- When writing a novel, how can I change from one scene to another in third person, without disrupting the flow of the book?
- Is it important to consider the pacing of scenes while writing a novel, and if so why?
When writing a novel, how can I change from one scene to another in third person, without disrupting the flow of the book?
Here are a few things you might find helpful:
- Use transitional phrases or sentences like “Meanwhile,” “As the day wore on,” or “Sometime later” to indicate a shift in time or location.
- Use action or dialogue to transition a character who is moving from one location to another. Use their actions or dialogue to smoothly transition to the new scene.
Try to find a way to transition smoothly between scenes, using techniques that feel natural and maintain the flow of the story. However, there are times when you want to disrupt the flow of your story.
A great way to maintain reader interest is by introducing a character and then leaving them in peril. We call these “cliffhangers.” For example…
Mary is in her older sisters apartment when she finds a package in her closet. She opens it and finds it’s her sisters new wedding dress. Against her better judgment, she tries it on. She’s admiring herself in the mirror when she hears a voice behind…
“What are you doing?”
We cut to another scene, where John is being chased by the cops.
This disrupts the flow of the story, but also introduces intrigue that will keep the readers attention. Who was behind Mary? Is she in trouble? Who is John? Why was he being chased by the cops?
I’ve gathered a few more videos and articles at the links below:
Here are some articles that might help.
- How to write scene transitions in novels
- How to seamlessly shift between POV characters
- How to format transitions: Scenes, Point of View, and Time
Is it important to consider the pacing of scenes while writing a novel, and if so why?
Yes, pacing is an important aspect of writing any story, as it can have a big impact on the reader’s experience. Pacing refers to the speed the story progresses at, and affects how engaged the reader is and how invested they are in the characters and plot.
Too slow and the reader will lose interest. Too fast, the reader will feel overwhelmed. The right balance is important for maintaining the reader’s engagement and enjoyment of the story.
Imagine going to a war movie that’s nothing but constant action. We don’t get to hear the characters hopes, dreams, or fears. We have no idea what makes them who they are as people. Just 2 hours of constant, non-stop guns, gore, and explosions. Then we leave the theater lurching into our popcorn bag from a severe case of shaky camera syndrome.
On the other side of the spectrum, imagine a war movie that’s nothing but exposition and dialogue. We know everything about the characters; their hopes, dreams, and fears. We know who their wives are, their children’s names, where they went to school, their favorite colors, what they like to eat on their birthday… everything. But so what? Who cares? I think we’ve all seen movies like this, too. We leave the theater after the attendant nudges us awake so he can sweep under our seat.
Thankfully there are some thing s you can do to improve your pacing while writing your novel:
- Vary the length of your scenes: You can use shorter, more action-packed scenes to increase the pace, and longer, more introspective scenes to slow it down.
- Use tension and conflict to drive the pace: You can use tension and conflict to keep the reader on the edge of their seat and increase the pace of the story.
- Vary the amount of description: Using less description in some scenes can help to speed up the pace, while using more description in others can help to slow it down.
You need to be aware of the pacing of your novel and adjust as needed to keep the reader invested in the story.
I’ve prepared a few resources for you below.
Here are some articles you might find useful.