Transitions: Difficult on and off the page.

Well I made it to Florida and began my new job as a Director of Marketing (I feel super grown-up, guys!). Last week was definitely a culture shock going from fast-paced DC to Destin’s more relaxed way of life. It’s not bad, just different. I promise I’ll get back to actually blogging about the writing craft soon (because I’ve learned SO MANY THINGS in the last couple months – Thank you, Chelsea and Hanna!). But until my feet are firmly planted in this new chapter of my life, my brain is consumed with trying to maintain my writing habits amongst my new schedule/work load.

Which brings me to this week’s topic: transitions.

While I’ve been slaving away on the post-beta rewrite for the WIP, I’ve noticed something curious about my transitions – they’re getting better.

In the previous draft, many of the transitions were jump cuts from one scene to the next, which in truth, is kind of a lazy form of storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for jump cut transitions (definition below), but most of the time, they’re wasted opportunities to show the reader how your characters are responding to the world around them.

Now, transitions are difficult to write in general, and for a plotter like me, they’re frustrating bouts of space that keep me from jumping into the next juicy piece of plot. But here’s thing, if you don’t allow your protagonists an opportunity to process what’s happening to them, your readers won’t be able to sympathize with your character’s development.

So take a breath, slow down and let your readers enjoy those quiet moments with your characters.

Happy writing!

Jump Cut Transition: I stole the term “jump cut” from my video-editing peoples, which refers to an edit where the action isn’t continuous from one frame to another. For the print medium, I use it to describe when you leave an extra space in the formatting to show that you’re moving to another location/time in the story.  

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