“Kelly’s Pub was already in full swing when Dan O’Hara emerged from the back room of the tavern, the guest quarters, where he’d been staying.”
Done right, the rhythm of a story will ebb and flow along with the build up of the most dramatic moments - mountains and valleys. When you are going up the mountain the pace will be quicker and more concise. In the valleys you can relax and take the time to admire the scenery.
“Jimmy and Sean stepped back, and the cop hopped in his car and drove off. They watched it reach the corner and then turn right, Dave’s head, darkened by distance and shadows, looking back at them. And then the street was empty again, seemed to have gone mute with the slam of the car door. Jimmy and Sean stood where the car had been, looked at their feet, up and down the street, anywhere but at each other.”
Authors who are also poets usually have a wonderful sense of the rhythm in their work. A perfect example is Jory Sherman who was first published as a poet. This example from his book, The Ballad of Pinewood Lake, illustrates that poetic influence:
“She is Angela and I brought her here to
I am to be her man.
There is nothing that cannot be created out of this relationship. We will have a green garden. We will build a home and an
Not only has Jory painted a beautiful picture with his words, he added layer after layer of characterization and plot. We can feel the protagonist’s need to control things in his life, his yearning for something beyond the confines of his present life, his desperate hope that he will find it at Pinewood Lake.
Be conscious of the rhythm of your work and give readers a flawless read.
Maryann Miller is an author and freelance editor. Her latest books are One Small Victory and Play it Again, Sam. Visit her Web site for information about her books and her editing services. When she is not working, she loves to play "farmer" on her little ranch in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas.