So what is it with transitions, anyway? What’s the best way to move from one scene to another?
Scene transitions are always a stumbling block for me. I’m usually tempted to start a scene with something simple and direct.
“Three days later, Jim woke up. It was Tuesday morning. In Los Angeles.”
But that gets old (real old), scene after scene (and it sounds like I’m channeling Jack Webb).
On the other end of the spectrum is the scene that begins with no transition, one that jumps right into the action. These are tempting, too, except I’m always afraid I’ll leave my reader confused as to where and when the action is taking place.
In reality, I guess I mix it up. Sometimes I’ll ground the scene, other times I’ll just jump in and try to make the time/place obvious through context. Since most of my critique members and beta readers don’t even comment on my transitions, I suppose I’m handling them adequately, even if I think some of them are kind of clunky.
Writers, how do you prefer to handle scene transitions?
Readers, are there certain types of transitions that bother you?