ProTalk Discussion: Pacing for Perfection - 11/16/04

Enjoy!


Log file opened at: 11/16/04 5:44:08 PM
Verla: Early birds! Getting the best seats in the house, eh?
ponytailmo: I just wanted to catch you before you headed to heavy duty moderator status instead of wise kia
Verla: lol pony
els: writers do a lot of pacing
Verla: yep. A lot of erasing/deleting, too, els
joanclr: lol
Verla: wears out their erasers, mice, and rugs
els: hehe
Verla: there you go! A title for a book!
Verla: Erasers, Mice & Rugs
els: imagine saying you were wearing out a mouse 25 years ago- what would people think?
ponytailmo: lol
Verla: that you were very, very kinky, els
els: heh
joanclr: LOL
JKC: lol
Verla: five minute to SHOW TIME!
Verla: has everyone "sharpened up" their pacing questions and comments?
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to ProTalk Discussion - Pacing for Perfection - In Progress....
Verla: Okay...
Verla: tonight is our twice-monthly ProTalk Discussion...
Verla: Pacing for Perfection
Verla: we encourage everyone to participate - to ask questions and share information/comments
Verla: please don't say Hello or Goodbye to anyone while the talk is in session
Verla: but DO join in the discussion
Verla: Okay... to start things off, who knows what Pacing in a book IS?
Lyra: no hello's or good-byes...can I pout?
Verla puts masking tape across lyra's mouth
Verla: anyone?
Verla: come on... someone MUST know what pacing is
PamelaRoss: Hi folks. Pacing is a rhythm
Verla: Good, Pamela.
els: I would say that pacing is how your writing makes your reader feel- is the story rushed, is it smooth, is it graceful, is it too slow
Verla: What else?
joanclr: How about, the balance of events that keeps the story moving forward
JKC: What keeps people turning pages, too.
Verla: good good!
Verla: keep them coming
PamelaRoss: that knows how to stop and start.. the author releases or presses the brakes on her words..
joanclr: The feel you get - is it tense? Is it lyrical? Poetic? Suspenseful?
Verla: how about adding that pacing is what takes your reader from event to event in your book
Verla: right!
JKC: builds up the tension...releases...builds it up again. Good chapter endings.
Verla: and now that we know what it is, the big question is how do you get it into your book... and make it work for your story
Verla: anyone ever read a book where the pace was sooooooo slooooooow you gave up and put the book down without reading the end of it?
els: yes
PamelaRoss: Yes and that is the Million Dollar Question. (Or the 6,000 advance.) <g>
Verla: I know I have!
joanclr: Yep
Verla: and then I'll read a book and when I'm done I'm totally exhausted!
joanclr: Also, I think a key is finding the right pacing for the story you're telling
Verla: other books have a pace that works in some places, and doesn't in others
JKC: I find myself wandering when parts get too wordy.
joanclr: some need a faster pace; others call for more moderateness
els: yup, read them like that too
Verla: right, joan!
JKC: Like really long thoughts.
PamelaRoss: A slow book keeps me hanging on... Fast-paced feel commercial and as if there is something missing. Hopefully not a story. <g>
NOTE: <g> = grin
els: even in a fast paced book, though, you need to slow down at times to give the reader a breather
Verla: more words are okay, jayme, as long as the story needs them... as long as they are "moving the story forward"
Verla: right, els
JKC: True.
Verla: very very important to get the pacing right in your book
Verla: otherwise, the overall story simply doesn't "
Verla: work":
Dori: Can pacing be learned? Or does it come naturally to a storyteller?
Verla: Okay... can anyone think of a book where the pacing feels "just right?"
Verla: I think it can be learned, dori, just like any other "craft"
Verla: but you are right, some people have it naturally
els: Sabriel- the pacing is incredible- at times intense, at other times leisurely
joanclr: I haven't read that one
Verla: I love the pacing in Linda Joy Singleton's books (always have!)
