Scene Transition Tips

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Scene transitions. Effective scene transitions. Scene transition tips.

A scene transition isn’t a scene itself but is the narration, action, and/or dialogue between two scenes to take readers and characters to a new location, new time, and/or new point of view. A scene transition can also be used to show a character’ frame of mind or change of heart.

Scene transitions can occur within paragraphs or between scenes and/or chapters.
Scenes should flow seamlessly into each other. An effective scene transition provides a bridge smoothly connecting two scenes and moving readers logically from point A to point B.

Why Use Scene Transitions

  • To skip unimportant events or periods of time
  • To slow or speed up pace
  • To break tension
  • To advance time
  • To change location
  • To provide description
  • To change viewpoint character
  • To change or create mood or tone

To be effective, a scene transition must identify time, place, and/or new viewpoint character as soon as possible. This is especially important if any of the three have changed. Establishing a change in mood or tone for a new scene is equally as important.

1 comment

This is a very timely post and will be very helpful as I work on my first novel for Camp NaNoWriMo! As a reader, I know what a good transition should read like. As a writer, it’s easy to overlook key elements. Thank for this breakdown!

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