Todays read pages 220-231, sections 12 & 13 of chapter On Writing.
Tonight I’ll be short and brief. Short and brief because it’s late and I’m jonesing to get some sleep and short because this part talks about pace.
During the first draft, with the door closed, pace may not have been of concern as that was when the story was being unearthed. Now with a chance to revise and refine through a second draft one should be aware of pace. Look for a happy medium. Too fast and readers will get lost or worn out. Too slow and they will become bored or worse yet put it down. Be careful not to underexplain nor overexplain.
A good rule of thumb is second draft equals first draft minus 10%.
While one needs back story for character definition and motivation, the back story is just that, back. Get through it as quickly as possible while still doing it with grace. Everyone has a history, most of it isn’t interesting. Stick with the interesting.
Research is sometimes necessary when one writes into areas where one might not know much. Research is back story, keep it there. Remember you are writing a novel, not a research paper.
The story always comes first.