Using Pause Breaks to Strengthen the Pacing of Your Story 

Using Pause Breaks to Strengthen the Pacing of Your Story , by Mary Carroll Moore 

Right now, I’m working with a writer who is studying pacing: specifically, how to pace her chapters. She tends to deliver too much–too many images, too many ideas, too much happening–all at once. It feels like a freight train coming at the reader.

So we’re studying the writerly device of pause breaks.
Very simply: in any genre of book, readers need time to absorb stuff. They hate not keeping up. They will vote by putting the book down, in all likelihood, if they get confused by too much coming at them. You’re not there to urge them to pick the book up again–“It gets really good in a couple pages!”–so as a writer you have to anticipate this. By putting in those pause breaks.

In fiction and memoir, these are reflective scenes. The narrator (main character) might take time to think about something, reflect on it. And the reader can do the same. If you’re writing a novel, memoir, biography, or other narrative story, you can use reflective scenes as your pause break.
Nonfiction has three devices to create pause breaks:

1. Story (illustrative anecdote)

2. Exercise or practical application

3. Visual change (sidebar, box, different font, cartoon, etc.)
In a chapter, consider the main event–action or idea–and ask whether you’ve incorporated any pause break. Maybe not in every chapter, especially in a fast-paced story, but soon enough that the reader can take a breath.  

If you have too many pause breaks, there’s a sense of stall-out. That’s something to watch for, as well.
This Week’s Writing Exercise

Look over two or three chapters in your current manuscript–they can be rough or polished–and ask yourself where you’ve placed reflective scenes or another device that gives the reader a pause to absorb what’s been delivered, what’s just happened. Do you need to re-flow any part of your chapter to allow for this?  

What the horrible word ‘Bastard’really means

Today I received my first ever review from someone who bought my book- The Fortune Seekers.

Tim Gurung, an author of a number of unique books, including ‘Redemption’ and ‘Afterlife’,  wrote the following review. It has encouraged me, and also made me aware of the power of words.

Here’s his review. 

This book is very nicely written, has black & white photographs to embolden …, August 28, 2016By Tim I gurung

This review is from: The Fortune Seekers Dan and Charlotte: Book One of a Series (Kindle Edition)

This book is not only a historical novel but also a history by itself and everyone who has roots from the British side must read this book. The book is very nicely written, has black & white photographs to embolden the story, and make you feel like you were traveling with them. I also learned a little piece of history, e.g. why it has anything to do with the word ‘bastards’ and I am grateful to the writer for clearing that as well. While reading this book, I couldn’t help but felt like I was watching those old Western movies when people were moving around and living a life of gypsies. It is definitely a very good book, easy but interesting reading and the highly recommended. The book is quite long though, so, prepare yourself for a long and enjoyable ride. I am not sure if it was based on true story but I genuinely felt that way.
The  Fortune Seekers.  Available. Booksales    And

I am grateful to Tim for highlighting a number of points. In particular the slang word ‘Bastard’ (or is it now a swearing word?)

 My generation consider it to be offensive, as the meaning is cruel, heartless and undeserved by those who it applies to.

The dictionary states the following-

  • bastard




archaicderogatory- a person born of parents not married to each other.

  • synonyms: illegitimate child, child born out of wedlock

2. informal – an unpleasant or despicable person.

  • “he lied to me, the bastard!”

synonyms: scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, brute, animal, weasel, snake, monster, ogre, wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer, evil-doer.


1. a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.


  • a vicious, despicable, or thoroughly disliked person:
  • Some bastard slashed the tires on my car.
  • a person, especially a man:The poor bastard broke his leg.

3.something irregular, inferior, spurious, or unusual.

4.bastard culverin.


5.illegitimate in birth.

6.spurious; not genuine; false: The architecture was bastard Gothic.

7. of abnormal or irregular shape or size; of unusual make or proportions: bastard quartz; bastard mahogany.

8.having the appearance of; resembling in some degree: a bastard Michelangelo; bastard emeralds.

9.Printing. (of a character) not of the font in which it is used or found.

1. a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.


a vicious, despicable, or thoroughly disliked person:

Some bastard slashed the tires on my car.

a person, especially a man: The poor bastard broke his leg.

3. something irregular, inferior, spurious, or unusual.

4. bastard culverin.


5. illegitimate in birth.

6.spurious; not genuine; false:

The architecture was bastard Gothic.

7. of abnormal or irregular shape or size; of unusual make or proportions: bastard quartz; bastard mahogany.

8. having the appearance of; resembling in some degree: a bastard Michelangelo; bastard emeralds.

