Scene Transition Tips

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Tips for Scene Changes

  • Scene transitions can be a few lines to a few paragraphs.
  • Use transitional words/phrases to help provide smooth movement between paragraphs, scenes, chapters, locations, times, ideas, and characters.
  • Scene Change with a New Chapter
    • Readers expect transitions between chapters, so a scene transitions can be done seamlessly at the beginning of a new chapter.
    • There’s no need to write a detailed transition at the start of a new chapter if the previous chapter ended with a teaser of what is to come.
    • If the next chapter takes readers somewhere unexpected, a clear scene transition will be needed at the end of the previous chapter.
    • Transition words or phrases can be used at the start of the new chapter to help identify the scene change.
  • Scene Change within a Chapter
    • Use a visual aid. ### or *** can be centered on a separate line to indicate a scene transition.
    • If the POV is changing, clearly identify the new viewpoint character as soon as possible.
    • DO NOT change POV in the middle of a scene and NEVER within a paragraph. This can confuse readers and the connection readers have to the viewpoint character will be lost.

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!