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Pace

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
User avatar
Rowan
Bibliophile
Interest in HF: I love history, but it's boring in school. Historical fiction brings it alive for me.
Preferred HF: Iron-Age Britain, Roman Britain, Medieval Britain
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Pace

Postby Rowan » Tue September 12th, 2017, 1:35 pm

I read a few different genres of books and find that of all of them, fantasy seems to have the slowest pace. Or perhaps it's this particular series. I'm reading Game of Thrones (currently on book three because I can handle only so much of it at one time) and I find it to move at a snail's pace. Do you think it's because there are so many different perspectives that the story is told from? By contrast, I find historical fiction, in most cases, to have a natural pace and the other books I've read to be much faster.

What are your thoughts?

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Re: Pace

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue September 12th, 2017, 2:47 pm

I agree on GOT's snail's pace. Which appears to be about the speed GRRM writes. But every genre attracts readers who favor the pace typical of that genre. For fantasy, the pace is usually slow because there are so many rules to explain, either by showing or telling. Lord of the Rings is slow as molasses, as Tolkien takes his time to explain the geneaology of hobbits, and describe the countryside, and hold forth on the powers (or lack of them) of wizards and elves.

Most mysteries go fairly fast. That's what the mystery genre wants.

HF falls somewhere in between, since there IS a lot the reader may not know to show and/or tell about the time and place. I like books that have a nice alternation of pacing between gripping action and then some time to analyze what just happened and let me take a mental breather. Some of the male-oriented battle books get put down as too exhausting. But authors who take time out to info-dump annoy me equally, and I find I'm much less tolerant of it now that I'm older than I was when I was in my teens and twenties. I now re-read things I thought were wonderful, thinking "Good grief, this book needed an EDITOR to cut out the boring bits!"

But that's just me. :D
my facebook posts https://www.facebook.com/emilylaurencotton are public, generally things I find amusing.
my passions: fair trade, ending slavery, and justice.
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers
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Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: A Christmas Secret by Karen Swan & Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Re: Pace

Postby Madeleine » Tue September 12th, 2017, 2:51 pm

I actually thought that the 3rd book was the fastest paced (unlike book 5 which is akin to walking through clay), especially the second half (it's published in 2 paper backs in the UK). But if I did re-read it I'd probably skip some bits, so you probably have a point about all the different perspectives.

As MLE says, endless lists and descriptions (something of which both GRRM and JRRT are guilty) can bog things down, and whilst I've read some HF books which have been just about right re the amount of history and back story they give, others have felt like a massive info dump, to the point where the author seems to be showing off how much research they did, and making sure the reader knows about it! It's a definite skill, knowing how much to put in and how much to leave out, and obviously a lot of it comes down to personal taste on the part of the reader too.
Currently reading "A Christmas Secret" by Karen Swan & "Portrait if a Murderer" by Anne Meredith

User avatar
Rowan
Bibliophile
Interest in HF: I love history, but it's boring in school. Historical fiction brings it alive for me.
Preferred HF: Iron-Age Britain, Roman Britain, Medieval Britain
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Re: Pace

Postby Rowan » Tue September 12th, 2017, 5:30 pm

Thanks for your responses. You know, Emily, even with a massive historical fiction novel, even with all the narrative that there may be to make it clear who's who, I never find it slow. It's like taking a long walk with a friend and just listening to them as they tell this fascinating story.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks GoT is slow. lol


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