Pacing habits

After four months of writing P+FD as a serial with each Figment chapter being a thousand words, the thousand word scene has become my default setting.

It's a little terrifying.

As up-to-date readers know, I posted the last Figment chapter online on April 24th, as well as this note:


I decided not to post the entire P+FD manuscript months ago, mostly out of fear of publishers being reluctant to handle a manuscript that had been posted in entitreity online. Agents and editors all have different answers on what is acceptable. Maybe in several years when the Internet isn't (still?) so new, there will be a clearer answer. 

 I spent the day writing Chapter Twenty-six: The Disease.  I spent the day writing Chapter Twenty-six: The Disease. Instead of sending commenters Figment-sized chapters, that is to say 1K words, I will send them 3K, or an entire chapter. 

(Or for those of you who think in pages, Figment chapters are three pages, print are nine pages). 

I actually mark "real" chapter titles with •Like This• on Figment, which happens every three Figment chapters. 

For example:

"The Monkeys" and "The Confrontation" are actually a part of "Chapter Nineteen: The Hot Spring."


I have found that shorter chapters work better online, but longer chapters are more satisfying in print. So, when P+FD is (hopefully!) published, chapters will run closer to 3K. (Unless my very theoretically future editor wants something else.) 

But anyway. Default settings. Posting chapters in 1K has resulted in an impulse to hit cliffhangers and significant moments every three pages. (This blows my mind simply because when I was actively writing Mabel's City, chapters were 20-30 pages.) 

This is awesome for my pacing, for the most part, but I never realized how much these four months of writing P+FD had influenced my pacing and writing habits overall. When I sat down to write "The Disease," I knew that I had a whole 3K to play with. But I still hit 1K on a dramatic point, then almost reset scene and perspective. 

It was like being possessed!

I'm not complaining about the writing, not at all, but damn. Damn. Damn. 

I mean, it's a good thing. I don't want the pacing and style to change in the final five chapters of the book. But I never expected to be in such a groove, such a habit. 

I suppose it's like working the same set of muscles all the time. Pacing muscles.