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View Full Version : Writers, do you constantly think about transitions



Shannon Chenoweth
01-21-2006, 10:10 PM
What I mean is, are you constantly thinking about how something transitions to the next scene/page and how things are introduced into your story? I am finding I am as concerned about this as I am with my dialogue. Sometimes going from one thing to another comes easy, while other times, I find myself biting my lip or getting all antsy over it. I push myself so hard wanting to make every bit of my story to flow together that I am starting to dream about story structure. No joke. Thankfully, I've learned that a solution always comes to me. Might not be the moment I want it to, but it comes. I've had so many things I've slept on and wake up knowing what I need to write...or, I find myself figuring it all out as I take a shower.
Writing is really an amazing thing.

alan
01-21-2006, 10:14 PM
I often switch things around and find that they work better that way.

But I know what you mean. Although sometimes the cognitive dissonance of two things not fitting together actually works. And sometimes you fit that into the story more. I'm actually a fan of having things crammed together that have no business being crammed together.

If only I had more time to write than an hour a day. At most.

--Alan

Criden
01-21-2006, 10:17 PM
Nope, but I used to. Lately, though, I've been having great luck with transitions. They've just been flowing very, very well.

Here's one I really liked:

RICHIE: YOU READY FOR THE SCENE?

CHRISSIE: YOU BET.

2 MONTHS EARLIER.

CHRISSIE: FUCK YOU.

RICHIE (surprised): EXCUSE ME?

The Roman Candle
01-21-2006, 10:19 PM
Not really. I just let it go naturally. Life... finds a way.

Persevering Guy
01-21-2006, 10:19 PM
Maybe I'm a poor writer, but I never think about these things.

Being a high functioning Autistic, my mind has built it's own world that it often escapes, too. When I write, I don't have to do anywork. I just listen to the characters in my head/world and guide them to where I want them to go. I think their dialogue is natural.

Transitions? Just know when a scene ends and end it. Don't try to make a cool transition because then it will might look "too clever." I can't stand reading things that read as if it were written. The writer should disappear.

Shannon Chenoweth
01-21-2006, 10:20 PM
I often switch things around and find that they work better that way.

But I know what you mean. Although sometimes the cognitive dissonance of two things not fitting together actually works. And sometimes you fit that into the story more. I'm actually a fan of having things crammed together that have no business being crammed together.

If only I had more time to write than an hour a day. At most.

--Alan

You just gotta make time man. Seriously. :)

Criden
01-21-2006, 10:23 PM
Maybe I'm a poor writer, but I never think about these things.

Being a high functioning Autistic, my mind has built it's own world that it often escapes, too. When I write, I don't have to do anywork. I just listen to the characters in my head/world and guide them to where I want them to go. I think their dialogue is natural.

Transitions? Just know when a scene ends and end it. Don't try to make a cool transition because then it will might look "too clever." I can't stand reading things that read as if it were written. The writer should disappear.

I agree, in general, Michael. However, sometimes a cool little transition can give the viewer/reader/whatever a feeling of cool. As long as it fulfills the prerequisites of any good transition already, that is. It can be an added benefit, that's all.

By the way, did I ever tell you that I worked with high functioning Autistics for a good while?

Shannon Chenoweth
01-21-2006, 10:24 PM
Maybe I'm a poor writer, but I never think about these things.

Being a high functioning Autistic, my mind has built it's own world that it often escapes, too. When I write, I don't have to do anywork. I just listen to the characters in my head/world and guide them to where I want them to go. I think their dialogue is natural.

Transitions? Just know when a scene ends and end it. Don't try to make a cool transition because then it will might look "too clever." I can't stand reading things that read as if it were written. The writer should disappear.

I agree with the writer disappearing.

And, I don't mean "cool" transitions. I'm just very conscious of moving from one place to another for example. Basically, I'm finally becoming so aware of how a story comes together, not just what I want to tell in that story.

Persevering Guy
01-21-2006, 10:34 PM
I agree, in general, Michael. However, sometimes a cool little transition can give the viewer/reader/whatever a feeling of cool. As long as it fulfills the prerequisites of any good transition already, that is. It can be an added benefit, that's all.

By the way, did I ever tell you that I worked with high functioning Autistics for a good while?
No. How did it go? I'm thinking of doing the same thing one day, if they'll let me.

mlpeters
01-21-2006, 11:39 PM
I used to dream in comics page format.

I've never had trouble in particular with transitions. I do think about them, but not any more than anything else. I'm an artist/writer, so I guess it's easier for me to make the story and art mesh, since I think of them together.

