Then the time slowed down

Professional authors say it’s important to keep the reader suspending his disbelief. How could he buy into the story of Elantris without believing that Aons channel the power of Dor and do miracles? The reader must believe that in this imaginary world things exist just like the author describes them. If the writer can make the reader do that, he is halfway through to success.

There are a few things which throw me as reader out of the story. One of those is the sentence: “Then the time slowed down”. Alternatively it can be “He (she) saw everything in slow motion”. It happens, when something important is going on and the writer wants to explain everything in details. For him it’s quite convenient if the “time slows down” since he has more time (read: more words) to guide us through that moment.

But for me it works differently. When I read that sentence I roll my eyes and I murmur “not again, please”.

Just take a fight scene as an example, this phenomenon with the speed of the time tend to happen when guys beat up each other. Let’s say Jack is about to hit Dave, who stares right at him, lifting his hands to defend himself. Time doesn’t give a damn, it flows as it does all the time. Jack punches Dave in the face in a millisecond sending him in the air so he lands on his back. Dave may be able to dodge, or deflect the blow and score a hit on Jacks stomach. It’s because Dave is quicker and he can do it in half millisecond. It has nothing to do with time, it’s fine with its normal speed, thank you. Jack’s blow and Dave’s counter attack what happens damn quick.

matrix

Then Neo slowed down the time

If Dave really sees it in slow motion, than it’s a different story. He may be a time traveller superhero, cleaning the streets from bad guys like Jack. Or he may possess a device messing up with the flow of time. Or something else happens. But either way, when “time slows down” I immediately switch to time-traveller science-fiction mode. Which means I’m out of thriller mode, out of fantasy mode, out of romance mode. Out of the story whatever I read. Neo here is the example when time really slows down. But now I’m in sci-fi mode, as I said.

Unfortunately this phrase became so cliché, it is widely accepted.

By the way, I just came across this interesting post, which questions the same thing.

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Writing project

They say one of the ways to fight procrastination is to make your project public. So here I am, shouting into the internet crowd: I’m writing a novella.
I’m studying the craft of writing for a few years now, and it’s time to take it to the next level. I have written several short stories, some of them got nice feedbacks. I have written two novels, which stay in my drawer until I decide if they’re worth the effort to edit and polish them. (There is a chance that hey will remain in the drawer for good.)
Now I’m concentrating my creativity and knowledge to craft a publishable story. So far I created the plot and the main characters. The story takes place in Brussels, Belgium, which I hope will be somewhat exotic for the readers.
And the big thing is: I’m writing a romance.
I’m an introvert by nature, and according to my wife I’m not the most romantic person in the world. Usually I read sci-fi, fantasy and thriller, but occasionally I venture into other territories such as romance and paranormal. Until now I wrote sci-fi and thriller stories, these are the genres I’m comfortable with. But I struggle with the romantic scenes. (Even sci-fi and thriller stories have romance in them, right?) I decided that I have to improve, and what is the best way to do that? Yep, jumping right into the deep water. So I bought a few how-to books on writing romance, and asked my wife to suggest some of the books she liked. And I plunged into them. At this point I cannot say if it’s a good idea, but there is one way to know it: I finish this story, and ask a few beta readers for their opinions. Then I will see what will I do with the manuscript. Shred it or send it out.
I will give updates time after time on the Current Project page, I even placed a word count bar in the side column on the right.
Fingers crossed, I’m back to writing.

Learn to edit with the book by Don McNair

Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents CraveEditor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave by Don McNair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a newbie writer trying to learn the craft. Editing is my weak point, so I purchased this book to learn wisdom from an established editor. It was exactly what I needed and expected.

There is a vast amount of information available on the internet about editing. If you follow writers’ blogs you can gather everything you need about editing your manuscript. The problem is it takes a lot of time and a lot of reading. This book is a real time saver, because you can have what you need without wasting time searching and waiting for someone to drop the piece of information you just need.

The book is straightforward and full of advices what to do to tighten your prose and to weed out the words making your writing amateurish.

View all my reviews

Unblocked

Last weekend I had it. First time in my short writing life. I knew it existed, but I didn’t know what was it like. I would have passed, if you ask me, but what could I do?

