How to handle story pacing?
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July 26th, 2013, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nomnom Town
For those shows, it's usually all about what the network gives you to work with.
Sometimes, they only give you about 13 episodes and you have to pack all of the elaborate storyline into that small timeframe (like K or Sword Art Online). Sometimes, they tell you to stretch a relatively small series into a hundred episodes or so (like Yu-Gi-Oh or DBZ). Sometimes, it's not the creator's pacing, but rather the network's demands.
With that said, the best way to handle pacing is a tough one. You see, you can go by many methods.
One method is something I call the day-by-day method. Imagine how the story would go day-by-day. For example: You have a war going on. On the first day, you have the initial attack which instigated the war. The second day, you'd have the official declaration of war. The third day, you have the first strike. And so on and so on.
What you do next is find the first most climatic point in that arc (in this case, the declaration of war, since the instigation was sudden) and you build the story up to that point. Accounting the days involved, you'd know if you were moving too fast by how many days have passed. This can also be done week-by-week if your story is long-stretched. Of course, the downfall to this method is that it's a bit difficult to pull off for those who haven't managed their major events by days.
Another method is the roleplay method. Imagine yourself in the situation. How fast does things move for you? That's the pacing that you want. If you can imagine yourself being in that war, think about how long that battle drags out. It's only been minutes, but it feels like hours. Everyone is worried for their lives, that adrenaline causes you to process things faster, thus slowing time down. Of course, the problem with this method is the difficulty of imagining something you never did yourself. Not a big deal if you've watched shows/movies or read books on the subject.
Both methods are fairly effective and only two in a list of possibilities. Pacing is something that even some professional writers can't always capitalize on, so it's a growing study.
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