Tag Archives: Kathy Tyers

One Aspect of Pace in Storytelling: The Morian Pause

manwithhorsesmallSometimes we writers sense, despite careful plotting, that not enough is happening, when really what’s wanted is a pause.  Best selling Sci-fi author Kathy Tyers calls these pauses moments of beauty.  Here readers receive a valuable gift from the narrative: a little time to appreciate all that excellent work in character development.

Think of Tolkein’s Frodo, in the mines of Moria, resting in a moment of relative safety.  He has a chance to look around him at this terrible, beautiful world, and we’re privileged to hear him talk with Gandalf as in the old times back in the Shire.  Character development here is superbly satisfying, as we get a chance to see how the hero has changed since the days when he loved to listen to Gandalf’s stories, now that he’s in one.  And, at the end of that moment, while we’re deep in the beauty of their interaction, Frodo and Gandalf give us the exchange that will resonate to the end of the tale.  “What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!”  “Pity? It was pity that stayed his hand.  Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need.”

The beauty and calm of such a moment, contrasted with the struggle ahead, achieves a double poignancy.  First, we may wish with Frodo that we could stay here forever, and our sympathy and fear for the hero grow stronger because we’ve shared this very private wish for peace with him.  Then, as he rises to take on the dangers ahead, we are even more on the hero’s side.  Taking time to write moments of beauty makes readers smile, and creates exquisite pace.

 I hope you’ll have another brilliant writing day. Cheers. Mel

muse smallThis week from @yourwritingmuseYou keep track of the way each turning point affects the subplots. Clever work. From your Writing Muse

Point of View and the Promise of Genre





“High Commander Brennen Caldwell rushed upship from his sleeping cabin.”

–Kathy Tyers, First sentence of her novel, Daystar. Marcher Lord Press, 2012.

Kathy Tyers is a master of point of view. I admire how in ten perfectly chosen words she gives me time, place and action, as well as the promise of genre. I know not only that I’m reading science fiction, but the type of Sci Fi I can expect. I’m thrilled to realize that I’m in the POV of an officer and that, inside his skin, I’m going to fight battles in space. Just the Sci Fi I was hoping for!

I put my copy of Daystar beside my bed to read again and pull a few books from the shelf, just to see how some of my hero writers have given me the promise of genre, along with time & place & in-the-skin. I gave them 2 sentences, max, at the start of the book…

1.     On a slow, chilly day in December, shortly after the Lakers overcame a sixteen-point halftime deficit and beat New Jersey, I got a call from a murderer.

2.     One winter shortly before the six weeks war, my tomcat, Petronius the Arbiter, and I lived in an old farmhouse in Conneticut. I doubt if it is there any longer, as it was near the edge of the blast area of the Manhattan near-miss, and those old frame buildings burn like tissue paper.

3.     As I sat in the bath tub, soaping a meditative foot and singing, if I remember correctly, “Pale Hands I Loved Beside the Shalimar,” it would be deceiving my public to say that I was feeling boomps-a-daisy. The evening that lay before me promised to be one of those sticky evenings, no good to man or beast.

4.     “We should start back,” Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. “The Wildings are dead.”

Match em! With the craft these writers bring to the page, you might set yourself…20 seconds?

 o   Robert Heinlein, The Door Into Summer. Fantasy House, 1956.

o   GRR Martin, A Game of Thrones. Bantam, 1996.

o   Jonathan Kellerman, Rage. Penguin, 2005.

o   PG Wodehouse, Bertie Wooster Sees It Through. Simon and Schuster, 1955.

WindandSHadowOkay, I’m going to read all these books again. You can find Kathy Tyers’s Daystar , her Firebird trilogy, her Star Wars Books and other great tales on the Kathy Tyers page at Amazon.com


Inviting Comments, below. Got any great POV promise of genre starts to add here?

Bonus Question: Kathy Tyers wrote her opener and gave us time, place and genre without using the word “as”.  Any others equal this feat?