· Pace is a reader’s urge to continue.
· Determinants of pace
o The emotional valence of the topic
§ Topic w/ highest emotional valence is: Kid In Danger. Don’t have to characterize anything for all of our alarms to go off.
§ If I am writing a story about a surgeon in the operating room, and suddenly—the scalpel slips! It cuts a major artery and the patient is bleeding to death. Then a pause. You can then go on for a while about the history scalpels, and the reader will still stay with you.
§ However, they won’t stick with you if you leave a Russian nobleman walking in a field to talk about the history of Russian plows.
o If you have high occurrences of the verb “to be”, your writing will suffer
§ But if your description is lucid and lively and vivid, then they might stick with Boris in the field, and they may even run away from the surgeon (TMI).