Just the Facts #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Excerpts

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography



Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Do you have any tips on controlling pacing in your stories? How do you manage it?”

The best way to control pacing in a story is to include only relevant information. In other words, “just the facts,” as the detective on Dragnet says. Let’s take, for example, this excerpt from The Red Dress.


Half an hour later, Eve had finished reading and responding to email. She took Ginger for a long walk, stopping at a corner market on the way home. For the first time in two weeks, she planned to surprise her family with a home–cooked meal. Since she’d been busy with the proofs of her latest book, they’d eaten nothing but leftovers and take–out, so she knew her husband and children would be thrilled.

Leaving the dog tied outside the store, she purchased hamburger and other items.


I could have listed all the ingredients for the dish Eve planned to make. Readers might be curious, but they don’t need to know that. The important thing is that after two weeks of eating leftovers and take-out food, Eve’s family is finally going to get a home-cooked meal.

How about you authors out there? How do you control pacing in a story? You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.


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New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?