Sunday, May 22, 2011

MGOC Contributor: KJ Howe

photo by Russ Howe

EXCERPT from "Give Your Reader Whiplash: Pacing in Fiction" by KJ Howe in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

Want to write a compelling page-turner that dominates bestseller lists? Focus on pacing. As an author of popular fiction, you want to enthrall readers, keep them so engrossed in your story that your characters become real people. Readers must be invested in your protagonist's plight -- so much so that readers become your hero, vicariously experiencing everything that happens in his/her life. That's what keeps readers coming back for more. And nothing makes it easier to put a book down than poor pacing. How do you keep readers in full fiction immersion? Hone your pacing.

Pacing. What exactly is it?

* The rhythm or underlying beat of your story.
* The rate at which your novel unfolds -- talented writers can manipulate time in readers' minds.
* The way writers structure their novels to engage readers' emotions, eliciting different emotions at different times.


KJ Howe is a two-time Daphne du Maurier winner, a four-time Golden Heart finalist, and a finalist in the American Title III Contest. She is also the Executive Director of ThrillerFest 2012. KJ earned her Master's in Writing Popular Fiction in 2007 at Seton Hill University, and is now represented by the Evan Marshall Agency. International intrigue and pulse-pounding adventure are her passions. When she isn't writing romantic thrillers, KJ is researching them by shark cage diving in South Africa, interacting with semi-habituated elephants in Botswana, or scuba diving in the Red Sea. You can visit her at

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