I like a lot of things about my Kindle, but there’s one I especially like when I study the style of other authors:
That little progress bar on the bottom. The one that tells you how far into the book you are as a percentage.
And this is why: I’m working on a novel, and I have a word count in mind. I expect I’ll come pretty close in the end, but sometimes I wonder, “How far into the story should I be at this point? Am I setting the right pace? Am I going too fast (not enough pages) or too slow (too many pages)?”
That little indicator gives me an idea of how other authors pace their books. It doesn’t matter how many pages their books are. As a percentage, I can tell more precisely when events are happening. How quickly does the author build conflict? When do the subplots begin to tie together? How quickly paced is the climax?
I realize these are individual elements of each story, and there’s no precise formula, but it helps to see how others have done it for comparison.
Outlines are a great tool, but they still need to be translated into words and chapters. And stories evolve. The written word diverges from the original concept sometimes.
If I were to calculate my current completion point, I’d be at about 60%. When I think of it on the Kindle, that sounds about right for where the story is.
Do you have a kindle or e-reader? When do you use it? What do you like about it? What do you think about how to pace a story?