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Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Lindsay Townsend

Pace in my romantic fiction

Pace in my fiction depends on what genre I'm writing in. This determines what I focus on. When I write romance, I like to be tactile, highlighting the positive aspects of any setting. I focus on appearance, the sensual aspects, the thoughts and feelings of my characters. If there is violence in my romances, it is not dwelt on.

In my novels, I find that pace can be increased by showing and involving the reader in the characters' dilemmas. Each time a viewpoint is changed or a new setting is used it can 'refresh' the reader and so add to pace.

Pace does not need to be unrelenting, I find, or stories can seem rushed. There can be times for moments of reflection, particularly when a character learns or chooses something. I always feel that a crucial scene deserves a full showing.

As a reader myself, I know that romance readers are curious and love to learn. If I can make the research interesting by putting it in a character's mouth and also imperative - the character really needs to know it, the stakes are important - then so much the better.

I also find that anticipation can be an important device in pacing - readers love to anticipate. You can make readers 'wait' in writing. For me, anticipation is one of the ultimate appeals of romance - I know the hero and heroine are going to have their happy ever after ending, but how?


Linda Banche said...

Anticipation is the best part of romance! Well, maybe not the BEST part, but a close second. If the H and H jump into bed on page 3, there's nothing to look forward to.

LK Hunsaker said...

Lindsay, I think pacing is the hardest thing to get right, especially since some readers want faster reads and some like to linger. I think you tend to hit it in that nice "in between" to please a large group of readers. :-)

Lindsay Townsend said...

Thanks, LK!

Hi Linda - I remember a character in the TV series talking about the anticipation just before a kiss - that to me perfectly 'said' it.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Sorry, I meant to say the TV series BOSTON LEGAL - must have gone a bit wild there!

Savanna Kougar said...

Excellent blog, Lindsay. You always capsulize things so beautifully.

I have to disagree about anticipation. While I think it is key in a romance, and in developing the romance and passion, it annoys the heck out of me when an author uses it to the nth degree, and, then, in some cases, it all falls flat. The build-up and then nothing. So what! As a reader or an individual, I can't live on anticipation, alone. Or, man can't live on bread alone... sort of thing.

I have to say for myself personally... anticipating a kiss is fabulous. However, the actual kiss, if it's good, is far, far better.

You can anticipate chocolate or eat chocolate... I prefer eating it.

Or, you can anticipate being with the heroine or hero... or you can be with them. I much prefer stories where my heroines and heroes are interacting, actually having a relationship. Being with each other. That push-pull dynamic is what truly excites me.

Perhaps, it breaks down like this. There are those who enjoy the tease more than the outcome that occurs. And then, there are others who enjoy the tease, but enjoy the outcome much more.

Definitely different types of pacing appeal to readers... whether it's a furious action-type of pace... or a lingering, slow-hand pace... I think both are glorious!