Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Ecclesiastes is probably most known for the passage that says that there is a time for everything and every purpose under heaven. This message proves itself in our everyday lives. We experience times of laughter and times of weeping. We see times of sowing and harvesting. The list could go on.

Though the subject of timing has been mentioned in an earlier lesson, a writer can never learn enough on any given subject and improvement is always the watchword.
The timing and pacing of your story must be a balance between moving the story along and yet not speeding by too quickly. By making things happen too quickly the reader loses out on some of the anticipation that can be created for the reader. But, if the writer puts in too much of this anticipation-building time, the reader could lose interest.

The writer needs to keep the story moving, showing the characters’ actions. However, there is no need to bog the reader down by showing every action. For example, the reader doesn’t need to read all about the car ride to a destination unless there is something significant revealed during the car ride. To explain that the character puts the key into the car and puts it in drive and pulls from the parking lot into the traffic might slow down the pace. The reader doesn’t have to see all of that. They know that the characters had to do all of these things to drive the car to their destination.

Another pace killer is providing too much description of setting and character. This tempts the reader to skip ahead because they feel the action slow and may even feel like they are removed from the story.

Randomly choose a scene or chapter from your work in progress. Read the section aloud. Could you sense the pacing in this section? Did the pace feel like what you set out to create? Or, did you notice a slowing with too much description? Or, did you notice that the culmination of the scene happened too quickly? Rework accordingly.

Do you believe there is a time for everything? It is hard to accept that our timetable doesn’t always match up with God’s. But, think of it this way, that rejection you received may mean that your manuscript isn’t supposed to be accepted now. The Bible says there is a time and a purpose for everything. The purpose He has for your writing may not be ready at this time to be fulfilled. Matching our pace with God’s can be difficult because we like to pull ahead, but He sees the full picture. Christian writer, you can trust God’s timing and pace.  

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