There are several available ways to slow down the pace of a story. Using long sentences happens to be one of them.
How does sentence length affect pace? The shorter your sentences, the more rapidly a user can read through them. If you forego sentences altogether and just write in bulleted points, even faster. Long sentences require more focused attention, since they delve deeper into a thought. You’ll have to take your time, reading more words and processing more details in order to fully grasp the idea — a direct contrast to the kind of attention a five-word sentence requires.
Why would you want to slow down the pace of a story? There are many possible. Here are the four I most often encounter:
- To give the reader time to simplify a complex idea. Often, readers will leave a paragraph without having fully absorbed a complex idea. Using long sentences will force them to slow down and give every thought more serious consideration.
- To create suspense before leading to a high-point or climax.
- To help the reader focus on an emotional truth. Long sentences inspire deeper thought and introspection, forcing a reader to consider a story’s emotional implications, instead of trailing off to the next thought.