Monthly Archives: February 2016

Writer’s Guide: How to Pace Your Story

There was a nervous energy rippling through the rows of people. Through the window, I could see the brilliant orange and purple sunset dripping below the horizon.

I couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment the airplane started moving, but I could tell we were picking up speed. With a lurch, we were off the ground – rattling and bouncing in our cramped seats. My body thought it was still at ground level, while my stomach seemed to know we were several hundred feet higher than that.

There was a crunching sound as our plane rose suddenly into the air and dropped.

The woman next to me  gasped. A child started bawling. The lights flicked on, and the stewards rushed to find their seats – yet, during the action all I could think about was:

This is exactly how you pace a story. 

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The Man with the Golden Pun

A drop of sweat rolled down his forehead, and slid into his eyes. It stung. Mr. Blond sucked in his breath. He turned his head away, making a clandestine attempt to wipe away the sweat before the Judges noticed.

One of the judges cleared her throat, “Something wrong, Mr. Blond?”

“No,” he said, swallowing hard, “Please continue.”

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How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?

How many hours does it take to write a first draft?

The short answer is it should take around 100 hours to finish your first draft. And when I say around, I mean it could take you anywhere from 50 to literally infinite hours, depending on how you write and how disciplined you are.

How did I come up with 100 hours? I’ll show you:

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Writing and the Importance of Imperfection

Let me tell you the truth: You will never write the perfect anything.

You will not write the perfect poem, nor the perfect essay. All of your novels will be riddled with flaws and failings and weak writing. Even if you spend eight weeks on your next blog post, it will not be perfect.

Let me tell you the truth: Perfect is boring. Flaws are good.

This is the story of how I learned to embrace my writing imperfections. Hopefully, you will learn a thing or two from this tale.

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