Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Transitions #MFRWauthor #amwriting

When revision transitions can present a problem, especially if they are abrupt of the writer forgets to show a way to show the transition. Many writers use * * * between the lines to indicate there is a change in viewpoint character, time or place. This generally works but sometimes it doesn't.

When transiting from one character to another in a scene the best way is to give one character their head for a time. If you switch, give the new character time toestablish him or herself in the passage. Jumping from character to character during a scene can confuse the reader, especially when you're showing showing the change from sentence to sentence or paragraph to paragraph. Head-hopping makes for a cluttered story.

A transition is a span to cross often showing a time difference. Don't make it so abrupt the reader if pulled from the story. Also don't make it too long. There is a danger of boring the reader. The way to avoid either of these is to give the reader a clue that this is going to happen. Allowing the reader to anticipate makes the transition become a smooth jump.

Don't be afraid to use things like the next day, he couldn't stand to wait but had to jump in, several days later, when he arrived at the house. These are all ways to show the transition has occurred.


Paul McDermott said...

Hi Janet!
One of my current WiPs is a childrens' book which involves frequent "transitions" between two different TIMES. The central characters (a cricket team) 'slip' backwards and forwards from a Liverpool park c. 1980 and the same venue during the war in 1945.
I had a lot of fun writing it, and I hope my target 'audience' will enjoy reading it, and maybe learn a few things about life at that time!

Janet Walters said...

Good luck with your book. Transitions such as this are to be handled with care.