Powerful Pacing for Storytellers

Learn effective pacing techniques to fine-tune story rhythm while maximizing reader engagement.

Last updated 5/2023 English

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In POWERFUL PACING FOR STORYTELLERS, students you will have the opportunity to learn effective pacing techniques to fine-tune story rhythm while maximizing reader engagement.

In this course, you’ll discover how to use pacing techniques to build tension, emphasize important story events, and increase your readers’ engagement.


We’ll explore story pacing with its three different timing clocks, and a formula that can help you control the relationship between time, speed, viewpoint depth, and emotional intensity. 

  1. Introduction - the Confusion of Pacing
  2. The 3 Clocks of Storytelling
  3. The Storyteller's Pacing Formula


We’ll look at the way a reader’s perception of time fluctuates with the level of excitement, and study techniques you can use to fine-tune pacing and control your readers’ level of excitement.   

  1. Scenes, Sequels, and Pacing
  2. Reader's Perception of Time and Sequels
  3. Pacing Techniques
  4. Pacing, Emotional Intensity, and Viewpoint


We’ll study the effect different writing modes have on pacing, and how you can control pacing using these modes.

  • How to Control Pacing with Fiction Delivery Modes: Dramatic Summary, Dramatic Action, Dialogue, Narration, Description, and Exposition. (Dramatic )


We'll explore the structure of Scenes and Sequels more deeply, examining the relationship between Fiction Delivery Modes and Scene and Sequel.

  1. Scene and Sequel: the Building Blocks of Fiction
  2. Scene and Sequel meets Fiction Delivery Modes 
  3. Practice Exercise: Analyzing Pacing using Fiction Delivery Modes

I designed this course for writers who want to improve their control over pacing to keep readers wanting more. The only requirement for enrolment is a willingness to learn.

Feel free to check out the course videos here on the landing page, and preview the free lesson.

I look forward to seeing you in the class.

Have a great day, and may the muse be with you.

Vanessa Grant

Who this course is for

Storytellers who want to keep readers interested throughout their stories.


  1. I did like the course very much. It said its theme would be pacing - and it really was. I was disappointed by other courses when the title didn't fit to the lesson. I liked to see the theory be mirrored in a real novel. I will have a new look on my own writing and the writing of other authors. Thank you Vanessa! ~ F Pfeifer
  2. Informative and easy to follow. I will re-watch this class several times I'm sure to make sure I have it all down. Thank you ~ Dorey N
  3. I love how Vanessa Grant unfolds this course to engage all writing levels and genres. The examples and explanations are engaging, fun, and light handed. In addition, Vanessa's suggested books and authors gave me the stepping stones I look for in self-education without the need for more research. The sections in "Playing with Time" were compact and a convenient length for anyone with a busy schedule. As a mom, ending my day with a few videos with Vanessa Grant was exactly what I needed to power on my writing. I am now enjoying the exercise and would love to see more! Thank you! ~ L A Olson
  4. Sometimes when I'm writing a book, I get that gnawing feeling that what I'm doing isn't quite right. Something in the story feels--off. I'm not always quick to recognize what's gone wrong, and that inability often slows me down. It can also make me doubt my story and my skills as a writer. Vanessa Grant, in this comprehensive course, has reminded me of the impact of pacing (slow and fast) on what I write. Her in-depth analysis of what pacing is, how it works, and how critical it is to making a story exciting and engaging for a reader, is bang on. I now have a solid list of checkpoints to use going forward. Checkpoints that will help me to judge whether or not the pacing in my work is a problem. Next time when I get that miserable gnawing feeling that something's wrong in my current work--I'll be thinking about this course and what I've learned from it. Great course! Thank you ~ EC Sheedy
  5. I love these short mini lectures. Vanessa gets right to the point and explains her subject well. Graphics are interesting and helpful. In this Pacing course, I found the exercise in Section 16 really helpful! And it was fun, and colorful, too. Taught me to look at the dynamics of writing in an entirely new way. This is the second class of Ms. Grant's that I have taken, and I've learned a lot in both of them. I can see my skills improving as I use her techniques ~ K McHughes
  6. This course is exactly what I need! So far, everything is explained clearly, at a pleasant pace. I'm looking forward to the next lesson, which is about scenes and sequels! ~ Kate S
  7. Good course. Helpful to me as I develop my story idea ~ S Marsh
  8. Gave me an enhanced appreciation of timing in fiction ~ E Omokhudu

What you'll learn

  1. Identify three different kinds of time in storytelling, and the formula that cuts through the confusion of pacing.
  2. Discover how pacing controls the reader's perception of time.
  3. Use your understanding of the six primary fiction delivery modes to analyze pacing.
  4. Use pacing to make your story more powerful and keep your readers wanting "more".
  5. Control pacing using the relationship between Scene and Sequel and Fiction Delivery Modes.
  6. Understand pacing's relationship to "camera angle", depth of viewpoint, emotional intensity, and scene and sequel.


The only requirement is a willingness to learn.

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