The Art of Creating Transitions, Redux

Roosevelt Lake Bridge ArizonaNote: Kris is off today, so here’s a link to one of my all-time favorite posts written by her, about the art of creating    transitions. Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “The Art of Creating Transitions, Redux

  1. Great post; thanks for sharing. I remember sending a few draft chapters of a very early manuscript to an author who had agreed to give me feedback. She said my transitions were good. I had no clue what she meant.

    One thing I’ll harp at my critique partners about is starting chapters. Sadly, we have to consider that our readers might actually be putting the book down at the end of a chapter. (Certainly not because they’re bored–obviously it’s because they had to rush a loved one to the ER). It might be days before they pick it up again, Our critique system provides good examples of this — we may not get the authors next chapter for days, or a week. By then, we’re likely to have forgotten the brilliant cliff-hanger from the previous chapter.

    My “advice” FWIW is to make sure your reader is grounded in the who, what, and where in the first paragraph of each chapter. I confess my system is often the easy way out: when I look at my first sentences of each chapter, almost all of them start with the name of the POV character.

    • I encounter the same thing in my critique group, Terry–writers go “fuzzy” when starting and ending a chapter. I love Kris’s list of specific techniques for making those jumps across “scene islands”.

  2. Terrific post, Kris. I used to love crossing the old Seven Mile Bridge in the Keys.
    Great analysis of various types with specific examples. I really like the “echo” and “parallel” techniques.

    As Terry wisely notes, readers have real lives and often must put down a book for days or weeks at a time. My CG also struggles with the “readus Interruptus” problem as two weeks pass between our meetings. Since this mimics how people read in the real world, it’s good practice for us to craft effective transitions. I appreciate an author who doesn’t make me backtrack for pages to get back up to speed.

    Kathryn, thanks for rerunning this since it occurred before I started following TKZ. Definitely a keeper!

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