The road trip is over. I've had a great time in Brisbane with the girls, but I'm happy to be home.
I loved listening to audiobooks during my drive. On the way up, it was Charlaine Harris' Real Murders, the first book in the Aurora Teagarden mystery series.
This book was fun! Very Agatha Christie style, but with a fresh, modern approach. The MC is a member of a 'Real Murders' club. The club members review famous murder cases... until they start turning up dead in a copycat dedication to the original murders.
Audiobooks are a great way to study the pace of a writer's novel. If things slow down too much, it's difficult to skim, as you can in reading, so you notice the pace more. Harris kept bodies, clues and romantic interludes popping up at a good regular pace, increasing the conflict and tension towards the climax of the story. I've learned from this author to interweave your secondary storyline to help adjust and support the pace of your predominant plot.
One way to check the pace of your narrative is to write every scene on an index card and lay them all out in order. Try mixing up the order, does it improve the pace? (a tip I learned from How to Revise Your Novel)
Every scene MUST contain conflict, but some cary less impact than others. For example: In a murder mystery, the protagonist might also be having trouble at work and is worried they will be fired, those conflicts could help move the story forward, but are less thrilling than the scenes where the protagonist stumbles on yet another corpse. The storyline about the workplace problems will be secondary and the murders primary (although, you could be clever and have the main story about a character finding their place in the workforce against a backdrop of murders - but let's focus on the obvious plot for now). Make sure the murder plot conflicts start to build towards the climax (where your protagonist will come face to face with the killer).
Another way to check your pace: Make a recording or yourself reading your manuscript, or, have someone read it to you. You'll hear where things slow down or get too rushed.