Pace refers to Narrative Pace, which is defined as "the speed at which an author tells a story; the movement from one point or section to another". Pace allows the writer to use mood, emotions, and dialogue to control how quickly the reader is taken through a story. The pace of a story may vary throughout, especially in the case of longer works such as novels.
Upping the Pace
A speedy pace keeps the reader on the edge of their seat; it causes them to want to keep reading in order to find out what happens next in the narrative. Sequences with a lot of action combined with minimal dialogue, character thought, and detailed description make the pace of the story go faster. Also allowing multiple major plot points to happen in close succession will increase the overall pace.
Slowing the Pace
Using examples, detailed descriptions of scenes, and longer character dialogue bring the pace down. This allows the author to build suspense or give the reader time to absorb what happened earlier in the story.
Examples in Literature
- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert