by Jnana Hodson

Sometimes a way to make a chapter feel shorter is by making it longer. Yes, when an author senses a section in progress is beginning to drag for the reader, a quick fix to speed up the action may be by interrupting the block and inserting a new detail – perhaps something that anchors the section to an earlier concern or pointing ahead to a new possibility. This can be something as short as a sentence or an aside, a flash of dialogue, or even a long side street that reconnects down the pike.

When I’m drafting and revising, I’m always surprised when this works.

Of course, don’t rule out the more common alternative. Drastic cuts may give you traction and get straight back to the action.

Or sometimes it’s even a combination of both.