The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Something's really bugging me about this ms. I'm having a terrible time transitioning from general narration to specific scenes. I just slide from the generalities into the scenes, so the reader doesn't realize s/he's in a scene till it's already going. I think the reason this is happening, besides my usual problems with transitions, is the formating of this ms, plus the huge amount of telling vs. showing. I start off telling, saying something like "Such-and-such always happens this way," and then I tell how somebody usually reacts in so-and-so way, and then somehow we're in the middle of a set scene. It just ain't right. It feels uncomfortable and slippery.

I think maybe the thing for me to do is pay particular attention when it's happening, and make a conscious decision on how to handle each particular case. I noticed in one place where I was struggling with this I'd tried to fix it by pretending it was still generalities. ("Blah blah blah," Joe Blow usually says, and then he proceeds to park his car.) Other places I stop and put a marker. (One day Joe Blow is parking his car. "Blah blah blah," he says.).

The thing is, there's not much room for even tiny transitional statements, and if they don't follow naturally from whatever happened in the previous scene, they feel jarring to me. And clumsy.

Okay. So. Here's what I'm going to do about it: keep an eye peeled for these places and when they come up, be deliberately mindful of my choices about how to handle them. Maybe there are more choices, too. Now that I think about it, this transitional problem could signal a place where I'm veering off into something unnecessary that could be cut, and that's why it's not fitting. Must keep an eye out for that, too.

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