Picture the happiest day of your life. Chances are, that moment seemed to have happened in the blink of an eye.
Now, think about the saddest, most painful day of your life. Remember how time seemed to slow to a crawl-or even stop altogether.
There were still the same number of hours in both days, but for some reason, our brain processes them completely differently. This tempo shift is natural in real life, but it can be a challenge to convey through writing. To help with that, I want to share one easy secret:
To make your writing slower, add more detail.
The more details you add to a scene, the longer it will take readers to get to the point. This is especially good when your characters are experiencing emotional pain. Instead of facing it head on, have your writing beat around the problem.
- Many, short sentences
- Strong details from all five senses
- Details about seemingly unrelated events that your character is choosing to focus on, rather than the problem at hand
The more details your character notices, the longer it will take your readers to get through the scene. And, if your character loves avoiding difficult feelings, this tempo shift can magnify how desperately they are trying to ignore their pain.
Readers will feel the character's struggle because they will be experiencing it alongside them. Time will seem to slow to a crawl in your story, and your character's emotions will only magnify.
Keep on Writing,