Yesterday, while eating chocolate doughnut (notice I spelled it correctly?) holes while finishing up a book by one of my favorite authors, Georgette Heyer. One thing I noticed is that, based on today’s standards, her pacing was a little slow. You must understand, I hadn’t re-read a Heyer book since I started my professional career as an author. And I’m guessing, if I wasn’t writing professionally now, I still might not notice her pacing except for one thing. I’m used to a faster life now. And that’s what set me wondering…is it possible that one reason some of the authors of yesteryear sold those long epics because life wasn’t as fast as today?
In the ’60s, I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and thought it was the bomb! When Peter Jackson released the first of his movies, I rushed out and bought the re-releases. I sat down to read and went to sleep around page seven. Oh my God, how could I have I thought it was so great? Peter should have been Tolkein’s editor. Then I thought of my life back then as compared to now. Mail took 3-4 days to arrive. Flying by jet was only for the rich and very few people flew at all. Most long-distance travelling was done by car, bus, or train.
Now we have computers and cell phones so communications are lightening fast. You don’t even have to wait until after 7:00PM for the cheaper rates. Eating out meant ordering, waiting for food, and eating. Now, you drive through, pick up your food, and sometimes even eat it while driving from soccer game to swim meet. Most of us don’t even get eight hours sleep anymore! So is that why book pacing is so much faster today? Are we so used to the faster life style, we no longer are willing to take the time to read massive descriptive scenes like James Michner wrote? Because we can Google any culture, do we HATE reading all that research the author offers us to increase our knowledge of other peoples?
What do you think?