Pay attention to the movement of your story

I’ve been contemplating pace in my stories. How the language of my work aids the flow. Words create momentum and momentum propels the story through time.

How does your work get from the beginning to the end?

 

Consider this passage I wrote:

My toes sink into lush red carpet. A boxy old TV sits like a lost dog in the center of the room, and flesh-colored couches sway and topple when used. The sound of parents comes from a nearby kitchen – clank, swish, crash – as they create a meal.

Wait, no, the smell emaciating the living room is something much sweeter.

“She’s always over here,” a voice says. Metal hits the counter.

“Yes, she’s always over here.”

*

I cough, unsettling dust from the TV stand in the middle. Years later, after everyone died, the poor thing still sat in denial. Denial that anything is different. Denial that the flesh-colored couches were replaced with brown leather ages ago. Denial that after the family cleared everything out, it’d been forgotten.

The outdatedness of the house is palpable, like I could reach out and touch wrinkles on the wall and inhale the scent of decay and neglect.

Dust settles on the beaten red carpet. Out of nowhere, the TV crashes to the floor to join the dust, giving up.

 

How did the flow of this effect the way you read it? Is there anything you’d change or adapt for your own work?

I encourage you to write a scene or take a look at some old ones. Really dig into what’s compelling to move your story along.

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