WriterMel: I agree with that one!
JKC: Lyra's books...Olive's Ocean...Winn Dixie?
Verla: Pacing is just as important in a picture book, as in a novel
JKC: Didn't get the last title right.
PamelaRoss: I think Joan Bauer has it right. She has a screenwriter mentality. Knows how to set up the scene, does what she has to do, and moves on. Envy pours all over me. :{
Lyra: thanks, Verla
Lyra: I love Margaret Peterson Haddix's books
PamelaRoss: LYRA- ME TOO, OH YES
Lyra: most of the books I read have swift pacing
els: Linda Sue's books have wonderful pacing as well
PamelaRoss: She is amazing with pacing..
Lyra: blushing
Verla: in a novel, you have to pace your books through chapters. In a picture book, you have much less space, time, and words to work with, but the pacing is just as important!
Verla: yes, I agree!
JKC: That's why I HAVE to revise as I go along.
Verla: (with the comments about Margaret Peterson Haddix and Linda Sue's books)
Lyra: one thing that I think helps with pacing is to keep the emotional connection by having emotional goals for most characters
Verla: oh, good idea, lyra!
els: yes
Lyra: I can give an example on this
Verla: (lyra is Linda Joy Singleton, by the way. She's just wearing her "chat clothes" tonight instead of her "author duds.")
Lyra: In my writing today, I had my main character have both of her sisters show up to surprise her
els: another thing is choosing when to show, and when to tell- telling is not always anathema, and can be used effectively
PamelaRoss: Do you mean goals each chapter as well as the Big Goal by the end of the story, LJ?
Verla: oh, please do, lyra!
JKC: anathema?
Lyra: I was setting the stage for the plot because one of the sisters would play a bigger part later
els: utterly wrong, not to be used
Lyra: But then I was walking and it occurred to me that I only needed the one sister in the scene
Lyra: Also that I have a theme of love & hate in this book, so I'll have her dealing with resentment for the other sister
ShirleyH: Lyra: How far into the manuscript did you have this?
Lyra: So many of my characters will have a situation where they both love and hate someone
Lyra: I'm up to 34 pages
joanclr: Do you plan these things out ahead of time, themes and such, or do they tend to flow into the ms as you work
PamelaRoss: Love those love-hate conflicts, Linda <gg>
Lyra: The theme shows itself once I've written my outline
joanclr: I find it hard to envision how I would deliberately plan pacing - other than whatever comes naturally as I work
joanclr: Ah, I see - then you identify it and flesh it out a bit more?
Lyra: Also by having only one sister show up, it gives me a chance to let my mc feel bad her mother didn't want to stop to see her
Verla: well, think of it this way, Joan... let's say you have a story where two characters are going to be friends.
Verla: the story might start out with a slow, leisurely pace
Verla: then they have a fight
PamelaRoss: Joan-- which is why I am not an index card plotter. I can't feel the flow and pace there. Feels like a school book report.
Verla: the fight scene would have a faster, more tense pace
Verla: then you would have to have some kind of "resolution" or end to the problem...
Lyra: My publishers wants a synopsis to purchase each book, and I like to have the outline as a guideline anyway
ShirleyH: An increase in the tempo
Lyra: It keeps the plot on track (which has a lot to do with pacing)
Verla: which would result in another slower pace for a while
joanclr: interesting
joanclr: I hadn't really thought of pacing in those terms before
els: dialogue can go more quickly with less action to quicken the pace
Lyra: I also have a fondness for cliffhangers
joanclr: Very good
Lyra: All my chapters end on some sort of dramatic moment
joanclr: I love end-of-chapter cliffhangers too :)
els: to low it down, you woudl show more of what they are doing
els: slow
PamelaRoss: Do you think the pacing benefits from a quick launch of a novel or a slow settling in to the story...?
WriterMel: a fondness?
