I’ve been working on my novel “Under the Darkened Moon”, a sequel, if you will, to my short story “Second Chances”. Having completed the first draft, I am now editing it.
I have been having trouble getting the timing down and pacing the start of the story. While there was action early on, things seemed slow and I, as the author, was getting bored. If I am getting bored by the pace, I worry that the reader would have the same experience.
One thing that seemed to stand out was that the slowness seemed to stem from the length of the chapters, about 20-30 pages. They were that size because I was clustering events and scenes that happened within a day of each other as entire chapters separated by scene changes denoted by “* * *” breaks.
So, chapter 1 for example, consisted of three scene changes, the day the story starts, the next day’s morning then that next day’s evening. Chapter two then picked up three days later. I have, right now, split the first chapter into two completely different chapters so that now chapter 1 is the day the story begins and chapter 2 is the next day’s morning with a scene change to that evening. Chapter 2, or at least the start thereof, now is chapter 3.
By doing this, and maybe I am just fooling myself into thinking this, the story seems to move better and flow faster and smoother with shorter chapters. It is almost like the white space that follows the end of one chapter before the next chapter starts on the next page, despite being a break, causes everything to sound better.
Don’t know if I will continue down this path, but it seems to be working and the story seems more energetic and fluid.