In novel writing, pacing is an important tool in your writer’s tool box. If the pacing is too slow, it drags out the action, interferes or eliminates any tension or suspense you were trying to build and makes the story boring.
Some things that might slow down your pacing:
1. Unnecessary dialogue: Common examples would be when one character meets another character and too many words are wasted on the “hellos, how are you, blah, blah, blah,” or the good byes. Cut to the point of the conversation. “Did the jury reach a verdict?” “Did he call?”
2. Excessive descriptions: Spending paragraphs or pages describing your scenic tour through the woods to your cabin or grocery store is unnecessary. Unless these things described are important to the plot, we don’t need to know about every flower or twig or car or lamppost you see.
3. Long descriptions on setting: We need to know the specifics, but not every minutia of the setting. For example, telling us the Victorian house was surrounded by Lilac bushes and the sweet smell filled the front rooms gives us specific details. Victorian house, Lilac bushes and it introduces a smell. Telling us when and where the Lilac bushes were bought, their height and width, how often they bloom or are fertilized is not important unless that somehow reveals character or will play in to the plot.
4. Info dumps: Be sparing and discriminating when telling the backstory or reminiscing. Too many paragraphs or pages of information can be boring and slow down the story’s pace. Try to weave in the important details throughout the story.
5. Not enough plot: This can cause the writer to meander and use fillers getting the writer further away from the plot. The answer could be more subplots. This will also help your characterization by giving them more depth and making them more three dimensional.
6. Timing: When we spend time on a scene or a specific detail, we are telling the readers, this is important. We are shining a light on it, pay attention to it. Be mindful of this when you are editing, cut those long scenes of description or setting or even dialogue if it’s not critical to the plot or character development.
Your story’s pacing is the right amount of dialogue, information, action and plotting.