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English AS notes: A Slow Pace Doesn't Mean Boring.

My grandmother, a master at the craft of tale, had a unique prelude to her storytelling sessions. Intending to tell us a story, she would send us scurrying to get her things first; a shawl, a pitcher of water – some small task – as if it were an offering, a sacrifice to the gods of storytelling. That fire-lit hut in the village would transform into a sanctuary of anticipation. My sisters and I would nestle around her, taking in the peculiar smells of smouldering cow dung and roasting food crumbs. With bated breath and squinted eyes, we would focus on her shadowy face, ready for a voyage through decades of her – supposedly – amazing memory. 

Accepting the proffered water, her deliberate movements, she would cough and groan, and breath slowly before settling in her usual sitting position with the dignity of a sage. Only then would she begin in one of her most unforgettable lines, "I have never shared this with another living soul, and I shall entrust it to no other ears but yours...", a whispered phrase that seemed to stop and silence everything but the crackling charcoal and the flickering flames.

My point is that, whilst my grandmother could have begun and told her stories quite quickly, she created a lot of suspense by slowing down intentionally, providing gaps in her speech to create suspense. That is what kept us on the edge through it all.

Slow Pace

  • Long Descriptions

  • Long Narrations

  • Long sentences

  • Long paragraphs

  • Flashbacks

  • Foreshadowing

  • Foreboding

Thus in your analysis of structure, you will find a slow pace very telling. A slow pace doesn’t mean boring. A deliberate slowing down of the narrative pace, can create vivid imagery and contribute to a mysterious and suspense-filled prose. That provokes a special anticipation and mental investment from the audience. 

So, when you come across this deliberate pacing in a text, using the PEE (Point, Evidence, Explanation) method becomes crucial. It's all about showing how the pace affects the readers, shining a light on how the speed and style of the storytelling grab hold of their attention and pull them deeper into the story.

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