Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another Writing Post!

I was going to tell you about my fun weekend, starting Friday with my first trip to the Toyota Center to see the Houston Rockets play (very fun), then moving through to Saturday when I went strawberry picking on a perfect spring day all by myself and then treated myself to a fresh chocolate pecan fried pie (yummers!). Today is just at-home stuff but I bought myself Girls in Trucks at Target, and I'm very excited about it, plus I'm taking the boys for snowcones in about five minutes (or however long it takes me to finish up this blog on writing...)

The writing is actually going well--or else I think so (that's another post entirely--woo-hoo! could be two in writing posts in a row!) I am struggling a little though with my transitions. Actually I think I'm considerably better than I was, but I have a long way to go. I have trouble transitioning unless a scene has an obvious stopping point. Particularly if I'm cutting out during dialogue. I wonder if I'm going on too long, cutting out too abruptly, or just wrapping things up in an awkward manner. I have the same problem with writing about everyday stuff--for instance, if a character of mine was making a piece of toast, I'd probably describe her getting out the bread and stuffing it in the toaster, prepping with the plate, knife, butter and jelly, etc. I've just started reading Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and Winifred Watson summed up breakfast (plus toast) like this:

She took off her coat and hat and set to work. Soon the blissful aroma of fried ham and eggs and coffee filled the air. She discovered an electric toaster. Toast took its correct place. She went back into the room.

Something about this paragraph just impressed me very much. She covers to bases without you getting bored, in and out of the kitchen quick as wink. It sums up the character quite nicely too. When I try to skim over the mundane, I've been told (by my critique partner) that she's lost. That's just one opinion, but still.

Any thoughts, suggestions, tricks or techniques on transitioning or ending a scene? I welcome them all...
Now I'm off for a snowcone!

5 comments:

Stephanie J said...

Ya know, I feel like I have the same issues so I can't be of any help! The transitions are not very smooth for me. But I know what you mean about the mundane types of things. They seem exactly that - mundane - but they are actually so important! Sure, not all the time, but certainly not to be ignored. I tend to gloss over the everyday actions but what I've done to combat my habit is to make a point to identify all those everyday occurences in a scene and pick out which ones would enhance the scene. Then I go from there. This might not be the technique for everyone, but it's been a help for me!

Kelly Krysten said...

I like to end my scenes on a cliff hanger so my readers will have no choice but to read on.lol.

Mary Danielson said...

Oh, Alyssa, I read Miss Pettigrew not that long ago and, oddly enough, I remember the exact paragraph you're talking about. The whole book struck me in the same way - Winnifred Watson definitely had a way of letting readers fill in the gaps on their own, so that the story moved quickly. It's a shame the book is just now getting such recognition...I'm surprised it wasn't as successful in its own time!

liz fenwick said...

The advice I have been given is enter at the last possible minute and leave quickly...trying to edit with that in mind.

It's funny reading the paragraph out of context ( I haven't read the book) I thought well what does this tell me about the character? Does it move the story forward? is it necessary? Of course I can't answer any of those.......

Good luck!

~Virginia~ said...

i love the rockets and am so bummed that yao ming is out injured. sigh. where did you go strawberry picking?! that sounds very peaceful and fun!