On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Timing. Planning. Pacing.

I've been thinking a lot about timing lately, and not only in my writing. The bathroom for my dayjob is down a long hall, outside a secured door, and through a door with one of those button locks. The bathroom door sticks and I've found myself trying all sorts of different ways to shove it open after a usual three attempts. So I definitely don't wait for the last minute.

This reminds me of timing and planning every day.

I can do this. I am a mostly unorganized and distracted person, but I can also focus obsessively and my paralegal training has made me detail oriented.

But now I'm struggling with timing the Summoning to Lladrana in book 4. There are certain things that I want to occur and certain things I want my heroine to have when she does the travelling thing. So I have pieces I need to put together.
Also, what my readers are really looking for is when the heroine arrives in Lladrana. Everything else is set-up for the adventure and whether my heroine will return to Earth, for how long, and whether she will stay. That's motivation. I'm giving her a loving family. I intend for the next two books to have heroines with loving families. So that needs to be set up, too. As does the common Earth thread I introduced in Sorceress.

Timing. I can't make the beginning of the book too long and lose my readers. Just long enough for the set up. That's it. But I have four different scenes so far. So I think I'll go easy on the description and do the minimal and see if it flies with my critique buddies.

This comes into pacing, too. I can be too fast in pacing, and too slow. Too fast and people feel the book is rushed, too slow and readers put the book down. If the details are just enough and the pacing is good, a long set up isn't necessarily noticed.

May your timing, planning and pacing be on the mark today.


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