9. Printing. (of a character) not of the font in which it is used or found.

Origin of bastard

Middle EnglishAnglo-FrenchMedieval LatinGermanic

1250-13001250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French bastard, Medieval Latin bastardus (from 11th century), perhaps < Germanic (Ingvaeonic) *bāst-, presumed variant of *bōst- marriage + Old French -ard -ard, taken as signifying the offspring of a polygynous marriage to a woman of lower status, a pagan tradition not sanctioned by the church; compare Old Frisian bost marriage < Germanic *bandstu-, a noun derivative of Indo-European *bhendh- bind; the traditional explanation of Old French bastard as derivative of fils de bast “child of a packsaddle” is doubtful on chronological and geographical grounds
See more synonyms on

6. fake, imitation, imperfect, sham, irregular, phony. Unabridged

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.

British Dictionary definitions for bastard Expand


/ˈbɑːstəd; ˈbæs-/


1.(informal, offensive) an obnoxious or despicable person

2.(informal, often jocular) a person, esp a man: lucky bastard

3.(informal) something extremely difficult or unpleasant: that job is a real bastard

4.(old-fashioned or offensive) a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate baby, child, or adult

5.something irregular, abnormal, or inferior

6. a hybrid, esp an accidental or inferior one

adjective (prenominal)

7.(old-fashioned or offensive) illegitimate by birth

8.irregular, abnormal, or inferior in shape, size, or appearance

9.resembling a specified thing, but not actually being such: a bastard cedar

10.counterfeit; spurious

Derived Forms – bastardly, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old French bastart, perhaps from bast in the phrase fils de bast son of the packsaddle (that is, of an unlawful and not the marriage bed), from Medieval Latin bastum packsaddle, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition

Word Origin and History for bastard 


“illegitimate child,” early 13c., from Old French bastard (11c., Modern French bâtard), “acknowledged child of a nobleman by a woman other than his wife,” probably from fils de bast “packsaddle son,” meaning a child conceived on an improvised bed (saddles often doubled as beds while traveling), with pejorative ending -art (see -ard ). Alternative possibly is that the word is from Proto-Germanic *banstiz “barn,” equally suggestive of low origin. 
Not always regarded as a stigma; the Conqueror is referred to in state documents as “William the Bastard.” Figurative sense of “something not pure or genuine” is late 14c.; use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830. As an adjective from late 14c. Among the “bastard” words in Halliwell-Phillipps’ “Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words” are avetrol, chance-bairn, by-blow, harecoppe, horcop, and gimbo (“a bastard’s bastard”).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Slang definitions & phrases for bastard


A man one dislikes or disapproves of, esp a mean, dishonest, self-serving man; prick, son of a bitch (late 1600s+)

Anything unpleasant or arduous; bitch: Ain’t it a bastard the way it keeps raining (1930s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.

Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.

bastard in the Bible 

In the Old Testament the rendering of the Hebrew word _mamzer’_, which means “polluted.” In Deut. 23:2, it occurs in the ordinary sense of illegitimate offspring. In Zech. 9:6, the word is used in the sense of foreigner. From the history of Jephthah we learn that there were bastard offspring among the Jews (Judg. 11:1-7). In Heb. 12:8, the word (Gr. nothoi) is used in its ordinary sense, and denotes those who do not share the privileges of God’s children.
Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary.

If you read this far, you will have learnt, as I have, the many uses, derivations, of the word.

Despite all the dictionary sources, I still find the use of this word to be unnecessary. It is not encouraging, uplifting, supporting or helpful in any way.

And as a word to describe the circumstances of a persons birth, it is horrible. Fortunately, today this meaning is no longer relevant. No longer are children accused in the same way.
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Do People have to buy my book on the Internet?

Do people have to buy my book on the Internet?
No. Readers can purchase Xlibris books by telephone 

  • on 1800 455 039 ( within Australia)
  • (or +44 20 3014 4095 ( if calling from outside Australia),
  • fax at (02) 8088 6078, e-mail at,

or mail to:

Attn: Book Orders

Xlibris LLC

Suite 1A, Level 2

802 Pacific Highway

Gordon NSW


  • You can also order copies of your book at your local bookstore by approaching the customer service counter.

It’s exciting openning your parcel and hold your new book in your hands.

Your copy will be delivered by Mail, just like this.

The Fortune Seekers. – Dan and Charlotte is available now


Enjoy the story.

I really appreciate it when you post a review after reading. The Fortune Seekers


Destination -when two distant cousins meet on social media

This week I have re connected with another relation who has spent many years researching her family – this is Cynthia McCaughan (NZ).

We both share the same great Grandparents originally from Northern Ireland. Namely Patrick McCaughan and Jane Amelia Bigwood.

Today I have discovered we both share more than family links. We share painting abilities.

Both of us have published one or more books.

Finding her WordPress blogg today, this blogg seemed relevant to post. What with me having just published the first of my series -The Fortune Seekers. Destination; Cynthia’s blog outlines her novel after its printing stage. The boot full of boxes – full of books. Something I am soon to experience as yesterday I ordered my supply of books. I am yet to hold the first one in my hand.

