Writing Tip Wednesday – Pacing and Suspense

Writing Tip Wednesday – Pacing and Suspense

JA Huss

Welcome to Video Six of The Perfect Story. In this video we’re going to talk about pacing and suspense. This helps you visualize how to set up your story using the structure previous videos on structure as a template and what you need to write a “page turner” no matter what genre you write.

If you’re just coming in on this series and haven’t yet seen the previous videos they are linked below.

Middles and Scenes
Hooks and Endings
Sex Scenes
Literary Devices

As always, if you don’t want to remember to check back every two weeks to watch the new video, you can always follow my blog using the form below and I’ll send the post right to your email. And if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer your question as soon as I see it.

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About JA Huss

JA Huss never wanted to be a writer and she still dreams of that elusive career as an astronaut. She originally went to school to become an equine veterinarian but soon figured out they keep horrible hours and decided to go to grad school instead. That Ph.D wasn’t all it was cracked up to be (and she really sucked at the whole scientist thing), so she dropped out and got a M.S. in forensic toxicology just to get the whole thing over with as soon as possible.

After graduation she got a job with the state of Colorado as their one and only hog farm inspector and spent her days wandering the Eastern Plains shooting the shit with farmers. After a few years of that, she got bored. And since she was a homeschool mom and actually does love science, she decided to write science textbooks and make online classes for other homeschool moms. She wrote more than two hundred of those workbooks and was the number one publisher at the online homeschool store many times, but eventually she covered every science topic she could think of and ran out of shit to say.

So in 2012 she decided to write fiction instead. That year she released her first three books and started a career that would make her a New York Times bestseller and land her on the USA Today Bestseller’s List eighteen times in the next three years. Her books have sold millions of copies all over the world, the audio version of her semi-autobiographical book, Eighteen, was nominated for an Audie award in 2016, and her audiobook Mr. Perfect was nominated for a Voice Arts Award in 2017. Johnathan McClain is her first (and only) writing partner and even though they are worlds apart in just about every way imaginable, it works.

She lives on a ranch in Central Colorado with her family.

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  1. Thank you so much for these. I’m writing my first novel, a romance about an autistic man and you’re videos have been really helpful so far. 8,000 words down, 72,000 to go. Thanks again!

  2. Thanks for another interesting video. I’m writing my first romance novel with dual POV (which I happen to enjoy reading). Do you think that each POV chapter should be relatively the same word count? I have some chapters that are super long, then switch over to the other POV that might be somewhat shorter. You mention switching POV in the middle of a scene. I never thought of that. Would you recommend that to break up one of those super long chapters?

    Can’t wait for the next two videos! I hope your planning another series after this:)

    1. You know, my word count for chapters varies according to how many words I need that day. I don’t usually care one way or the other and I don’t think anyone else does either. But many readers like dual POV characters to have about the same “time” in the book. This is especially so in audio. So always keep audio in mind when you write, even if you have no plans on doing audio right now.

  3. I’m seriously loving these videos because I’m learning SO much! Thank you for taking time to help out your fellow writers.

    I do have a question, and I know you are crazy busy, but I’m wondering how you use the TVtropes website. I’ve been on there before and it’s hella confusing to me. I’m probably TSTL when it comes to this site, but if you have some insight, I’d appreciate it. 8).

    1. TV Tropes is like a dark black hole. You just have to page through tropes of characters or plots and then click the linked tropes within an article until you find what you’re looking for. 🙂

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