#LoveOzLit: Todd Alexander on what will help pacing in writing

Todd Alexander on what affects pacing in writing

I have a confession to make — for the longest time and 70-chapter book, with chapters of two pages only annoyed me endlessly.

It took me awhile to come around to the fact that each short chapter affected the pacing in writing — more often than not, I see these sorts of chapter lengths in thrillers these days. And it works like a charm for me if a character is on a chase, nearing his quarry and I can feel the tension rise with each paragraph (as opposed to each page).

That said, I’m reading My Sister Rosa, the author is drawing a picture of the family, of Rosa, tightening the noose with short, sharp sentences in long chapters as the book progresses. That particular combination works wonderfully in increasing the tension of her writing for me, leaving me with the expectation of something is coming, though I know not what.

What about you? What books use chapter lengths the best for effective pacing?

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