So, writers work hard to whittle away paragraphs that don’t advance the plot. We strive to create tension in every scene. Varying sentence length, limiting backstory, and keeping the action going are just a couple strategies we use.
I think all these are important parts in pacing, but the pendulum swings both ways. In other words, pacing can be too slow or too fast.
Okay, so we know to look out for the things I mentioned above. I don’t have to tell you that pages of backstory or “telling” can really kill the pacing. So does taking too long to get a character from home to work (if nothing happens other than them hitting EVERY. SINGLE. RED. LIGHT. Ugh, that’s so frustrating).
But what happens when you’ve erased all the “let’s-take-a-breather-from-the-action scenes?” The pace feels way too fast and the reader becomes desensitized to all the tension you’ve worked so hard to create.
My question to you (because I’m still working on this) is:
How do you do the “breather” scenes without them coming off as boring or dull?
One thing I try is creating conflict, either in two characters or within one character (I contrast their thoughts, feelings, and actions).