Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Shutter Speed


Friday, October 24, 2008

Shutter speed affects a picture too. A slower shutter speed blurs action, as in the running water in the picture above. A faster shutter speed stops action. We've all seen those pictures of bullets shot in the dark with a strobe flash. The very quick action of the flash freezes the bullet, sometimes in the act of breaking out the bottom of a bottle or the like.

To me, pace in writing is the equivalent of shutter speed in photography. My goal is to write fast paced books with actions occurring quickly. It is not that the actions are spectacular things, cars crashing and the like. It is just that the actions come quickly one after another, generally in shorter sentences and briefer chapters.

I like the other kind of writing too. One of my favorite mystery writers is the late Batya Gur
. Her books are what I would call slow and detailed, but very interesting. But that is not the way I write.

I've always thought a person's writing reflects that person's personality. I like to get to the point and go on. That is both a strength and weakness, of course. I prefer shorter books, probably 60,000 to 80,000 words, and that is what I write.

So a faster shutter speed with good depth of field. That's what I strive for in my writing.

Don't you wish I didn't care so much about photography?


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