I think more writers should pay attention to how artists who are good storytellers handle transitions. Comics are a visual, as well as literary form, so the artist might have a better handle on shifting from one scene to another. If you're having trouble writing a transition, maybe the artist can bridge the gap between scenes visually.

I used to be very taken with Alan Moore's transitions, until I realized he had abandoned his clever transitions as cliches, in favor of more organic transitions -- so I guess I'm still following Moore, by not following Moore. Still, as long as you don't overdo it, there's nothing wrong with a clever transition, when it feels right, in my opinion.

Criden
01-22-2006, 12:20 AM
No. How did it go? I'm thinking of doing the same thing one day, if they'll let me.

Very well. It's extremely fulfilling.

THWIP!
01-22-2006, 01:56 AM
I get ideas and my problem is how the fuck I'm going to excute my ideas ans connect them. Dialogue for me comes easy.

stevapalooza
01-22-2006, 02:56 AM
I don't think of that stuff either. I just read back what I wrote and use my own sense of rythymn and timing to determine if it flows properly. As long as the scenes flow in a logical order and end when they feel like they should, that's good enough for me.

noble
01-22-2006, 05:19 AM
I don't consciously think of any of these things when I write. I just see the story in my head, where the characters are at, and when and how long the scene should go on. When it's over I just hit the next scene and keep writing. Sometimes there are clever little layovers with the dialogue, sometimes not. I write out what I think is an interesting story, and a lot of the times people comment on stuff that I wasn't consciously doing. A lot of time it's about double meanings, and deeper insight into a story that I didn't intentionally put there.

For instance in one of my stories (Fistful of Zombies), a few people complimented me on how even though this was a story about cowboys trying to do the right thing, and the horrible consequences of their actions, it was a fantastic parallel with current events in Iraq. Blindly following your leader leading to devastating consequences, trying so hard to do the right thing even if it's the wrong thing, and all that ballyho.

When I wrote that story I had no hidden meanings, or parallels intended. I didn't think out dissolves, or transitions, or any of that technical mumbo jumbo. I just wrote a story the way I saw it in my head, and the characters yammering away in my head took care of the dialogue. Maybe my sub consciousness threw together a story to tell people my thoughts on the war in Iraq without saying this is a story set in Iraq about the war. Who knows how a persons brain functions.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you think too hard on these things, if you over analyze every bit of your story then it will seem like it's a story that was WRITTEN, and not just a good story.

I hope that makes sense ;)

Dwight L. MacPherson
01-22-2006, 05:47 AM
I can sympathize with you, Shannon. Hang in there and keep writing-- you become more comfortable the more you do it. It's kinda like sleeping with a fat chick-- pardon the colorful analogy. :)
That's what I heard, at least. *AHEM*

TonyDiGerolamo
01-22-2006, 08:36 AM
What I mean is, are you constantly thinking about how something transitions to the next scene/page and how things are introduced into your story? I am finding I am as concerned about this as I am with my dialogue. Sometimes going from one thing to another comes easy, while other times, I find myself biting my lip or getting all antsy over it. I push myself so hard wanting to make every bit of my story to flow together that I am starting to dream about story structure. No joke. Thankfully, I've learned that a solution always comes to me. Might not be the moment I want it to, but it comes. I've had so many things I've slept on and wake up knowing what I need to write...or, I find myself figuring it all out as I take a shower.
Writing is really an amazing thing.

Don't over think it. A couple of words of narration should do it. I like the technique of letting the end of the last line of dialogue open the next sequence.

-TD

Shannon Chenoweth
01-22-2006, 11:50 PM
I can sympathize with you, Shannon. Hang in there and keep writing-- you become more comfortable the more you do it. It's kinda like sleeping with a fat chick-- pardon the colorful analogy. :)
That's what I heard, at least. *AHEM*

Thanks man. I'm very comfortable writing. I'm just now really seeing structure and thinking about it more than I did. I think that every writer needs to be conscious of structure to a certain level. It's like building a house, you don't just run out and do it, you learn how things are put together.

Ravengregory
01-23-2006, 02:07 AM
when all else fails cheat and pull a Alan Moore WATCHMEN

It's a hack thing to do but since everyone does it, it's not really

Mark Mavro (kryptic6)
01-23-2006, 03:30 AM
I guess transitions come easy for me. I'm a film student and constantly thinking about the story in terms of cuts. Editing is an integral element of film and is a story in itself, so that's how I look at transitions. The way I write comics is pretty cinematic.