One of the problems I've faced every time I write something of novel length is pacing. My stories start out with great pacing, because I like to introduce the characters along with a few flashes of action. I think this creates a good mix of pleasing backstory, bullets, and gentler scenes.
However, as time goes on and the conflicts unroll themselves onto the scene, I tend to pick up speed. It's like listening to a really rockin' tune while you're driving, and all of a sudden you're thirty, forty, fifty over the limit. My pacing goes from action-based fantasy tale to absolute, mad-cap thriller.
I'm trying to figure out how to stifle this process, because the result--books that wind up finishing fifty thousand words before they ought to--is totally undesirable. What kind of scenes ought to go in the middle of the book? For some reason, no matter how much I read, I can't seem to get a grasp on how published authors manage to keep their pacing in check and the story enjoyable the whole way through.
Anyone have any tips or suggestions? Payment is in e-props, while supplies last.