Timing it Right.
One of the things I have always struggled hard with in my writing is getting the pace and timing right. When I first started writing, I would spend an age during the first chapter lovingly setting the scene. Yes, I know you are smiling at that point. I’d linger over the most inconsequential things, being English I could devote several paragraphs to the weather alone.
Thankfully, I found some wonderful critic partners, who once they’d squashed the giggles my efforts induced, pointed out something very important to me. If I lingered over: the leaden skies and torrents of rain falling like silvery skeins, yes, I once truly wrote that line; my readers would throw the book up the wall and read no more.
“Honest?” I asked, full of hope my critique pals would say they were teasing.
“HONEST!” the replied. “Cut it.”
So, though it hurt, because I wanted to paint beautiful word pictures, I cut it. I didn’t just snip I forced myself to be brutal and I savaged. I ripped out whole chapters. I discovered with my early efforts I could usually take out the first two chapters and no one would even notice because the action often didn’t start until chapter three.
The key word there is action. Experienced authors know readers want action or a situation to lure them into the story, not a lot of back story before the action begins.
Timing or pace in a story is the key to holding the reader’s interest, and despite my love of the season in which the story was set, or my wish to offer details about the characters environment and traumatic past, these things must wait.
I’d like to say the more I write the more I improve in some aspects of writing. The only people who can tell me that for sure are readers and I’m grateful when they do.
I have three new stories coming out in the next nine months or so and I hope people will find their beginnings compelling enough to want to read on.
In the mean time while I’m waiting for those things to be ready to share with you, I thought I might offer the beginning of A Gentleman’s Folly, my story set in the 18th century, published by Liquid Silver Books.
A Gentleman’s Folly published by Liquid Silver Books.
Orgasm pumped her life-beat hard. She gasped for breath. The ebbing tide of passion quivered inside her, and her thighs trembled. Thrills of her lover’s seed pulsed in steady waves.
Her arms and thighs clasped around his, Katherine clung to her god.
Tonight, though spring stirred the air in the gardens, here in one of the private chambers, the charcoal braziers gave off a dim red light, but the heat vanished before it warmed her flesh. Not that it mattered presently, for a silver-laced sheen of lust-sweat coated her breastbone. She eased her thigh over that of her partner.
Bacchus, her beloved and worthy companion in the rites, relaxed with a smile where he lay by her side on the divan. He closed his eyes, and his breathing slowed toward sleep. Their ritual loving, in honor of the coming spring, had left her as pleasured as he. Her body thrummed still with the satisfaction of the need he induced and satiated.
Since she’d accepted his offer to partner her in worship in the monastery, she’d discovered him to be desirable beyond her hopes and a highly skilled lover. Each time they joined, she thrilled with the pleasure she found. Few women discovered such delight with their partners, even those within the order of the Knights of Saint Francis of Wycombe and, for certain, less outside it.
Her sigh rose, and her breath twirled the incense smoke in the air. This night she and Bacchus must part. They may never meet again, and if she were right, her god, dear as he was, had gifted her something in their recent devotions. A thing all the gods might be pleased to see her bear but the rest of the world would disdain. The result of so much hearty worship in the icy March groves, their slowly completed prayers in the quiet, secluded chambers at Medmenham, and their wild cavorting to please the gods in the bud-laden arbors would be her child.
My child and never his.
If you enjoyed the excerpt click the image to buy.
This post appeared in 2013.