on Live Write Thrive:
Time is a slippery thing. And because of that, it poses an intriguing challenge for fiction writers.
We need to control the pacing in our stories, and one great way to do that is to manipulate time.
There are various techniques writers use to do this when it comes to “speed.” We can create beats or pauses by having action come to a halt and our characters noticing normally ignored things around them: a shift in the weather, a ticking clock, a bird circling.
We infuse beats when we want our character and our reader to process something. (This is all part of the action-reaction cycle that is so crucial to understand). Scene and chapter breaks also gives readers opportunity to take a breath and process.