Cut to the Chase

I’ve finished one chase scene in my Italian chase novel, and I’m in the middle of working on another one.  I’m finding that one of the challenges is deciding when it’s time to cut to the chase.  How much space should I dedicate to a description of the Scrovegni Chapel, the Basilica Palladiana or the Grand Canal?  Establishing a sense of place is important; establishing characters is even more important.  But how much is enough? How much is too much?  I always rely on feedback to help me figure out things like this.  But this time around, I have a number of friends who are enjoying the scenery, but they’re not sure whether I’m advancing the action quickly enough for readers who might not have the same level of interest.

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4 thoughts on “Cut to the Chase

  1. I’m bad at this, but I’m going to make a suggestion anyway. I try to write what my character would notice and delete the rest. A few vivid details in a description will let the reader imagine the remainder. On the other hand, your novel is set in a unique place, one that many American readers wouldn’t be familiar with, so you could lean toward more description. A sense of place in your novel will be vital.

  2. I appreciate the feedback. Since I always struggle with description, I’m usually a minimalist. So it’s very strange to have various critique partners suggest cuts!

    But I know from SAVING THE GRIFFIN that I have a tendency to send characters to places that I’d like to visit. I hae to avoid the tendency of turning my chase novel into a travelogue. But I alsojust read THE NIGHT VILLA on the advice of a YA editor who attended the Missouri retreat. Description galore! So I am seriously torn.

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