Saturday, August 24, 2013

7 Ways to Achieve Smooth Scene Transitions

            Transitions help the reader to move smoothly from scene to scene. Transitions are especially needed when certain changes are made. One change is that of place. Another is time. Still another is viewpoint.
            There is nothing wrong with simply telling what the change is.  However, if you want to add an interesting touch, link the scenes by introducing something at the end of one scene that is repeated or referred to at the beginning of the next scene.
            Here are some links you might use:
            1. Emotion. One scene ends with a character expressing a particular emotion. The next scene opens with the same emotion.
            Mary walked out the door, laughing at Sam’s joke.
            She was still laughing when they arrived at the beach.
            2. An object.
            Sue read the letter for a second time.
            She was still clutching the letter when the police arrived.
            3. The weather.
            As David left for work that morning, the rain was just beginning.
            When he arrived at his office, he could barely see through the windshield.
            4. A name.
            The personnel director told Joan her boss would be Ms. Marshall.
            Ms. Marshall turned out to be even more formidable than Joan had expected.
            5. A sound.
            When the party was underway, Lorene could barely hear her TV over the noise.
            By the time she was ready for bed, the roar of the crowd was deafening.
            6. A place.
            “Be careful in Madrid,” Jocelyn warned.
            When she reached Madrid, Darlene immediately got lost trying to find the hotel.
            7. A question. One scene ends with a question that is answered at the beginning of the next scene:
            Would they find something to eat at the beach? Mary wondered as she and Sam walked out the door.
            The first thing Mary saw when they arrived was a hotdog stand, but she hated hotdogs.
            Examine your scenes to see how your characters move from place to place, from time to time, from viewpoint to viewpoint. Can you use any of the links above to add interest to the transition?