Lyra: I once took a class on writing movies and they showed a plot arc, tension building, building, dropping, then building...etc.
WriterMel: Lyra, I don't think you could end a chapter any other way! LOL!
NOTE: LOL = Laughing Out Loud
els: heh
Lyra: I do cliffhangers because I love to tease
Verla: one way to slow the pace of a story is to have longer sentences
Verla: if you write this, for example:
Lyra: Pam--I think most books need some sort of quick opening, but then you can go back and weave in more thoughts & details
ShirleyH: Pamela, I think it depends on the story
Verla: STOP! Don't do it! RUN for your life!
joanclr: Oh, good point Verla!
joanclr: It's true, short sentences pack a lot more intensity and punch
PamelaRoss: Lyra-- I am reading a novel (COMEDY GIRL, Ellen Schreiber) where the chapters end on such flat notes. So unemotional. I want to go in there and edit this woman. :>
joanclr: lol
WriterMel: Plus, shorter sentences build excitement...
Verla: you can see that the pace is fast, and you are "breathing" a little heavier after reading it. Should you say instead, "Please stop doing that, honey. It's really not good for you to do that and if you do, you will end up having to run for your life."
ponytailmo: One class I took said "start at the startling point"
els: lol, verla!
Yakgirl: That's a good thing to remember ptm
Lyra: Pam--I think there are different styles for different readers, lots of totally quiet, personal books
Verla: you can see that it simply doesn't have the immediate "punch" of the pacing of the first way it's written. Yet, I said essentially the same thing in both examples.
Lyra: pony--I like that: startling point
Yakgirl: Pony, was that startling point advice for writing in general or for novels
Yakgirl: I usually write just short stuff, and have been told I need to start out "slower" and with more back story in a novel
^GailM: We had a recent presentation about how the POV can up the pace. If it is First person, with the main character there, it goes slower. It takes some time to move through a scene where you are showing, not telling. In Third you can do a lot of telling, and that moves the story faster. So remember, the POV can control the pacing.
NOTE: POV = Point of View
Verla: Pamela, about your question regarding a quick launch of a novel or a slow settling in to a story, I think it mainly depends on what kind of story you plan to tell. Is it a leisurely mystery? A riotous action story? A legend?
PamelaRoss: I like to be startled but only after I have something invested into the characters... Just popping in at the Startling Moment sort of makes me nervous. You can see why I will never be able to write a good horror novel. <g>
ponytailmo: writing in general. In fact it was a pb course.
Yakgirl: LOL Pamela....
Yakgirl: yes...I think that is exactly the point critiquers have had about my novels in progress
Yakgirl: oh okay....then that would be different....
Yakgirl: I can see pb's starting at the startling point
ponytailmo: basically, it means start with a hook - an exciting one.
ponytailmo: make kids read on.
joanclr: Interesting, so 1st POV tends to be more descriptive, savoring the experience, while 3rd can have more dramatic tension or faster pacing (on the above)
Yakgirl: oh okay, I understand better.......
Yakgirl: a hook and a startling point have different connotations for me
JKC: Me, too.
Yakgirl: hmmm...joan...I would think the opposite
Amishka: I actually don't believe that Joan
joanclr: Maybe I'm just thinking of my story in particular :)
joanclr: I'm finding there's a lot of description, though it could have to do with the fact that it's a fantasy world and everythign is new
ponytailmo: don't start your story off with background stuff, get into the story. If mc is going to get lost, get her lost quick.
joanclr: I was a bit frustrated by teh slow pacing of the story
Amishka: I was also at a recent presentation where the main speaker stated that the only thing that should be different between first person and third person is the he/she instead of the I
ponytailmo: like kia said - Run for you life! That's a startling point.
JKC: That makes more sense, Mish.
