How to Be a Pacing Genius

Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery by Diane Holmes 

It’s interesting to talk to writers about pacing, because the answer you very often get is, “Write in shorter sentences!” 

This answer is the equivalent of answering the question, “How do you get a reader’s attention?” with the pithy reply, “Use a bigger font.”

Ah… gee, thanks.


I’ve made it my mission over the last few years to gain deep insight into pacing–what works, what doesn’t, and why. (Hint: Always have a mission.  It keeps you looking young.)

9 Advanced Techniques in Pacing Your Novel (that you won’t hear anywhere else)

I’ve come up with a unique take on pacing, and in the following 9 Fiction-Zone articles, I’m going to share everything I know.

These 9 insights create a definition that radically changed how I view pacing in my own work.

Most people define pacing as “going faster.”  Here’s my definition:

Fresh &


Stuff that Matters (consequences and emotions)

Happening in Real Time (even if it’s just learning about something)

That Causes Immediate Reaction

With an Unknown Outcome

That Changes the Game

For at Least One Character

And the Reader.


That Looks Obvious

Yeah, but it’s not.  Because there are tricks to each of the 9 elements.  It’s all comes down to…

  1. Perspective,
  2. Involvement,
  3. Scale, and
  4. Sincerity.

I’m going to show you how to apply these tricks and techniques to transform your stories.

Take the Pacing Test:

Think of the scene in your current manuscript that you believe has the best pacing…

–> Where would you rate this scene on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “almost comatose” and 10 being “the best example of pacing ever!”

–> Do you think it has good pacing because of the scene events, your writing, or the meaning of the scene?

Bookmark this site, so you don’t miss the 9 Pacing Techniques.  And follow me on Twitter @pitchuniversity and FaceBook to be notified of the latest post.


Diane Holmes Crop 1Diane writes two, alternating columns for Freelance-Zone: Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery and Marketing-Zone:Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book.

She’s the Founder and Chief Alchemist of Pitch University – “Learn to pitch your book from the AGENTS and EDITORS who make their living at it.  Learn.  Pitch.  Sell.”