Pace

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Today, I’m going to talk about pace.

Pace is important when writing because it will determine whether the person reading your book continues to read it or puts it down. The storyline will determine how quickly or slowly the writer takes a reader through a story. For example, fiction generally has a faster pace compared to non-fiction.

Pace relies on mood and emotion which can be found in setting, dialogue, and action.

Action and cliff hangers will quicken the pace and make the reader want to keep turning the pages to see what happens next. Using short transitions in between scenes works in tandem with the action sequences to get the story moving. If big plot points happen one right after the other, the pace of the short story or novel will feel like the storyline is moving along faster.

Slowing It Down

When passages contain a lot of detail, for example, slowly establishing scenes and using longer sentences the pace will be slower than other parts of the story. Also, writing longer chapters or switching the narrative’s focus to another subplot conveys a passage of time. These elements are used to build suspense or allow the reader to catch his breath between action sequences.

Striking a Balance

The most interesting stories contain sequences that move at different speeds to keep the reader engaged. I find subplots help me do this. In The DaVinci Code, the author used chapters with dialogue about the relics the characters where seeking. After that, he used fast-paced action sequences. The chapters with a more leisurely pace kept the tension high and the story moving so the reader doesn’t become bored and want to put the book down. This is not an easy technique and takes a lot of practice.

Happy writing. Until next time, I hope that this blogpost helps.

Submission Letter

Document, Agreement, Documents, Sign

Today, I thought I would share the letter I use to send to literary agents and publishers when they don’t have a program for me to fill in my details. I send this letter in the body of an email because many literary agents and publishers are no longer asking for anything to be sent to them in the mail.

The first thing to do is look at their requirements and always adhere to them. The body of the letter should be 300 words.

To: [insert the publishers/literary agents email address]

Subject: [some publishers/literary agents have strict guidelines as to what to put in the subject line so make sure you do what is required.] Otherwise, I would put: [Query/publisher or agent’s name you are querying/name of your novel/your name]

[your address]

The Editor [or person’s name if you know it]

[Company name]

Via Email: [insert email address]

Dear Sir/Madam [or the person’s name]

I am currently seeking [traditional publication/representation of a literary agent for my novel], [insert title]. Given your interest in this genre, I thought that my novel might be a good fit for your list.

Complete at [insert number] words, [insert title] tells the story of [insert a brief sentence or two about your book, not a paragraph]. [N.B. Sometimes they may ask for three books that are similar to yours so that information would go in here.]

[Now tell them a bit about yourself. Have you won any awards, self-published or been published in any magazines, literary journals, or anthologies? Are you on social media, do you blog or have an author website? If so let them know.]

I have attached [my manuscript/the first 5 pages/chapter – i.e., whatever they have asked for.] I believe in the story I have written, and I hope that you do too.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

[type your name and if you have a pen name write it underneath your name.]

Encl.

I hope the above information helps. If it does, please let me know. It’s the best feeling when someone replies with an agreement for you to look at and sign because they like what you’ve written. My debut novel, The Complexities of Love is coming out in the second half of 2021.  You can check out my author page here: https://www.5310publishing.com/quigley.

Adverbs

Rock, Cliff, High, Tableau, Mountain

As many of you will know, it takes a long time to write a book. Words are precious gems that I don’t like deleting, but there are some words that must be left out. Those words are adverbs.

What is an adverb?

An adverb is a part of speech that modifies a word or phrase or qualifies a verb, adjective,  or an adverb in relation to time, circumstance, manner and place.

For example, if you look at the picture above you could say: Samantha bravely stood at the edge of cliff and did a yoga pose. The adverb used in this sentence is ‘bravely’. It modifies the word ‘brave’ and qualifies its meaning. Brave meaning to face danger, showing courage. Whereas bravely means showing a willingness to face and endure danger or pain courageously.

List of Adverbs

Below is a list of adverbs I thought you might find useful when you’re writing. See if you can think of any that I’ve left off my list.