Yakgirl: yes but for an mg or ya novel wouldn't you need to start out slower
Amishka: unless it's third omni
Verla: not necessarily, yakgirl
Anne_Marie: Mish, who was that speaker?
joanclr: That does make sense - but otoh you also would have more "feelings" in 1st person that wouldn't exist in 3rd, no?
els: I think that depends, though, ptm- if you are going to have to end up throwing in so many flashbacks later it will slow down the pace- what event sets all other things into t motion? that can be a good spot to start at
joanclr: I guess you could have that in 3rd too hehe :)
Amishka: No Joan, that was her point
Yakgirl: also on description...we were taught by Kathleen Duey not to describe things that the mc wouldn't notice
Verla: one of my favorite opening lines in a book is in Liz Pendercost's book.. Magic (something or other. Lyra knows what it is)
Amishka: I agree with that too Yak
^GailM: But in the Omniscient Third, you get the author jumping in to make comments/judgments.
Yakgirl: for example...don't go on and on about the sycamore tree, because if the mc ran by it everyday they wouldn't notice
Verla: It starts with, "Don't blow up the house," Mother said. "It's not paid for yet."
Amishka: right gail, but not just third
Yakgirl: not sure I'm explaining that correctly
Yakgirl: LOL, that's a good first line
Verla: I think it was Morris. "Don't blow up the house, Morris," Mother said. "It's not paid for yet."
ponytailmo: startling point doesn't equal climax.
Amishka: you are Yak, that's actually what we were discussing last week
Lyra: And my favorite opening is from Eva Ibbotson: Kidnapping children is not a good idea. All the same, sometimes it has to be done.
^GailM: Any third can have the author jumping in, and that slows things down.
Yakgirl: okay...then I guess it all lies in the interpretation of startling point
Verla: a lot depends on the story itself, too, yakgirl
Verla: you won't expect to see the same degree of tension in a story about the first day of school, as you will in a murder mystery where the murderer is after the main character
Amishka: I love that Lyra
PamelaRoss: And I struggle with keeping the rhythm going at the beat I want. I tend to overwrite and I can feel when it is too much.. I read it out loud and I think "Well that was nice but save it for another book." <g>
Lyra: Of course when you're talking novels, as opposed to more genre fiction like I write, everything seems to hang on the character voice
Verla: heh heh, that was a good book, lyra
Lyra: Winn Dixie has a good opening paragraph
Amishka: I do know that my freeverse YA tend to be more fast paced than my novels in prose because you have to say so much in so few words
PamelaRoss: What was that, LJ? I can't remember it.
Verla: and then picture books and other very short books need a completely different kind of pacing.
Lyra: which one, Pam? Winn or Eva?
PamelaRoss: WINN DIXIE, LINDA-
Verla: in a picture book, the words need to "feel" rhythmic, even when the book doesn't rhyme.
PamelaRoss: Verla: do you go through a hundred thousand First Lines before you are happy?
Lyra: Pam--I don't know where my copy of WINN is
Verla: Johnny walked up the stairs and went into his bedroom. He shut the door and climbed into bed. Then he realized he had forgotten to close the closet door. There might be a monster in the closet. He would have to close the door before he could go to sleep.
PamelaRoss: Oh. Sorry, LJ. Thought you had it on your desk. I'll read it when I go upstairs.
Verla: There's very little rhythm and not good pacing in that.
Amishka: My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and cheese and I came back with a dog
Verla: I go through a hundred thousand of EVERY line in my books before I'm happy, Pamela
Lyra: thanks, mish!
PamelaRoss: Ami-- ummm-- goooooood-- thanks
Amishka: np
Amishka: I really like Kit Pearson's first line in awake and Dreaming - The ghost was restless
PamelaRoss: Verla, thank g-d. I hate being anal about these things but...
Verla: Johnny jumped into bed and pulled the covers over his head. The closet door was open! The monsters could get out!
PamelaRoss: I should keep a file of all the tossed First Lines I've come up with. Teeheee.
Lyra: I loved AWAKE AND DREAMING!
