Saturday, January 17, 2015


Is the story well-paced, or does it seem to lose momentum? Does it have you wanting to turn those pages?

"Whether you’re using fast or slow pacing, things must happen. While description makes the story more vivid, it shouldn’t be what’s happening. If you put people on every page and in every paragraph and have them doing something, pacing will unfold naturally. The more things that happen, the faster the story pace."   Maggie Touissant

Maggie's words are great to judge by. Pacing is about something happening in the story . . . fast OR slow.  If you find yourself reading the entry and you've forgotten to judge it . . .  That's a clear indication that the pacing is right on target.

Too Much Back Story * Jarring Sentences * Inconsentent Information

Mark the confusing passages in the manuscript, then zip down to the scoresheet and give the author page numbers to reference. Let them know why (or which sentence) affected the stopping & starting.

Need some pacing articles? Try the Romance University blog. They have lots of tips and may have exactly the verbiage you need to validate your feeling about the entry.

As always, if you have questions relating specifically to an entry, contact

~ ~ ~
Most of the opinions on judging and interpreting the questions’ intent are my own words. I’ve been in the business over 15 years and have spoken to many authors, gathering information. A lot of the time when a question is asked, I go to authors who publish in that genre for advice. Please use your own expertise and experience, but keep our humble interpretations in mind.
~Thanks, Angi Morgan

Contributions and edits by Fenley Grant.

Additional help tips for judging all entries are available through our judge training on the blog. Articles, tips and references are always welcome.


KEEPING PACE by Rachel Burkot, Harlequin Associate Editor

How to create strong pacing for your story ~ Writer's Digest

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