Monday, June 11, 2018

How to Achieve Great Story Pacing with “Character Fireside Chats”

For the past few years I’ve discovered my love for modern stories—whether they be TV shows, movies, or books—has decreased. For a bit, I couldn’t figure out why. So many had unique premises, exciting plots, interesting scenery. On the surface, everything seemed as though these should be enjoyable stories. Yet…I couldn’t fall in love with them. And it bugged me.

So me, being the writer I am, began to dissect these stories and figure out WHY. Why did these tales with such great potential fall so very short? Then, finally, finally, it hit me.

The pacing was off.

That was it. Sure, the effects of the movie were astounding, or the plot of the book was complex and original, but it was the disjointed, off pacing that made me feel distant.

I, for one, have struggled with story pacing for years and years of my writing life. My older works were far too long, had far too much information, and were far too boring. Then, later, I tried to fix this problem, and instead got a novel that rushed along so fast all the heart of the story was lost.

What we want is somewhere in between that. And I have been searching for that balance my whole writing life. So when I had that epiphany of why modern stories just don’t do it for me much anymore, I wanted to know what made the pacing off, so then I could avoid it myself. Because sometimes we learn better with lessons on what not to do, am I right?

I think it was when I read Illusionarium by Heather Dixon that it really came to me. (Just so you know, I LOVE this book, and I know a lot of you do as well, so I’m not hating on it. I just think the pacing could have been far better, but we’re getting to those details!)

Modern stories have too much action.

“But don’t stories supposed to be action-packed!” you’re probably thinking. “The more actions and thrills, the better the story!” Well…yes and no.

Yes, stories should give us thrills and not naps. (Many of my old works make my eyes glaze over like a Krispy Kreme donut. Wait wut?) But here’s the thing, if stories are all action all the time, with no rest periods in between, we’re also going to want to take a nap from sheer exhaustion. Basically: STORIES SHOULDN’T MAKE US NAP. Pacing is everything. A story may have all the right ingredients, but if the pacing is off, those ingredients are going to roll together into a mushy, tasteless stew. (Please just humor me with my absurd analogies.)

Okay, but howww do we get this magical pacing balance of action and rest and make our readers LOVE our stories? Wellll, there are lots of different methods. But one thing in particular stands out to me personally above all the rest. Something I’ve taken to calling…

Character Fireside Chats

Whether it’s an action-thriller or a historical romance, all stories have one thing in common: THEY’RE MADE UP OF CHARACTERS. And characters are the driving force of any given tale. I’m a speculative fiction gal myself, but if I love the characters enough, I’m game for pretty much any genre. (Ya know, within reason.) People love people, and when we pick up a book or go to the movies, we’re hoping to find yet more fictional characters we can fangirl/boy over unhealthily and spend hours of our precious lives making memes and searching for gifs of and blogging about to tell EVERYBODY EVER that they must join this fandom and love these poor bbys as much as us. Right? (You know you can’t deny it.)

But guess what? If the only thing the characters in the story are doing is running through narrow hallways shooting baddies and speeding through half a dozen unrealistic car chase scenes and barely ever having conversations because they only have time for lots of screaming, welllll how can we even tell if we like these characters? We don’t, because we don’t know them. They’re just…there, doing a bunch of stuff with no heart. Simply a prop to watch avoid exciting explosions.

Do you know how you get to know people? YOU TALK TO THEM. You have conversations, heart-to-hearts. You hear their thoughts, learn how they feel, discover tidbits about their lives and what makes them tick.

It’s the same with fictional characters.

They say action speaks louder than words, but in fiction? Not always.

Let’s look at Tangled.

In less than 2 hours, Disney gave us a movie that completely enchanted us, brought us laughter, kept us glued to our seats, and made us fall entirely in love with the characters. (Or at least, that’s my experience with it. But come on, who doesn’t love Tangled???) So how did they do that? PACING. And why was their pacing spot on? A literal fireside chat!

