Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting from Point A to Point B

When I first started writing I thought I needed to account for all of my main characters time. My writer friend called it pedestrian writing.

She got into the car. She drove to her friends. She got out and went inside.
(horrible, but you get the point)

In the past I spent more time trying to writer creative descriptions about moving from one scene to the next when all I really needed to do was end the scene and start again somewhere else.

So that's what I'm trying to do. I don't have to tell the reader everything the main character does. Readers are smart and they can make the right assumptions about what your character has done between scenes.

How about you? Do you feel like you need to account for all the time or not?


Tabitha Bird said...

No. I have the opposite problem I sometimes make massive leaps and expect the reader to catch up :)

Andrea Mack said...

Getting the time line right is something that I find challenging. In some places in my novel, it's important to see what the characters are doing, say, for the entire afternoon. In other places, a week needs to pass. I find it tricky to capture the right amount of detail to show different situations.

Laura Pauling said...

This is great advice. Even in movies, dialogue is cut off right after the important stuff has been said - and we don't blink an eye. Starting a scene as late as I can and ending it as early is my goal. :)

Jen said...

This is a great post Patti. It's important for the author to know their character, the in's and out's, what they like and don't like but the reader doesn't need to know all of that, just you knowing that helps you understand the character and write them as if they never loved tomatoes (bad example I know)

Happy Monday!

patti said...

Oh, Patti! I used to do this big-time.

Then I learned about the little doohicky, scene breaks



Robyn Campbell said...

Did you read my earlier writing and get an idea for your blog post? *wink*

You nailed Robyn's earliest works. "She turns and walks down the driveway. She opens the car door and sits in the seat. Then she puts the key in the ignition"...and on and on and on. UGH

Great post, Patti.

K. M. Walton said...

I'm reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman and he leaves tremendous gaps in what the character does and it really works. It's been an un-put-downable book by the way. Loving it.

Jill Kemerer said...

Ah, the joys of transitions! Am I guilty? Sometimes! I have to really scrutinize some of the character's moves!

Terri Tiffany said...

No-- I jump! But I have had to make my transitions clearer--and JILL 9up above) helps me with that alot!