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Marathons and Books

I am not a runner. I started out to try running last year, and I did well then I injured myself (twisted my knee and ankle) which had me off my feet for almost a month, but even at that point, I understood the purpose of pacing myself.

Connemara, Ireland, 2007
Pacing in a book is a good thing because it gives the reader a chance to catch a breath after a heady scene. It also can lull a reader into a sense of safety to make the action scenes even more dangerous.

As a writer, pacing on the writing process is also a good thing. It enables us to plot out how much we need to do, what research is required, and even how long we can push ourselves.

Currently, I'm working on two books - one is my designated chapter-a-day books which keep me solidly on pace. It's slow-going for a variety of reasons, but every morning, I wake up, prepare my coffee and write. The scheduled time forces me to focus on the book.

On the other hand, I'm writing another book which also has a minimum daily word count, but in this case, the book is easier to write. Not a breeze to write, but easier than the first. Whereas one is a training run, the other is a fun run.

One keeps me focused, the other keeps me entertained. Both are needed, and both are good novels. For me, it's been interesting to see how the two books develop. How they take various unexpected paths; how I can see the path before me, but still and unexpected adventure comes along to steal my interest, and lead me onto another, equally exciting path.

This is the joy of writing - finding the adventure before you.


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