Daily Prompt: Pace Oddity
If you could slow down an action that usually zooms by, or speed up an event that normally drags on, which would you choose, and why?
Pace is more than just slow or fast. It’s the beat behind the actions, a combination of fast and slow, a rhythm for the activity. Sometimes when I am having trouble writing, I put on the earphones and start the music for “phantom of the opera” By the time the gavel bangs with the cry “SOLD”, I’m oblivious to the world. My fingers are typing keys in time with the music. Works almost every time. Quality of the writing, now that’s always questionable, but at least characters are appearing on the page.
I went to a screenplay writing class on last Saturday. Fantastic experience, I came out of there ready to write screen plays. Hadn’t been my intention at all, I was looking for guidance on how to craft a story for my novel. But dragon cats was conceived as a series of pictures in my mind and hence easy to write as a script. It helps that there is a structure. OPening scene and ending scene need to be related. Page 5, incident that leads into a decision on page 12 where the characters life is irrevocably changed. All major characters introduced in the first 10 pages, love interest at a certain point. And there are not many words. 120 pages, lots of white space, with descriptions of the scenes and a little bit of dialog. Now that I can write.
My instructor had several good pieces of advice.
1. Find the beat of your work and stick to it except when you add some florishes.
2. Stick to the formula and make sure your work is in a recognizable genre.
3. Always stop with a scene unfinished. It makes it easier to pick up the writing the next day.
All three pieces of advice are very sound, and I’m busily writing. Have to write the damned grocery bag instructions–tomorrow is my focus group and I’m not yet done. But writing a script is fun. So Saturday I get to write a few more pages. Hurrah.
Getting back to paces, you should watch this robots video from the Washington post. Researchers have managed to make a robot that can walk on ice and snow, pick up boxes, even when bullied, and still walk out the door at the end of the scene, leaving you with a cliff hanger.
Enjoy the day. I’m off to work to write more of the worlds most boring documentation in the form of “The software shall do a specific action when this event occurs.” Luckily someone else has to read that documentation, not me.