Transition scenes in a novel can be tough to write. These can serve your need to jump ahead in time, have your characters go from one place to another, or act as a bridge between action sequences.
It’s easy when you’re jumping ahead in time. You can leave a space break between paragraphs or start a new chapter to indicate that time has passed. To make things run smoother, you can include phrasing or a snippet of information from the previous section into the new one. Ditto when hopping from one place to the next. You can use a space or chapter break or try one of the techniques below.
Getting your hero from one piece of action to another can be trickier. You need to vary the pacing without boring the reader. Too many exciting scenes running together will become wearying as well as unrealistic. Think about what purpose you want this shift to serve. If you have difficulty, consider your sleuth’s Life Space. I talk about this in my guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery, which can help you plan your story’s structure.
To get inside your sleuth’s head, draw her Life Space. Start with a circle and write her name in it. Then add cartoon-like bubbles around her head. Inside of these bubbles, put her concerns at any given moment in time. This will provide insight into your character’s interests.
Use your character’s concerns to fill in the transitional pages. Here are some suggestions for your sleuth:
- Mentally review the suspects
- Catch up on phone calls
- Visit with a friend or relative
- Discuss progress with sidekick
- Have a romantic interlude
- Deal with personal issues
- Bring in subplots
- Reflect on goals
- Do research related to case
Make sure your passage isn’t filled with mindless chatter, mundane chores, or a laundry list of to-do items. If your heroine is making her favorite slow cooker recipe, for example, have her stew over the suspects or talk about them to her friend over the phone. What happens in these scenes should lead fluidly into whatever comes next.Writing Tip: Transitions Can Be Tough #writingcommunity #amwriting Click To Tweet
How do you deal with transitional scenes in your work?
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