Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Story

I've read two amazing books this week but they're nothing alike.

Putting Alice Back TogetherThe first is Putting Alice Back Together by Carol Marinelli. It's chick lit, I guess. Alice is twenty seven or eight and her life is a train wreck, with lots of friends and family standing by enjoying the show. Somehow, Alice seems to know she needs help and she stumbles along, mostly alone, to get it. A few of her friends support her but it's largely Alice's show. It doesn't sound like a great read, but it is. It's clever and subtle and witty. There's enough drama to last a lifetime but it's done so well, you're cheering for Alice all the time.

I think the pace of this story is what kept me going. No drama is dwelled upon. It rips along from one drama to the next with snappy amusing lines. It's a sad story (with a happy end, of course) with a fast pace.

The second is Skin by Kylie Scott. It's the second of her zombie apocalyptic erotic stories and I think I enjoyed it more than Flesh, the first one, which I loved. Skin moves fast. Nick and Roslyn have a tempestuous relationship that is reflected by the war-zone-like drama around them. They fight with each other, then when they're not, the elements fight with them. The story doesn't let up with tension from start to finish - which is why I could not put this book down. I even had to fumble around in the dark plugging in my iPad just to keep going. If Kylie Scott had second book nerves, I never noticed. This is a ripper.

So pace is this week's lesson for me. You can have fast-paced stories even when the topic is sad. It doesn't only have to be action stories that rip along. Fast pacing can be scenes that quickly move to the next disaster, relationships in turmoil, or external elements creating the pace. And if you mix all that up - and throw in hooks like last week's - holy cow! I wouldn't be able to stop writing, let alone reading :)


  1. Thanks for the recommendations, Cate. I agree, even quite serious topics can benefit by pace so we don't linger too heavily on them.

  2. Hi Lou,
    I hadn't really thought about fast pacing for serious topics. I've always thought it should be slow, time standing still almost.

    I have a serious story that is slow and isn't really working. So I'm glad I read Carol's book. If I can speed up my story, maybe it will work better (especially if I worked on it and didn't keep getting distracted by new ideas!)

    Cate xo