[WARNING: Many TANGLED SPOILERS coming, on the off-chance someone hasn’t seen that movie yet.]

Remember when Maximus and the soldiers are chasing Rapunzel and Flynn out from The Snuggly Duckling? This is the start to a heart-pounding series of action-filled events. They are chased, Flynn fights with a frying pan (“You should know that this is the strangest thing I’v ever done!”), Rapunzel uses her hair to fly over the gorge, and then she and Flynn get caught under water and nearly die. WHEW. Lots of action! But Disney knew what it was doing. After this series of events, we and the characters are given a rest period.

Rapunzel and Flynn sit by the fireside in a quiet forest, drying out and opening their hearts to one another. Here Flynn learns that if Rapunzel’s hair is cut, it’ll lose its powers, and Rapunzel discovers the backstory of this “thief” and learns he really isn’t the rogue he makes himself out to be. Not only do the characters get to know each other in this scene, but the viewers do as well. I’m 96% this is where we all fell in love with Flynn Rider a.k.a Eugene Fitzherbert.

After this moment, we are then back to some heart-stopping scenes as Mother Gothel appears and starts making trouble for Rapunzel. Now just imagine if the movie had skipped the quiet, fireside chat. What if the second Rapunzel and Flynn escaped from their near-drowning, Mother Gothel was waiting for them and the movie progresses from there with a series of more action scenes? We’d never get to really know who Flynn is, he’d miss vital information about Rapunzel’s hair, and their love story would seem unrealistic because, well, they really wouldn’t have time to fall in love. It was just be a tiring, too-quick series of events.

But, thankfully, that’s not how things played out and we were given a beautiful, well-loved story. All because Disney wasn’t afraid of “boring” their readers with a few quiet, meaningful scenes.


Because that’s just it, we enjoy dialogue. Dialogue is not boring! Or even some thoughtful narrations. Occasionally the POV (point-of-view) character needs some narration to think through the events and come to conclusions on how to fix them. Again, if all we see our protagonists do is run and shoot stuff, with no conversation, no heart-to-hearts, no deep inner thoughts, we’re just going to get tired and not care one way or the other if they make it out of the story alive. (Truthfully, with most action films, I pretty much never even remember the characters’ names. They’re usually just: Big Guy with Gun or Girl Who Can Run and Kick People in High Heels.)

Now let’s return to Illusionarium.

(Don’t worry, NO SPOILERS of this one for those who have not read it!)

This original steampunk story had everything: An extremely unique plot, parallel universes, a deadly plague, gorgeous writing, wit and humor, phenomenal worldbuilding, and, actually, even some great characters. I would have given this book a shiny 5 stars and sent it straight to my Favorites Shelf on GoodReads if not for one problem: The pacing.

There were basically zero “Character Fireside Chats” in the whole book. It was action, action, action at every turn. Every. single. time. the characters were about to have a heart-to-heart BOOM! some life threatening danger cut them short. EVERY TIME. Which made me so sad because I could tell I loved these characters. I could tell they were fun people to get to know. But…that was the problem. I never really, really got to know them. Characters I did like a lot could have been characters I LOOOOOOVED. But since they were so busy fighting for their lives, I feel like their relationships and personalities didn’t shine through as well as they could have. If there had been just a few fireside chats in the story, it would have absolutely gotten 5 stars from me instead of the 4 stars I gave it. It was so close to perfect. But the pacing just didn’t quite hit the mark.

And it seems to be that way with so many stories these days, especially modern films. I’m getting beyond frustrated with modern movies. There are so movies I should—could—LOVE, but just don’t because the pacing is so quick and jittery and disjointed. In fact, even TV shows have gotten this way. We seemed to have lost the art of smooth pacing, and it both frustrates me and makes me sad.

