Hi y'all. This is my first time posting in this sub, but I've been bothered by the following issue for quite some time and I'd love any possible suggestions!
So I've been working on the first draft of a novel for a few months, and although I am still only plodding along slowly, I have a little over 70,000 words. I am maybe a third of the way through, but I keep stopping for periods of time due to my inability to figure out the pacing of the story. Pacing has never been my strong suit, but I am struggling more than usual due to the fact that this story takes place on a mermaid infested ocean, and thus the important characters are all on ships. There needs to be communication between ships and travel between different islands/continents, and obviously this cannot realistically happen in the time it takes to snap one's fingers (at least, not in the world that I've established). I want to keep the plot moving, but the lack of quick access to other major characters in the story, especially the ultimate antagonist, is slowing me down. I don't want to write out irrelevant scenes in order to fill the gaps of time in which it takes for a letter to be delivered from one ship to another, and I really don't want to do that more than once during the course of correspondence, but I don't want to jump around constantly and write out a very jerky, disjointed story. I don't know how I can tackle this issue efficiently.
Like I said, this is a first draft, and quite frankly it is terrible! I need some sort of foundation to go off of though, and I will never have that if I don't figure out how to handle time well. I'm sure this has been done many a time, but I rarely read novels that take place on ships, and when I do the important characters are usually all within a reasonable distance of each other (i.e. on the same ship). Obviously this is an issue that all writers have to tackle in any story that involves travel, it just sucks to know that, realistically, it might take a week for Ship B to receive word from Ship A, and yet another week for Ship A to receive word back from Ship B, and then another lengthy period of time for them to convene if needed. If anyone has any tips as to how to go about this I would be grateful. I feel like I have exhausted all of the ideas that I had previously. Thanks in advance!