Give it a rest!
I like intense. I like not realizing I'm holding my breath while reading. And I like eventually taking that breath since not taking a breath would render me dead. It's easier for me to draw on the intense, on the powerful emotion as I write. I've lived it.
It's the law of our life. And just so you know, and for the purpose of this next personal story, I'd like to add that in my next life I'd love to be an X-treme Sports-chic. A few years ago I hit the white rapids with a group of friends. We ran into a raft-swallowing rapid. A friend of mine was on her way out, so i reached out and threw her back in. And what a boring story if I myself did not fall in. So, Yay for not boring because I did land in the water.
It moves so fast. The water. All I could think was, feet forward, ( so your back doesn't smash into the mammoth huge rocks.) breathe at the bottom of the wave, then close my mouth. Cuz here's the deal. You never crest a wave for a breath. You go THROUGH the wave. The most disconcerting thing is the speed doesn't allow you to take a full breath. You have a split second and then you are under water again.
Don't worry. I made it. Just in case you were wondering.
If books are a reflection of life, then we have to follow the laws of life. We have to have moments to breathe, even if for a split second. Like the split seconds we get in Suzanne Collins' books. I forget this sometimes. In very fact, I mentioned this to Carol Lynch Williams, at which point she said great, write about it. (So I did.) Which, by the way, is not the kind of answer I was looking for, that just goes against my philosophy of immediate gratification. You know those people who when you asked for a definition they said, Look it up. Ewww. Grrr. Except for Carol. She gets an ewww and grrr pass.
So as far as timing goes, I've tried to look at my writing as rapids. After a good soaking, let the reader come up for a breath. And make sure the climax feels like there is no way back to the surface.
Let us not drowns our books. And let us be glad for a few moments here and there that we dared to jump in.
Happy writing and rafting.