But it’s Cynthia’s blogg I want to share tonight. I am sure you will find it as interesting as I have.

Over to you Cynthia – I was thinking about that old adage: ‘it’s not the destination but the journey’ last week, when I set out in the early morning for a trip from my hometown 160km (100 miles) north …


To read Cynthia’s blog, click on the Source: Destination

‘The Fortune Seekers – Dan and Charlotte’  is available now… 

Today is a momentous day. 

Today my first novel was published online.

Today 17/08/2016 my goal to write and publish has been accomplished.

It is available to all who wish to buy a hardcopy . Just type in either The Fortune Seekers or Glennis Browne


Ebook –

It’s also available at

The Xlibris page looks like this-

The Amazon page looks like this- ( also available on Barnes and Noble. Kindle edition can be ordered from Amazon.

Available on ebooks at

 Just type in ‘The Fortune Seekers’ or ‘Glennis Browne’

If you read my novel, I encourage you to post a review when you finish it. 

Reviews are important in building an authors reputation.

 If you have any comments that will be helpful to build my writing experience, please contact me. 

I am a first time author, with another book of the series underway. 

I don’t want to repeat bad writing instances which may be evident. 


The Fortune Seekers, through Dan and Charlotte, show why immigrants moved to Australia in the 1800s.

  •  Did immigrants possess the wanderlust gene? 
  • Not all Australian settlers were shipped to the penal colony. 
  • Or did unexpected situations cause immigration?
  • Dan rejects conformist religious beliefs in Britain, escaping willingly. 
  • Charlotte suffers social stigma. 
  • Darwinian theories. 

The novel explores real incidents of grief and poverty during the Australian gold rush years. 

  • Does love bring peace? 
  • Will understanding and forgiveness return faith in God? 

The 21st century reader may learn of the reality of their ancestors’ lives. And find answers. 

The Fortune Seekers explores possible reasons why immigrants made the move to Australia and New Zealand in the 1800s.

These questions haven’t been asked within my own family, and have made me wonder about the real reasons. .Perhaps there are many Australian who also don’t know their background in the following areas:-

•    Was it as simple as the possibility that immigrants possessed the gene of wanderlust?

•    Not all early settlers in Australia were shipped out as prisoners going to the penal colony.

•    Was there a sinister or serious reason for immigrants who chose to come, to do so? As to uproot a family and move to a pioneering country, half a world away, is not an every day decision.
I hope you enjoy my novel.

 It has been like a love affair to write. Occupying my thoughts both day and night for two years. And many more years of ancestral research.

The writing and publishing process daily taught me so much. I believe I have been on a writing and publishing 101 course.

  • My husband prepard meals when I forgot to think about food. 
  • He would wake in the night to find I was in the office, tapping away. 
  • If I couldn’t sleep, a few hours writing made me deliciously tired. 
  • In the morning I couldn’t wait to complete the housework to get back writing.

And today my first novel has gone full circle. 

  • From idea- research – written – editing, editing, editing and more editing- 
  • submitted to Xlibris for publishing- six months to and fro- forward and back- 
  • more editing, photos, permission to use photos, positioning photos – forward and back – 
  • until each stage is signed off. And today published online.

At the same time- these last six months I have –

  • learnt Twitter, set up author supporting Facebook pages, begun on Pinterest, linked in, Google 
  • Began supporting other authors, reading and reviewing their novels, sharing Facebook posts
  • preparing my website, writing monthly newsletters,  blogging
  • Photographing relevant places and items
  • Learning the art of all areas of writing – yes writing 101




  • Meeting local authors and forming a supporting network.
  •  Arranging book signings. 
  • Writing promotional brochures, 
  • contacting advertising media groups. 
  • With three book displays arranged in September and October, 
  • Knowing we will be setting off on our annual caravan expedition south; a box of books at the ready as this author is about to go up,up and away! 
  • With trusty keyboard at the ready.

My author networking team-


Oh me oh my, 

Should I laugh or should I cry?

Something within me is growing,

Tickling sensation – making its presence known.

Inside me, as if wings in unison are flying,

Feelings of excitement rapidly rising!

Should I shout out…how incredible -as I did it!
Strum a melody, pray a prayer, 

Write a song. Have a beer?

Skype my mother? 

Phone my brother?

Brag to my sons, wives, friends all telling one another

 Txt young Kyan 

Message master Lukas
Telling them the truth – 

Which is to practice being goal setters.

As its true – you too can achieve 

as nothing is impossible 

if you really believe.

…and here’s why…

Dear Glennis Browne, I hope this email finds you well.

Congratulations! Your book, The Fortune Seekers – Dan and Charlotte, 

has finally completed the publication process. 

It will be available on the Xlibris website for purchase within 3-5 business days. 

You will receive a sample copy of your book in 10-15 business days.

Published and available  before this weekend. #TheFortuneSeekers; # HistoricalFiction; #challenges;#religion;#love