Verla: that would be MUCH better pacing for a picture book than my first example of the same story about Johnny and the Monster in the Closet
Lyra: My own first lines haven't been that startling...but I give good cliffhangers
Amishka: I work forever on the first line
Verla: anyone else have a question about pacing?
PamelaRoss: Lyra-- they could have used you on DALLAS. <g>
els: nope
Amishka: the rest of the story can usually fall into place as long as I have that line down pat and then just make the dominoes fall from there
Verla: the first line (and paragraph) are truly vital. They determine whether a reader is going to read on, or put your book back on the shelf, table, or into the SASE.
Amishka: that's how I pace, make the scenes line up like dominoes and knock them down starting with the first line
Amishka: if one of the dominoes doesn't fall I take a good look at it because it's probably not needed
Verla: no matter how you decide to start your story, there needs to be SOMETHING in that first sentence, line, and paragraph to make the reader HAVE to read more.
JKC: Good plan, Mish.
PamelaRoss: It really is harder to pace a picture book. You have less time to do more. {}
NOTE: {} = a hug
Verla: and less words to do it in, too, pamela.
PamelaRoss: I know, I know &%$#@ (Wordy Me)
PamelaRoss: <g>
Amishka: my pbs tend to be a little wordy as well at times
Verla: It's good to have three "peaks" of interest/emotion/events in a picture book, with slower, lower-paced spaces in between.
Lyra: I mostly just feel the rhythm of the story, learned I'm sure, from being a voracious reader
Verla: lyra, how many "climaxes" do your novels usually have? Including the major finale one
PamelaRoss: Verla-- could you explain that please?
Verla: ?
Verla: examples would be like in my Gold Fever book, Pamela... Jasper goes west to find his fortune in gold
PamelaRoss: Three peaks of interest, three peaks of emotion, three peaks of events or... am I not following you?
Amishka: Verla, I think it would be the same with novels
Amishka: three
Verla: His first major problem is that he has difficulties in the journey
Lyra: Verla, I don't really count scenes, I just keep adding on troubles for the mc until things start to get solved
Verla: then he spends all the gold he has found on supplies and is "back to square one" ie broke
Lyra: Like in the book I'm currently writing, she gets a prediction that she's going to die. I add the stakes by making it to die in five days. Then I add that it's someone she loves who will kill her.
Amishka: three things to overcome?
Lyra: I didn't PLAN that
Lyra: It just happened
Amishka: it's good happening, Lyra
Verla: finally, Jasper finds rattlesnakes instead of gold, and goes home - still broke
Lyra: Then to solve it she has to stop 3 other predictions from happening
PamelaRoss: Ah-- you are talking about three hurdles.....
Lyra: But she won't succeed.
Amishka: you're killing off your MC, Lyra??? Not too good for a series
Verla: the final bit of pacing is when he ends up in the same place he started, except his whole attitude has undergone a change, and now he's happy to be on the farm instead of wishing he were in the gold fields getting rich
Lyra: well...I can promise there will be a 4th book
PamelaRoss: Lyra, I just got the heebie jeebies reading what is about to happen to your main character!
Lyra: LOL...remember what I said about loving to tease my readers
joanclr: Definitely living up to it :)
Verla: the pacing is how you get your character from one of these "peak points" to the next one
Lyra: I'm really eager to write this book now and see how it all happens
WriterMel: whoa, lyra, that's heavy stuff.
Verla: I like that idea, lyra. teasing your reader!
Lyra: It's actually much worse, Mel, but I can't reveal all my secrets
Verla: s
els: TEASE!
Lyra: and proud of it
els: hehe
joanclr: lol
Lyra: verla--very good points about pacing
Lyra: Just remember that all scenes should push the action forward
PamelaRoss: Is this why Frank Baum used a scarecrow, a Tinman and a Lion? (Does the Wizard count as a 4th peak point?) <g>
Verla: one place where a lot of beginning writers don't get it right is at the climax points.