On Friday I was staring at the screen, reading the last chapter of the novelette I’m working on. I knew it was leading nowhere. When I planned the story, in my mind I pictured something totally different. The characters just went off-track, wondering around, talking gibberish. And I was blocked.

I always imagined writer’s block as staring at the blank screen, not knowing what to write. I never have that. I always know what to write, because I have so many ideas swirling in my head I could fill books with them. So I never have to ask myself: now what? It wasn’t that kind of block last weekend. I could start to write if I wanted to, I could continue the story immediately, I could fill pages with words effortlessly. But man, I knew it ain’t going nowhere.

So I didn’t write a word on Saturday nor Sunday. It happens anyway, when I’m too busy with the family, or I have something really important to do. Or I’m too lazy to do something meaningful.

Walk the Dog and Think - Photo: danamason06
Walk the Dog and Think – Photo: danamason06

But it was different. I didn’t write, because I didn’t want the characters to kill the readers by boredom. Unfortunately I had no better idea for the time being, so I had to work it out. I got my brain to work, and I was thinking hard for two days. (At least when not watching films or playing computer games). I was thinking while helping my wife to vacuum the floor, arranging boxes in the garage, or walking the dog. By the way, have you tried it? To walk the dog and think about your ongoing project. While the dog smells everything and pisses on the wooden posts, you can fine-tune plots, find out characters, even create complete sentences in your head. Very effective.

I discovered the power of thinking again. In my opinion, it is integral part of the writing process, so I spend time cogitating. I can say, I don’t stop thinking as a writer. (Big words from someone who isn’t published. Yet. But hey, you have to write before you publish, right? I’m just not at that phase yet.)

After two days I sat and cut the whole last chapter out. I have put it in a separate note called trash. Because it was trash. But I didn’t delete it permanently, later I may use a few descriptive sentences. Then I started to write a different angle, different thread. And it was much better.

Now I keep working on this new plot, and go along with it for a while. At least until it sidetracks again.

Unblocked

Last weekend I had it. First time in my short writing life. I knew it existed, but I didn’t know what was it like. I would have passed, if you ask me, but what could I do?

On Friday I was staring at the screen, reading the last chapter of the novelette I’m working on. I knew it was leading nowhere. When I planned the story, in my mind I pictured something totally different. The characters just went off-track, wondering around, talking gibberish. And I was blocked.

I always imagined writer’s block as staring at the blank screen, not knowing what to write. I never have that. I always know what to write, because I have so many ideas swirling in my head I could fill books with them. So I never have to ask myself: now what? It wasn’t that kind of block last weekend. I could start to write if I wanted to, I could continue the story immediately, I could fill pages with words effortlessly. But man, I knew it ain’t going nowhere.

So I didn’t write a word on Saturday nor Sunday. It happens anyway, when I’m too busy with the family, or I have something really important to do. Or I’m too lazy to do something meaningful.

Walk the Dog and Think - Photo: danamason06

Walk the Dog and Think – Photo: danamason06

But it was different. I didn’t write, because I didn’t want the characters to kill the readers by boredom. Unfortunately I had no better idea for the time being, so I had to work it out. I got my brain to work, and I was thinking hard for two days. (At least when not watching films or playing computer games). I was thinking while helping my wife to vacuum the floor, arranging boxes in the garage, or walking the dog. By the way, have you tried it? To walk the dog and think about your ongoing project. While the dog smells everything and pisses on the wooden posts, you can fine-tune plots, find out characters, even create complete sentences in your head. Very effective.

I discovered the power of thinking again. In my opinion, it is integral part of the writing process, so I spend time cogitating. I can say, I don’t stop thinking as a writer. (Big words from someone who isn’t published. Yet. But hey, you have to write before you publish, right? I’m just not at that phase yet.)

After two days I sat and cut the whole last chapter out. I have put it in a separate note called trash. Because it was trash. But I didn’t delete it permanently, later I may use a few descriptive sentences. Then I started to write a different angle, different thread. And it was much better.

Now I keep working on this new plot, and go along with it for a while. At least until it sidetracks again.