#026 – Get-up and Go … pace & phrasing!


Earlier we listed ten considerations to ensure your 'get-up and go' had simply not 'got-up and gone'. The first two asked you to consider Clarity and Thrift which we did previously along with Style and Sentences. Crisp Conversation and word Flow were looked at in other posts, so now let's consider two close friends of any editor ... Pace and Phrasing.

Does It Have Pace?

Just about every first manuscript for a work of fiction, produced by new or existing and experienced authors, will contain many words of description that are unnecessary. Good descriptions are really good and too many descriptive elements can be really bad. They slow down the pace, make the action long winded and often encourage the reader to 'put it down'! Describing people, happenings, events and scenarios is one of the corner-stones of good writing. However, there are some 'descriptive ways' that need watching, carefully. The rules are simply not to get weighed down with a particular situation that throws you into a position where you are scraping the barrel for more adjectives. Good pace is far more important to the success of your writing project than the ability to create descriptive sentences. Less is always more!

Is The Phrasing Good?

This writer was told many years ago by a professional author who had been 'banging the keys' for a considerable number of years that the secret of good phrasing is making your sentences concise and ensuring your words link well. He was of course, absolutely right. Similes are often used to express a certain situation and lend some weight to a particular phrase. If you use similes, do so sparingly, as it's just so easy to rely upon them to tell your story. Good phrasing is essential to good writing so make sure, in the edit, you have it under control. Phrases can also be a curse as well as a blessing. The curse is they often become addictive and as a result are simply used too much. The blessing is that you can of course create atmosphere and even a bit of humor with a sprinkling of good and correctly applied phrases. Where do they come from? They come from you writing them down as you hear or see them written. As a writer, you will be in continuous research for your current work or your next one and locking your mind on to the characters and situations around you on a daily basis enables you to recall them at a later date. Watch and listen and as you turn the next corner, you may hear the echoing words to be spoken by your very next villain or hero.