Sunday, February 14, 2016

Pacing Myself

As most of you know, I'm working on my new historical romance, tentatively titled Dance With Destiny. I finished a flash first draft back in December, before my hospital stay. Then, I went through my checklist and labored over each scene, searching for those dreaded passive words and making certain I got enough description in each setting.

Now it's time for the third draft. The one where I turn to the story line itself, rather than focusing on the writing. I ask myself if the pace is too fast or too slow, what needs to be added or removed in order for the story to flow better. In this story, the pace was too fast at the end of the book, and was resolved too quickly. I'm sure you've all read books like that–where the author seemingly got tired of the story line and wanted to slap on an ending and get it done. Well, I did want to get it done quickly, since I was going into the hospital.

But I now have time to straighten things out. I need to add several more chapters to the book, building to an appropriate finish. An ending my readers will enjoy and will feel like they didn't just waste their time. I'm at the point in the third draft where I need to take the time to add in these chapters and make them seem as if they weren't an afterthought. I want to make my heroine scream her frustration as I amp up the conflict yet again. I want the tears, the angst, the torment, to be real and pulsating. Will she ever get to her happy ending? Can there be a happy ending? When I'm done, I want the reader to be as emotionally drained as my heroine, Susannah. So I'm pacing myself, both physically and mentally, for the big finish. And if I have to grab a hankie to finish reading the story, I will consider it a work well done.


  1. You're absolutely right about how some stories end too soon. Yes, they get their HEA, but once they pass the climax, the story is over. The reader hasn't come down from the emotional roller coaster yet. Give us a smooth sail into the finish, not a rush to the alter.

  2. Thanks, Barb, for visiting. I'm working on the ending to the story now, since I realized at the second draft that I had shortchanged the reader of a truly wonderful HEA. I hope I can get right.