I'm not talking about how many words you write in a day or how many books you pound out on the keyboard each year. I mean the pacing in your novel. Proper pacing is what glues that book to the reader's hand so they can't put it down to make dinner or got to bed at a timely hour.
I've come up with a list of things I try to keep the pace going at a fast clip and keep those readers turning the pages for one more chapter.
Cliffhangers. Every writer has heard the advice to end a chapter with someone in jeopardy or a mystery to be revealed if only the reader turns the page.
Short. Keep paragraphs short. Use sentence fragments. Make your sentences succinct without flowery prose. Short scenes. Short chapters. It makes the story move fast and draws the reader into reading that next chapter because it's not that long.
Action! Limit character thoughts. There's a place for that but it will slow the pace down.
Active Verbs and Voice. Use those active verbs and limit the passive ones. Make verbs energetic.
Onomatopoeia. Use words that that imitate the sound of something. This involves the senses of the reader and keeps the interest high. Sizzling heat. Buzzing bees. Here's the definition if you're unfamiliar with Onomatopoeia.
In Media Res. Start a scene in the middle. Skip the scenery description. If you're read The Hobbit, you know how such a beginning was once acceptable in literature. Don't try that today. Grab that reader on the first page by starting as something is happening.
Change Directions. Nothing like surprise, an unexpected twist, to keep the reader hooked. And keep them thinking about your book long after they finish.
All writers are readers and I'm sure you've read a book that kept you up way past bedtime. What did the writer do to keep you turning the pages? What pacing devices were used? What would you add to my list?