Henry Sutton
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Pace and fluency
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A revealing interview with James Patterson about process and his overriding adherence to the concept of ‘pace’ determines the first half of this chapter. How is pace defined and incorporated in crime fiction? What are its advantages, its possible weaknesses? Key genre authors’ approaches are explained. A comparison is made in relation to fluency between the beginning of James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity and Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries; the latter being heavily influenced by the former. Tempo is discussed in relation to Patricia Highsmith’s approaches; along with reader genre expectation. Authorial intent is identified using work from Sara Paretsky, Denise Mina and James Sallis, among others. Concepts of narrative drive, succinctness and literary versus genre approaches and styles to and of pacing are further explored.

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