Ambelin Kwaymullina provides a different perspective on pacing in writing in this quote, I think — and the editor in me immediately reads that as: edit. And edit some more.
But, of course, it’s more than that. When I read it, I think it means an author has to be able to balance the essential elements of the plot that readers need to know. Ambelin herself is a speculative fiction author — which means as she points out — that she can’t necessarily tell her readers every detail of her worlds to readers.
The same applies to different extents to authors of in different genres. Do you need to know the mundane bits of a legal thriller as the lawyer pursues leads in his case?
It also means that an author has to be ruthless to an extent: focused on what is absolutely essential to the story to help readers understand.
But does essential always mean important? What do you think?