  • Abnormally
  • Abruptly
  • Absently
  • Accidentally
  • Accusingly
  • Actually
  • Adventurously
  • Adversely
  • Afterwards
  • Almost
  • Always
  • Amazingly
  • Angrily
  • Anxiously
  • Arrogantly
  • Awkwardly
  • Badly
  • Bashfully
  • Beautifully
  • Bitterly
  • Bleakly
  • Blindly
  • Blissfully
  • Boldly
  • Bravely
  • Briefly
  • Brightly
  • Briskly
  • Broadly
  • Busily
  • Calmly
  • Carefully
  • Carelessly
  • Cautiously
  • Certainly
  • Cheerfully
  • Clearly
  • Cleverly
  • Closely
  • Coaxingly
  • Commonly
  • Continually
  • Coolly
  • Correctly
  • Courageously
  • Crossly
  • Cruelly
  • Curiously
  • Daily
  • Daintily
  • Daringly
  • Dearly
  • Deceivingly
  • Deeply
  • Deliberately
  • Delightfully
  • Desperately
  • Determinedly
  • Diligently
  • Doubtfully
  • Dreamily
  • Eagerly
  • Easily
  • Elegantly
  • Energetically
  • Enormously
  • Equally
  • Especially
  • Even
  • Eventually
  • Exactly
  • Excitedly
  • Extremely
  • Fairly
  • Famously
  • Far
  • Fast
  • Fatally
  • Ferociously
  • Fervently
  • Fiercely
  • Fondly
  • Foolishly
  • Fortunately
  • Frankly
  • Frantically
  • Freely
  • Frightfully
  • Fully
  • Furiously
  • Generally
  • Generously
  • Gently
  • Gladly
  • Gracefully
  • Gratefully
  • Greatly
  • Greedily
  • Happily
  • Hard
  • Harshly
  • Hastily
  • Heartily
  • Heavily
  • Helpfully
  • Helplessly
  • Here
  • Highly
  • Honestly
  • Hopelessly
  • Hungrily
  • Hurriedly
  • Immediately
  • Inadequately
  • Increasingly
  • Innocently
  • Inquisitively
  • Instantly
  • Intensely
  • Interestingly
  • Inwardly
  • Irritably
  • Jealously
  • Jovially
  • Joyfully
  • Joyously
  • Jubilantly
  • Justly
  • Keenly
  • Kiddingly
  • Kindly
  • Knavishly
  • Knowingly
  • Knowledgeably
  • Lazily
  • Less
  • Lightly
  • Likely
  • Lively
  • Loftily
  • Longingly
  • Loosely
  • Loudly
  • Lovingly
  • Loyally
  • Madly
  • Majestically
  • Meaningfully
  • Mechanically
  • Merrily
  • Miserably
  • Mockingly
  • More
  • Mortally
  • Mysteriously
  • Naturally
  • Nearly
  • Nervously
  • Never
  • Nicely
  • Noisily
  • Obediently
  • Oddly
  • Offensively
  • Officially
  • Only
  • Openly
  • Optimistically
  • Painfully
  • Patiently
  • Perfectly
  • Physically
  • Playfully
  • Politely
  • Poorly
  • Potentially
  • Powerfully
  • Promptly
  • Properly
  • Proudly
  • Punctually
  • Quaintly
  • Queerly
  • Questionably
  • Quicker
  • Quickly
  • Quietly
  • Quirkily
  • Quizzically
  • Rapidly
  • Rarely
  • Ravenously
  • Readily
  • Really
  • Reassuringly
  • Recklessly
  • Regularly
  • Reluctantly
  • Repeatedly
  • Restfully
  • Righteously
  • Rightfully
  • Roughly
  • Rudely
  • Sadly
  • Safely
  • Scarcely
  • Searchingly
  • Seemingly
  • Seldom
  • Selfishly
  • Seriously
  • Shakily
  • Sharply
  • Sheepishly
  • Shrilly
  • Shyly
  • Silently
  • Sleepily
  • Slowly
  • Smoothly
  • Softly
  • Solemnly
  • Sometimes
  • Soon
  • Speedily
  • Stealthily
  • Sternly
  • Strictly
  • Stubbornly
  • Stupidly
  • Suddenly
  • Supposedly
  • Surprisingly
  • Suspiciously
  • Sweetly
  • Swiftly
  • Sympathetically
  • Tensely
  • Terribly
  • Thankfully
  • Thoroughly
  • Thoughtfully
  • Tightly
  • Tomorrow
  • Tonight
  • Too
  • Tremendously
  • Truly
  • Truthfully
  • Ultimately
  • Unaccountably
  • Unbearably
  • Understandingly
  • Unexpectedly
  • Unfortunately
  • Unhappily
  • Unnecessarily
  • Unwillingly
  • Upbeat
  • Upright
  • Upward
  • Urgently
  • Usefully
  • Uselessly
  • Usually
  • Vacantly
  • Vaguely
  • Vainly
  • Valiantly
  • Vastly
  • Verbally
  • Viciously
  • Victoriously
  • Violently
  • Vivaciously
  • Voluntarily
  • Warmly
  • Wearily
  • Well
  • Wetly
  • Wholly
  • Wildly
  • Wisely
  • Wonderfully
  • Wrongly
  • Yearly
  • Youthfully

I hope this list helps you with your writing.

Until next time, stay safe.