect of serial writing that I hadn't considered.  Pacing.

No comments: