Let’s take a few moments to talk about pacing.
Pacing is the rate at which things happen in the book. It can be broken down like this:
- How many scenes in the book
- How many pages per scene
- How many panels per page
- How much dialogue per panel/page/scene
All of that is dependent upon what happens per scene/page/panel. Some things call for a faster pace, and others call for a slower pace.
And, as I’ve said before, you control the pace of what happens.
Now, with all of that being said, let’s talk about physics a bit, and how it messes with your senses.
The more panels you have per page, the smaller each panel gets, and the more “time” you are injecting into the page, thus, the slower the pace.
Simply put, the more panels on the page, the slower the pace.
The converse of that is also true: the fewer panels on the page, the faster the pace.
The pace that’s called for is entirely dependent upon what’s going on in that particular page. You can have a chase scene, possibly with gunplay, but if you want to slow the pace down, you can add smaller panels that show close-ups of the bullet, or the reaction to getting shot, or whatever. You can do it, because you control the pace.
Also, understand that the size of the panel is very important. The bigger the panel, the more Time the panel can hold. The shape doesn’t matter that much—tall and skinny, short and wide, L-shaped, octagonal, isosceles…it doesn’t matter. All that matters is the size.
The only other mitigator when it comes to pace is dialogue. Not just the fact that something has been said, although that is part of it, but also how much is being said. Remember, you can “add” time by adding words to a panel.
So, a smallish panel that probably held about 2 seconds worth of Time as a silent panel may now hold about 8 seconds worth of Time when the appropriate amount of dialogue is added. A large panel that held about 5 seconds of time as a silent panel may hold 20 seconds of Time with appropriate dialogue added. (And just to be thorough, the converse is true: a large panel with 20 seconds of Time because of dialogue can have that Time diminished by removing some or all of the dialogue.)
This is one of the most important lessons a writer can learn.
Now, go practice.