It’s like all these people are so scared of boring their readers, they forget it’s good to add some heart to the story. BUT, as with everything: Balance is Key. Action is good. Again, we don’t want to bore our readers. I’m not telling you to fill your entire stories with one deep, meaningful heart-to-heart after another. That can be just as tiring as never-ending action. Tangled had a few more fireside chats than the actual…fireside chat. (We can’t forget the floating lanterns scene, after all.) But that single scene was plenty to make us fall head-over-heels for our protagonists and stick with them to the end.

Because here’s the thing, the more action your story has, the more we’ll relish those sweet, quiet moments. In BBC’s Sherlock, my absolute favorite scenes are the “domestic” ones. Those moments where Sherlock and John are just hanging around in their flat—John blogging, Sherlock playing his violin or watching soap operas. It makes me grin every time. But I love those scenes because they’re few and far between. Most of the show is full of danger and mystery and intrigue. But, on occasion, we get a normal, quiet, happy glimpse at our characters, and it means all the more because all the rest of the time we’re worried for their lives. (Disclaimer: Sherlock is by no means a very clean show, sadly, and it’s pretty dark. Definitely not something I’d recommend to everyone!)

If for 98% of the time your favorite character is running for their lives and constantly almost dying, then you will live for that 2% of time where they’re just quietly sitting and eating cereal. Don’t try to deny it!

So if you’re wanting to write a heart-stopping thriller, GO FOR IT! Those are good! Just remember that if you really want that pacing to feel balanced and your readers to fall in love with the characters, throwing in a couple of “fireside chats” can do absolute wonders.

I by nooo means have this down flat. As I said before, pacing is something I’ve struggled with for years and am still learning. (Pretty much all of my writing tip posts are things I’m figuring out myself!) But this pacing problem of modern stories has been bugging me for a while now, to the point that I consider it one of my biggest pet peeves. (Which you can tell, because when I have a pet peeve I ramble on about it foreverrrr and…this post is so long! In fact, I had many more examples of good vs. bad paced stories but I’m preeetty sure you guys have the gist of it what I’m saying now. I should figure out better pacing for my blog posts. Eheheh.) I’m so ready for us to get back to meaningful stories that aren’t just all quick, disjointed scenes.

It’s all balance, guys! And the very best way to truly learn that perfect art is studying it for yourself! Start paying attention to the pacing in books and movies. Trust me, after some time you’ll figure out what feels off or just right.

And can we just take a minute to appreciate the fact that the best way to learn writing is to read books and watch movies? Sometimes writing is the actual best.


Well that was…long. I hope you all made it through that okay! (Again, this is such a huge pet peeve of mine and I just had to rant for a while. Thanks for putting up with me!) Now my favorite part, discussing the topic with YOU GUYS! Have you noticed a trend of disjointed pacing in modern stories? What are some stories (movies/books/TV shows/what-have-you) that you found the pacing way off on? What are some that you LOVED the pacing of? Do you agree with my “fireside chat” method? And do you have some methods for rocking pacing? I’D LOVE TO HEAR ‘EM!


  1. Woah this post pretty much blew my mind. :) I've always wondered what makes a story have good pacing and it was staring at me right in the face!

    Thanks for this awesome post!

    1. AWK. Well that just makes me happy! It was bugging me for YEARS why the pacing in so many stories just wasn't working for me, so I was determined to figure it out. XD I'm so glad this was helpful to others!