Verla: they often tend to not write the climaxes in full
Lyra: Here's something I was told once for a revision: I had an important scene where the REGENERATION charaters met at a restaurant and exchanged information
PamelaRoss: I hear Viagra for Writers helps. <g>
dystar: I still don't get it right at climax points
PamelaRoss: OUCH. EDIT THAT <g>
Lyra: But I was told to make it more active, so I got rid of the resaturant and had them exchanging the info while in a speeding car in San Fran being chased by the bad guys
Lyra: I think that's the 2nd REGEN
Verla: "Shane and LeAnne had a terrible fight. It started in the kitchen and ended up in the driveway, with LeAnne jumping into the car and driving away.
Verla: "
ShirleyH: ?
els: anticlimactic
Lyra: Verla, are you typing to show how to show this rather than tell this?
Verla: to make that a really good climax scene (to pace it correctly) you would need to put us INTO the fight. Show us the words they yelled at each other. Did they hit each other? Throw knives, screwdrivers or lamps at each other? Did he punch the top of her convertible and grab her by the hair as she was trying to drive away?
varia: what is the magic with the number three? is two too few and four too many? Or is it at least three peaks interests/emotions/events?
PamelaRoss: Waiting for that one was a true exercise in pacing. Whewsh.
Verla: telling distances the reader from the action, and slows the pace.
Lyra: Three just feels right for scenes and plotting action
Verla: three WORKS, varia. It just does. It "feels" right. Since it's a proven fact that it works, I tend to try to deliberately use it in my stories
els: 3 has a feeling of fullness to it
Verla: right, els
dystar: 3 is classic
kimmar: ugh I hate when I come in late, especially when I need help with pacing!
dystar: beginning, middle, end
varia: that is one of my BIG problems, telling not showing. I am working to correct that
els: my current wip has the characters in 3 different environments
Verla: I will go back and see if something is there in threes. If it's not, I change my story to make it there
Amishka: so you have three tries before he succeeds or two tries and he succeeds on the third?
Lyra: I think of my books in that beg-mid-end way
PamelaRoss: Good Q, Ami
Verla: for instance, in Gold Fever I had Jasper say, "Where's the Gold?
Verla: "
els: in three different situations, to bring it all into 1 big climax
Verla: My editor contacted me and said, "I'd like you to put that phrase in the book two more times."
Verla: she wanted "Where's the gold?" to become a focal point of the book... so now it's in the book three times.
PamelaRoss: So "Where's the gold?" became a running tag in the storyline.... holding the threads together.. interesting
els: in your cowboy book you could hav ethe character say Where's the Beef? three times...
Verla: right, pamela
kimmar: how would you define the difference between pacing and plotting? would you consider pacing as the rythm and plotting as the steps
Verla: Plotting is going from one place to another, kimmar. Pacing is the speed and HOW you get from one place to another
Verla: yes, kimmar. Exactly right! rhythm and steps
Verla: One of my favorite pacing moments was in When 8 Bells Toll by Alistair McClean
Verla: (I don't think I spelled his name correctly)
dystar: Maclean
Verla: he is talking to a girl and she says something like, "PLEASE go away. PLEASE! PLEASE leave right now. I'm begging you to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go away!" (he responds with) It seemed she wanted me to leave.
els: LOL
dystar: can't handle rejection?
joanclr: lol
varia: LOL
Verla: It was SO funny, because he was so oblivious to her pleas
Verla: and it really stuck a moment of relief into a very tense situation that was full of tension up until that moment
Verla: it was a masterstroke (in my opinion) of pacing
els: it sounds it
Verla: oh wow! We are almost out of time! Our hour is nearly up. (I highly recommend you read that book, if you want a fun read that truly keeps you reading.)
PamelaRoss: But bad plotting can kill a good pace. I think we need another class. <g>
Verla: there are more coming, pamela!
