The KillerZone has a great post on pacing your novel. While it’s focus is on thrillers, the tips make sense for a lot of other genres. Here’s a snapshot of some of the tips, but you really want to go read the post yourself. Sooo much there worth absorbing, but here’s the stuff I really liked:
throw the reader right into the middle of action
Short sentences (as well as short chapters, scenes, and paragraphs) adds tension.
starting a scene in the middle of the pertinent action
Make it personal…Your characters have to rise to the occasion—even if they are an average Joe—and go up against insurmountable odds.
Make [your hero] do the one thing they would NEVER do—with the clock ticking.
• No hype – give readers a big finish. Don’t disappoint them.
Anyway, that’s just the surface of the post. Did I mention. go. read. now