  2. What an interesting theory! I haven't analyzed this myself and will have to think about it... I know I certainly love those "fireside chat" moments. I often say I'd watch a whole movie of the Avengers sitting around playing with Thor's hammer like in Avengers 2... XD Pacing is a strange, inconceivable beast to me so... yes. :P It's been ages since I read Illusionarium but I know it DID seem non-stop action. I didn't actually mind, I don't think, and I did feel like the characters' character shone through anyway, but I do see what you mean. Anyway, what a fascinating post! Now I will have to think about pacing things and see what I can come up with too! :D Thanks for sharing! ^_^

    1. I'd toooootally watch an entire Avengers movie of them just goofing around or Bucky sitting and eating his plumbs or something. XDDD But yes, pacing is such a tricky thing. UGH. It's why I've been analyzing it for literally years. Because it's so important but so CONFUSING. I'm still trying to figure out that perfect balance. I agree that the Illusionarium characters were amazing (LOCKWOOD!!! <333), it's just the whole time reading it I kept wanting some heart-to-hearts, and every time there was about to be one, they got interrupted. It drove me crazy. Lol. BUT IT WAS STILL SUCH A GOOD BOOK. I'm just way too picky for my own good. XD But thanks! Glad you you found this fascinating! If you notice any good methods for balanced pacing, I'D LOVE TO HEAR THEM. I'm always on the search for ways to get it just right!


  3. I'm a recent college graduate. I've taken numerous courses in film editing and we've discussed the importance of pacing, especially when it comes to action scenes. There is so much that leads up to the action scene that most people don't think about and it all comes down to pacing. Your post just reminded me of this. Thank you for that.

    1. That is so fun! I can imagine there is a huge well of writing information in courses like that! And yes, pacing is SUCH an important key to great storytelling. It's just a matter of finding that balance which is so tricky!

  4. I agree with you so much! I personally have a tough time with all of stories end up long enough as it is, but giving my characters that time to breathe is always, always so important to me. Especially if I'm trying to cultivate a romance between two my latest WIP, the two don't even know that they're attracted to each other (or, I should say, they're in and while they're fighting for their lives in the midst of a very dark environment, they're also getting to know each other and talking and other fun ("fun") stuff like that. :P Personally, characters make a book for me, so those little chances to get to know them are great. <3 Lovely post, Christine!!!!

    1. I have such a tough time with it as well! That's why I have some stories with ALL action and some stories that draaaag on and have analyzed it to death. It's forever an experiment with me. XD But YES! I love that you make sure your characters get breathing time. It IS so important. And you make a point that it's especially important when you're trying to build a romantic relationship. Not much time for falling in love when you're constantly running/fighting for your life. XD Definitely "fun" stuff. *grins*

      Characters 100% MAKE the book for me too! YES YES YES. It's all about those charries, and if all we do is see them in action, it gets boring fast.

      Thanks so much, Faith. So glad you liked it! <3

  5. Yes! Pacing is something I struggle with in my writing, but it's also something that can really make or break a book for me when it comes to reading. There have been so many books--especially in the YA category--that have amazing premises, but never actually give you time to care about the characters or their relationships.

    Great post!

    1. YESSSS!!! You summed up everything I feel in just a few sentences. I struggle so hard with it when writing, but am EXTREMELY picky about it when reading or watching other stories. And I agree, the YA genre especially has problems with this. I've read countless books that I would have LOVED if the pacing had flowed better. It's a sad thing!

      Thanks so much, Hayden! ^_^

  6. This is one of few things that I don't really struggle with when it comes to my writing. Most of the time, I don't have ENOUGH action. lol.
    I agree, Tangled was really well paced. (NOT TO MENTION ONE OF THE BEST ANIMATIONS OF ALL TIME.)

    1. Hahaha! I can relate to that. My earlier works especially lacked in action. But hey, not every novel is SUPPOSED to be an action-packed thriller. There's nothing wrong with having some quieter stories too!

      TANGLED!!! It's my FAVORITE animated movie. I love it so much! <333

  7. Great post! It reminds me again of how much I love Tangled, haha. ;)


    1. Thank you! :D
      And yessss! It's my FAVORITE animated movie. GAH. It's so good!

  8. This is such a good post! I always struggle with pacing in my stories, and this is something I'll have to keep in mind when I'm writing. I've noticed the pacing problem, too, in books and movies, and I have to agree that Sherlock does that pretty good. :) And YES, Tangled is amaaaazing!!!! Thank you for this post!