PamelaRoss: Woohooo
dystar: how about one on denouements?
dystar: after the climax
kimmar: or effective use of flashbacks
varia: one on what?
dystar: denouements -- when you finish it up, tie up all the loose ends
Verla: our next ProTalk Discussion, on December 7th, will be on Writing for Magazines
PamelaRoss: Meaning once there is a climax, how do you gracefully end the story?
dystar: yeah
Amishka: do you tie up all of the loose ends, dy?
dystar: not all of them
Amishka: good
Amishka: I never do either
Verla: it's VERY important to end your story in a way that will impress the reader (and the editor)
Verla: sometimes you can have your story end with "full circle ending"
Verla: where the main character ends up in the same place he/she started, but he/she has changed, and his/her world has changed.
Verla: you can take your reader on a journey, starting at one point and ending up somewhere else
dystar: I like to end it with answers to some of the questions
Lyra: You tie up all lose ends by killing off your characters...just kidding!
Verla: Linda Joy Singleton's books have to have "open ended" endings, because they are series books and have to continue
Amishka: sometimes the mc just gets what he wanted or maybe he finds out what he got and wanted wasn't what he really wanted in the first place
PamelaRoss: Flashbacks are a challenge, Kim. It's a visual thing for me and much easier to do in film then in writing. I think. {}
Lyra: My books always end, but then I tack on another problem to continue in the new books, but only for series books
varia: LJ just likes torturing us!
Lyra: yup (smiling proudly)
Verla: I would like to say here that one of the endings often used that every editor I've ever heard speak has said they HATE is the "It was just a dream" ending
els: yurgh- that is such a CHEAT
els: I hate that ending,t oo
varia: me too
dystar: the only successful one was Alice in Wonderland
kimmar: I'm trying to figure that all out Pamela, as I do need some flashbacks in my novel
Verla: sometimes your book ends with the main character not getting what he wanted, but he realizes he really didn't need/want it after all
ponytailmo: like - that prime time soap - Dallas? with the ewings.
Darkstream: I've seen editors go red just thinking of it...even to the point that if a dream sequence was included in the story they'd instantly reject it.
WriterMel: I agree....
PamelaRoss: Or WIZARD OF OZ (I sound obsessed with that story tonight) "Oh Auntie Em. There's no place like home!"
varia: PTM Dalls will be back on
Verla: I think that's why editors hate the dream endings, els. the reader DOES feel cheated
Lyra: I think the funniest ending was with the Bob Newhart ending, where the whole TV show was a dream
dystar: oh, I loved that, lyra
PamelaRoss: LYRA -- yes!
*** Signoff: Anne_Marie (Quit: Bye bye)
dystar: but that was funny
ponytailmo: so why didn't we feel cheated with that ending?
Verla: Now it might be wonderful if the dream turned out to not be a dream after all.
Lyra: So I'll kill of Sabine and have Varina wake up with Chase and say she had a weird dream
Verla: lyra!
ponytailmo: because it was a real twist?
dystar: yes
dystar: completely unexpected
Lyra: yeah--twists are fun if clever
ponytailmo: twists are hard
Darkstream: Any old story element can work if written in correctly.
Verla: fun stories sometimes have it supposedly all a dream, but then the main character reaches into his/her pocket and pulls out something from the "dream" to clue the reader in that it really DID happen
kimmar: i worry that my climax will wind up a let down for my reader (especially since i don't know exactly what that climax will be)
Lyra: Just write it and enjoy the climax later
Verla: I have a VERY hard time writing a book until I know where the story starts and where it ends, kimmar
varia: I like Happy Endings
ponytailmo: I like twists in a story, but I have a hard time writing them.
els: I like bittersweet endings
Verla: I can have all the fun I want with the journey in between, but I have to know where I'm going, or the story languishes and dies on the vine
Darkstream: Final Chapter: And then something VERY exciting happened. The End.
