When I started writing fiction, I had a hard time getting my characters from one place to another. This is what I wrote:

John hit the elevator button, stepped into the car, rode down two floors. He strode through the lobby and out into the street. He walked quickly down Elm, turned on Vine, and waited patiently at the stop light. When it turned green, he stepped out onto the street, crossing over onto the 44th. He entered Walgreens.

Whew, that’s a lot of work to move my character from point A to point B. What if I need to get through a week? A month, or five years. How do I fill in all that time?

Here are some easy suggestions I that might help you:

Transition of place:

When we arrived at Tom’s cabin . . . (You can move your characters hundreds of miles in six easy words.)

John hurried to the Walgreens a few blocks away from his apartment.

Joan worried about her family as she watched the miles fly by out the window of the bus. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . . (funny, but you can see how clearly this moves the reader from point A to point B.)

Transition of time:

A few minutes later . . .

By the time the baby arrived . . .

John hit the elevator button and few moments later was at the Walgreens down the street.

Transition of subject:

Consequently. . .

In spite of this . . .

Meanwhile . . .

On the other hand . . .


5 thoughts on “Transitions

  1. James Callan

    Good post. These things seem natural to you now, but as you said, they didn’t when you started. Good info for the newbie writers — and for some not-so-newbies who don’t handle transitions well.


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