Do you remember when the movie Speed came out? It seemed like after that every movie was a mile-a-minute, action-packed adrenaline rush. Gone was the slower pacing of a Casablanca or Waterloo Bridge. Has the same thing happened to fiction?
A lot of the advice given to writers these days is to skip the exposition (intro) and get right to the action. In romance, we’re told the hero and heroine are supposed to meet within the first few pages, and if there are no martial arts or bullets flying, then some critics claim there isn’t enough going on.
Personally, I enjoy those action-packed romances. Authors like Sherrilyn Kenyon and J. R. Ward have made a huge career out of them. But I also like reading slower-paced works too. I like the kind of story that draws you in gradually, then won’t let you go. The type you might have trouble getting into at first, but whose characters linger with you long after the last page. Although stories about warriors and secret agents are great, so are tales of everyday life and love and loss.
I say give us variety! Writing is a creative art. I hate to see a market trend homogenize fiction. It’s the same as listening to only one genre of music all the time. Hip-hop, R&B, alternative rock, even disco are great some of the time, but eventually I’m going to pop on Enya for a break.