In my opinion, I write fast-paced novels. Action follows on the heels of action, and even when my characters are ruminating, I try to make them do it on the hoof, so to speak. Or I keep their thoughts brief, trying not to spend too much time thinking about one topic.
I have a character now who has run headlong into danger in the past. Now, she’s learned caution. In her latest escapade, she did recon before proceeding into an enemy stronghold. I did find, however, that my readers missed the headlong action. They found the recon a little tedious. The thing is, when I heard this, I read back over the part and found that the recon took maybe a page. A page in which the main character chomped at the bit, really wanting to get to the action, but she knew she had to be careful because going off half-cocked had burned her in the past. A couple of members of my writing group thought the scene dragged. Was it boring, I asked, or were you just anxious, as the character was anxious? They couldn’t give me an answer, and I thought, how fine a line is that?
So, I hope some of you will tell me when you slow down in your stories, when you take a breath, and if your readers prefer you not to. Is making a reader feel the same anxiousness as a character actually a triumph?