    1. *grins* Thank you!

      Same, girl, same. Pacing is such a tricky little beast! I wonder if I'll EVER conquer it. Lol.

      TANGLED!!!!!!! It's just the best isn't it? I could watch that movie a million times over and not get tired of it!

      And you're so welcome! It makes me happy you enjoyed it. ^_^

  9. Great thoughts! I believe K.M. Weiland talks about something similar but she calls it "action and reaction." (I recommend you check it out here: Basically every time there is a major action sequence, characters also need time to process what has just happened.

    I mostly agree about pacing. A lot of modern stories have traded stories with depth and lasting impact for stories that "wow." I will add that, to a degree, pacing is a matter of taste and often has a lot to do with what stories a person has grown up with.

    Recently, I have found an interesting litmus test for myself. While I do enjoy some stories that are action all the way through, I rarely want to re-read/re-watch these. The ones I want to re-read/re-watch are the ones with highs and lows, with thought-provoking conversations that make you think. These stories make me feel like I've been on a full journey and I tend to get something new out of them every time.

    So I think there is a place for both. I think there is a place for the once-through, nonstop book that keeps you on your edge of your seat. And I think there is a place for the book with highs and lows and fireside chats that becomes an old friend because you re-read it regularly.

    Unfortunately, I think the modern trend definitely favors the first kind of story and right now there is less of the second.

    Thanks for writing this post!

    1. This was actually the post I was thinking of:

    2. Thanks! Oooh, K.M. Weiland! She always has such great posts. I shamefully always forget to go read her articles, so thank you for the link! :D I'll definitely be checking it out. And yes, I totally agree with her. We (and the characters) need that rest period after a major sequence of action scenes.

      You make a great point that pacing is definitely a matter of taste. This is most certainly just my opinion on the matter. But I also think, like you said, stories have thrown away depth for the sake of action and shock and, to me anyway, it makes the stories Now, I have a short attention span and don't really like dragging stories either, but if the characters never do ANY talking, they just feel like cheap action figures and not complicated human beings. Lol.

      YES! I absolutely agree. I may sit down and watch an action flick for entertainment, but then I never have a desire to see it again. I definitely lean toward stories that feel like a JOURNEY, not just something meant to entertain me for a couple of hours.

      But you're right, we need ALL kinds of stories because we're all different. Though I by no means meant all stories should be slow stories. I personally am not wild about those. Again, one or two little fireside chat in between heart-pulsing action is usually just fine. But finding that balance is such a tricky thing!

      Anyways, I loved your thoughts on the matter! Thanks so much for sharing! ^_^

  10. You put your finger on it, I've been wondering forever what I found off putting about most books and movies that everyone else seemed to like. I live for the domestic moments, the emotional moments. Brilliant post!

    1. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who has noticed something off about these new stories! And YES, those little domestic, emotional moments are my absolute fave. They're anything but boring! Thanks so much, Skye!

  11. What a great post! I've never sat down and thought about how modern stories often have that pacing deficiency, but your descriptions sound absolutely right. Pacing is something that is important for the story and for characterization - and it's so often could be done better. I think some authors are afraid that these fireside chats are deathtraps where they are telling, instead of showing - but you're right: these are really valuable moments that should be shown.

    Thank you for this post!

    ~True //

    1. Awww!Thank you!

      Yes, pacing is so tricky but so very important. I agree that these authors seem afraid of the fireside chats. Like they'll be boring or telling or something, yes. But I NEVER find them boring. If it helps me discover more about the characters, then I love it. Because, when it comes down to it, I read for the characters, not the action. But I guess it's just a matter of finding that ever elusive balance between action and emotional depth. Haha.