WriterMel: I HATE unhappy endings.
PamelaRoss: Kim- push the story as far as you can go. Exhale. Then inhale.
kimmar: i know the end verla, but I haven't figured out the shape of the final event before the end
ShirleyH: I like endings that help me discover something about human nature--the aha type endings
WriterMel: I can't stand it when the MC dies.
WriterMel: just HATE that.
els: ooops
Darkstream: I'm with Mel...
kimmar: me too shirl;
Verla: let your main character's personality and actions determine how you get there, kimmar
Amishka: I like those too Shirl
PamelaRoss: Shirley--oh those lightbulb, oh my g-d moments... Chilling....
els: what if by dying they gain something greater than life could give them, Mel?
WriterMel: I like almost any kind of ending...
JKC: I don't care about people dying...just don't kill off animals. Sniff.
WriterMel: except the MC's dying...
Lyra: Mel...you might not want to read #3 SEER (weg)
NOTE: (weg) = Wicked, Evil Grin
WriterMel: Makes me feel cheated, Els.
els: I think my favorite ending ever was in Dickens Tale of Two Cities
Amishka: I like endings where that leave the reader thinking
WriterMel: SHAME, Lyra!
Darkstream: JKC: PETA now says you shouldn't eat fish - they have feelings too.
WriterMel: SHAME, SHAME!
Amishka: I like writing those endings too
Lyra: LOL
WriterMel: WE'VE talked about this before!!
Verla: I believe some of the best endings are those that leave the reader beating a hand against her forehead and exclaiming, "Of COURSE! I should have thought of that!"
WriterMel wails loudly
Lyra: Mel, I'll tell you later if you ask nicely
WriterMel: Oh, yeah, Verla!
ShirleyH: I like the inevitable and unexpected endings
WriterMel: me, too!
WriterMel grins
Verla: yep
Verla: well, folks... our hour is UP!
JKC: But I love to eat fish.
WriterMel: don't worry, I won't let you forget.
Darkstream grins
varia: I don't want to know Lyra! I want to read it.
Lyra: good, varia...I wasn't going to spoil it for you
Verla: anyone have any last important comments or questions about pacing before we officially close this discussion?
PamelaRoss: Don't kill your babies, LJ! {{}}
Lyra: I just like to tease and I do like happy endings
els: yes, Kia- one question-
JKC: Just sell them.
PamelaRoss: <g>
Lyra: LOL!
JKC: Right kia?
Verla: what's the question, els?
Lyra: Is this still a workshop, if so, I'll behave
els: how many times back and forth across the room til the book is done?
JKC: LOL
Darkstream: You play catch with your books, els?
Verla: I didn't understand that, els....
els: pacing... never mind
JKC: Pacing, verla.
kimmar: lol els
Darkstream: ouch
Verla: yes, lyra. It's a ProTalk Discussion. So BEHAVE>
WriterMel: Oh!
Verla: oh, DUH....
WriterMel: LOL, els!
varia: That was Funny Els
Verla: until the rug is worn through and you can see the floor underneath, els. <snark snark snark>
PamelaRoss: Oh (whomp) I get it. Pacing. Yhahahahaaaaaa.
els: ok, thats all I wanted to know. :)
Verla: LOL! You are all too funny.
Verla: This was a great discussion, everyone! I'll try to get the transcript up by tomorrow. Watch for it.
Verla: Hugs all!
els: ty Kia!
kimmar: thanks verla!
Darkstream: thx Kia
JKC: Thank you.
PamelaRoss: Thanks, Verla. This was great.
PamelaRoss: Or was it a dream????
varia: Darkstream And Goody how geat to see you both
kimmar: lol pamela
roz: Thanks everyone. My first visit. Great.
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Writers & Illustrators of Children's Literature Meet Here Nightly - Welcome!
Log file closed at: 11/16/04 7:12:07 PM


Verla Kay
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