Tag Archives: Punctuation

12.14: Controlling Pacing with Structure

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard

Let’s talk about the structural tools we use to control pacing. These include sentence length and punctuation.


Also, white-space.


Liner note: Here is the Feb 12, 2017 Schlock Mercenary strip mentioned around the 18-minute mark.

Credits: this episode was recorded in Cosmere House Studios by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered aboard a fleeing generation-ship by Alex Jackson



Change up a piece of fiction of yours by changing the length of paragraphs and sentences.

Tea & Jeopardy: A GeekPlanetOnline Community Podcast, by Emma Newman and Peter Newman

Writing Excuses 10.32: How Do I Control the Speed of the Story?

As we said last week, we’re talking about pacing, and we’ve divided the concept into two parts. Last week we covered “sense of progress.” This week we’re talking about the passage of time. We discuss the tools we use, some of which are very mechanical (scene breaks, chapter breaks) and some of which are quite intricate, and require finesse to get right.


Take something you’ve already written (a chapter with a few scenes would be perfect.) Change scene breaks to through-scenes. Then try moving the scene breaks around. See what happens to the pace of the story.

Seveneves: A Novel, by Neal Stephenson, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal and Will Damron