Monday, May 23, 2011

MGOC Contributor: Tim Waggoner

photo by Christine Avery

EXCERPT from "Pick Up the Pace" by Tim Waggoner in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

If writing a novel can be compared to running a marathon and finishing on your feet, you surely don't want your finished novel to feel that way to readers. You want your novel to read the way a symphony sounds, sometimes slow and evocative, other times fast and exhilarating. In short, you want your book to have effective pace.

Pace equals movement, but whether a given chapter moves fast or slow will depend on what effect you want it to have on readers. The following techniques can help you manage the pace of your chapters -- provided you choose them carefully, and always with your readers in mind.


Tim Waggoner’s novels include the Nekropolis series of urban fantasies and the Ghost Trackers series written in collaboration with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson of the Ghost Hunters television show. In total, he’s published over twenty novels and two short story collections, and his articles on writing have appeared in Writer’s Digest and Writers’ Journal, among others. He teaches creative writing at Sinclair Community College and in Seton Hill University’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program. Visit him on the web at

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