      Thanks so much! I'm really glad you liked it. ^_^

  12. OMG SOMEBODY SAID IT!! Everybody's always talking about how you need to keep moving, and cut scenes that don't help your plot, and how Tolkien books move too slowly cause he didn't jump from action point to action point, and I just. . . You said it well: it makes me sad. Because I don't need to feel winded when I get done reading a story! When I finish an action sequence maybe, but the whole book doesn't have to be like that.
    Pet peeve for me too, so thanks for ranting for me, and letting me leave a long comment. =)


    1. *HIGH-FIVES* I totally feel you! I mean, I like high-stakes, action-packed stories, I'll admit. BUT, if alllll we're getting is action, it can get really tiring. It's always lovely to find someone who shares a pet peeve. Those who rant together, stay together. ;D

  13. Pacing is super crucial, totally agree. I didn't really know, exactly, why so many movies lately have been failing to thrill me... but now I know that at least part of that is pacing-related, because you hit the nail on the head - if I can't get a moment to get to know the characters, how am I supposed to learn to love them?

    I think it's also why anti-villains, anti-heroes, and just straight-up villains like Loki and Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin and Hook have been so much more compelling in movies and shows lately, because they are the only characters the writers seem to give any thought to back-story for. The villains have these gaping wounds, and the heroes are all like, "I was just going about my normal routine being super bland and boring when someone pulled the rug out from under me and I had to get up and smooth it back out... so annoying, but ya know, who else is gonna do it?"

    Also, characters who are just not likable - even when we do get a glimpse of their hearts, and I just want to shout, "NO! TAKE IT BACK! Give me someone worth rooting for!" that's the other big issue I often have with blockbuster movies. *coughJurassicWorldcough*

    This is not something I am an expert in, by any stretch of the imagination. But the things you mentioned are all great ones, and a lot of times letting us SEE how the main POV character responds to something or says things or how they feel about everything in life that is happening to them can be another way to give those glimpses of character-development. Don't just give me,
    "You're being ridiculous." The mean girl said.
    "Well, that's your opinion," I replied.
    "Why can't you be serious for one minute?" The mean girl asked.
    "Because I don't like you," I answered.

    This dialogue could be a fantastic moment of humor or info about the two characters in this tiny scene, but from what is written, we have no idea how our POV character actually feels about what is being said to her - other than that we know she thinks of the other person in the scene as "mean." Just a few insights into the protag's thoughts would turn this bit of dialogue from a "placeholder type conversation" to a conversation that "moves the plot along and helps develop character arcs." Unfortunately, I've recently seen a lack of dialogue tags and introspection from newer writers because they're SO scared of the "show, don't tell" rule, and they think that if they tell the reader ANYTHING they will be doing it wrong... which means a lot of flat dialogue like the example above.

    Apparently... I feel rather strongly about that. eheheh

    1. I feel strongly about it too and I'm just soaking up your whole comment. You made so many great points!

      You are so, so right about why the anti-heroes/villains are the beloved characters these days! I haven't even thought about it but YES. That's it! The writers give THEM cool backstories and relatable traits, while the protagonists are as flat as pancakes. OR the protagonists are actually jerks, if they have any personality at all. (I didn't really feel a thing for the Jurassic World characters either, yeppp.) All these big blockbusters have such personalty-less heroes. They're just action figures with no depth to speak of. It's getting tiring. >.>

      And YESSSS to your point about SEEING the POV responding to things. I've noticed this problem a lot in newer books as well. That "show don't tell" advice is almost becoming poisonous. Because yeah, these new authors are so scared to tell us aaaanything, we never get a glimpse at the characters' thoughts and feelings. It's all just bland dialogue and action. But little bits of emotional internal monologue here and there is not boring! That's actually usually my favorites scenes to read AND write.

      Anyways, I couldn't agree with you more on all of this! Feel free to come rant with me about these things any time. ;D

  14. I LOVE fireside character chats!!! There's nothing better than everyone curling up together and talking of the days events, their life goals, telling jokes, and just being together without having to fight a bunch of bad guys. I love adventure and danger, but seriously...there can be too much of it. (Yet another reason I love CA: The Winter Soldier movie...lots of action, with breaks of conversations in between to build suspense and character. I'm never bored, and I'm also not getting brain aches from all the nonstop action.)

