1. sub6500
    Offline

    sub6500 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Better way of saying "Meanwhile..." Examples of this done well?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by sub6500, Mar 1, 2013.

    I need to show 2 separate conversations happening during the same time in different places. It is the old " Meanwhile back at the ranch...."

    I am looking for some cool examples of how this has been done and the language they used. Its a dramatic scene and a critical one, so I need it to feel true to the reader and not like a comic book " Meanwhile".

    Thanks in advance for any ideas or examples,

    Tim
     
  2. Sanjuricus
    Offline

    Sanjuricus Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would suggest not pointing out the location at all. Miss out the whole "Meanwhile" and just switch scenes. As long as you make sure there are clear differences between the two scenes it will work.

    The other thing I would suggest if the action is taking pace simultaneously is to simply state the location:

    9.17am Michigan Ranch

    Action, conversation etc

    9.21 am Denver Office

    More action conversation etc.

    9.21am Michigan Ranch

    You get the idea?
     
  3. TimHarris
    Offline

    TimHarris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Make it into two separate chapters, and include some kind of common pointer to show that both scenes are taking place simultaneously. For example, if there has been a bus bombing going on in the story, you could do it like this:

    Then in the next chapter:

    That is one way to do it at least. With more dialog incorporated in each chapter after the bomb goes off.
     
  4. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,681
    Likes Received:
    2,533
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I actually would not use two separate chapters. Chapter breaks usually signal a major shift in time or place and reduce, rather than increasing, the sense of immediacy that you seem to need. Sanjuricus' suggestion of a timeline approach is one way to do it, but I think it only works if you are creating a sense of common reportage, such as a news ticker (sort of like one sees on the TV show, "Law and Order"). But there are more subtle ways to do this. For example, assuming the two conversations are taking place in locations that are fairly close to one another (e.g. same city), you can use weather - like an approaching storm - as a link between the two. If the locations are very remote from each other, you can use a fictional (or, if your story is time specific, even a real) breaking news event to link them together in time.
     
  5. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ditto ed's sage advice...
     
  6. daiisydukes
    Offline

    daiisydukes Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    A great example of how to do this is from the movie "Pulp Fiction".

    In the beginning you see a scene where two robbers are in a diner, and by the end of the scene they pull out guns and try to rob the place.
    Last scene of the movie, you see two of the main characters walking into a diner, and after a conversation you see the two robbers come over with guns.

    So basically, you start with the scene you want to show first. Example:

    "Ned, long time no see. How have things been?" Stacy asked cheerfully. But Ned's mind was on other things. She watched him as he frantically ran around the room, sorting through cases of books, photographs, and old childhood toys. "Are you alright?"
    He shook his head, continuing his search.
    "Ned!" Stacy shrieked, grabbing his shoulders, and turning him to face her. He had a wild look in his eyes, and all of a sudden she knew what was going on.

    Chapter Seven

    Rupert paced across the rug, running his fingers through his hair. He spoke quick, stopping himself every few moments as if he had a thought that would change everything. Of course, he never did.
    "Rupert, pacing like that isn't going to help!" Ned snapped.
    "Well neither is rooting through all of her belongings!" Rupert sneered back.
    "It's more help than whatever you've been doing,"
    Rupert opened his mouth to speak, but he closed it before any words escaped his mouth. "She's coming," he finally whispered.
    "What?!" Ned's head cocked up, to see Stacy strolling in.
    "I have to go," Rupert said simply, before running off in the opposite direction.
    Stacy seemed confused, but she shook it off and skipped right up to Ned. "Ned, long time no see. How have things been?" she asked cheerfully.


    Okay um I wrote that in like 5 minutes with no editing or anything so please yeah don't judge. Just an example of what I was trying to explain. c:
     
  7. sub6500
    Offline

    sub6500 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks guys those are all great ideas and also ways to approach it that I didn't consider. I was half-kicking myself that I didn't put more information on the scene, but it is inspiring to see ways I could approach it if I rearranged the timeline all together. It could even possibly solve other problems I have to imagine it in this entirely new way.

    Antagonist unravels during a meeting ( like a business meeting ) and after a long rant storms out to the parking lot. As he walks to his car we hear his thoughts and a cell conversation. *Meanwhile* The meeting continues without him and they discuss how to deal with him and move forward.

    That's an oversimplified version of events and the timeline I first imagined. I like imagining what would happen if he left the meeting and the narration stayed in the room and finished the meeting without him. Then, new chapter switch to Protag so that when we come back to Antagonist it just starts from when he left the meeting. It is an interesting idea. It would change the whole perspective and tone.

    Tim


    -- I am one of those guys that spends countless hours on forums reading and it is the first place I turn for solutions. I have never posted before. I am always able to find the answer I was looking for in previous posts. It was exciting and different to see your ideas and replies to me. I thank you
     

Share This Page