    I ocassionaly watch Sherlock, though only through Vidangel, so I can take out what I don't want to see or hear. Not often, though. It's a funny show, but sometimes cringy.

    And, well...I think I fell in love with Flynn Rider the moment he appeared on screen, scanned the horizon, and said, "Guys...I want a castle." XD

    1. I COULDN'T AGREE MORE! Those meaningful moments are my FAVORITE parts of stories. I wouldn't want a WHOLE story of that, but a story without any of it is just as bad. You're so right about The Winter Soldier! GAH. That's why it's one of my favorite movies of all time. It has so much great action, but also those quiet scenes as well AND humor. IT'S JUST PERFECT. I actually constantly look to Marvel movies for writing lessons, because they do so well with almost everything.

      Watching Sherlock on Vidangel is a wonderful plan! I'd enjoy it MUCH better that way. I adore that show, it's one of my favorites actually, but ugh. There's so much icky-ness.

      FLYNN RYDER!!!!!! Only my favorite Disney guy to ever exist. He's just the best! XD

  15. Wow - this post got me thinking a lot!!! And not just relating to writing but life too. We live in such a fast-paced world and it's being reflected in our stories and movies. No wonder our society is so shallow - we don't really have enough "fireside chatting"!


    1. Oh my goodness, that is so, SO true. I didn't even think about it much with life in general. BUT YOU'RE RIGHT. We're all go go go! and don't take the time to just chat and soak up the little moments of life and each other much anymore. Wow. Food for thought there! Now you've got ME thinking. Lol. Thanks, Catherine!

  16. And here is yet another post that I am absolutely in love with... XD I am actually AWFUL at pacing. My novels tend to turn into 200k beasts, and I know not how to stop it.... It's a problem. BUT THIS ACTUALLY REALLY HELPS? I absolutely LOVE Tangled, so I know exactly what you're talking about with that happy little fireside chat!!! (Ugh... Those characters are so precious and smol...) Which honestly makes me want to try and write my OWN fireside chat even more??? I'm gonna do this... I need better pacing in my book. XD

    Thank you so much for yet another astounding post, Christine!!! This is so beyond helpful!! (AND ASDFGHJKL I LOVE SHERLOCK!!!! But yes... There are a couple things -- and one episode in particular -- that are just XD)

    1. D'awwww! That makes me happy!

      Oh, girl, I'm with ya! My novels end up being soooo long and then explode into series and just WHY??? I cannot contain my stories. XD But hey, I LIKE longer books, so! :D

      I'm really glad this was helpful to you! Yes, go forth and write the fireside chats! Make us love ALL the smol and precious charries! (And YESSSSH. Tangled is my favorite animated movie. I can't handle the adorableness of Flynn and Rapunzel. <3)

      YOU ARE SO WELCOME!!!!! (*HIGH-FIVES* I'm so obsessed with Sherlock. But yepppp. I know which episode you're talking about. Like can we just not? Ick!)

  17. Hi, Kenzie linked to your post so I had to visit. And pacing. I'm trying to write a giant battle and I'm worried the pacing will be unbalanced. So, I'm glad to see this post, maybe I'll be able to figure something out! :)

    1. Awww! That was so sweet of her.

      Oh man, battle scenes. UGH. I have the hardest, hardest time with those. What I've learned the most is to zoom in. Don't show the WHOLE battle like you're watching it from a helicopter, or even describe play-by-play fights 'cause that can get boring, but make it PERSONAL. Make us FEEL what the protagonist is feeling. The sweat, the fear, the rush of it all. My friend Jenelle did a fantastic post not too long ago on this:

      Hopefully some of that will help! You're totally gonna get it. ^_^


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