1. Spidermonkey
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    Spidermonkey New Member

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    Breaking up a short story.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Spidermonkey, Jan 20, 2009.

    I am writing a short story for the first time. I have always written Scripts before. I am having trouble how best to change scene in a short story.

    Do I just start a new paragraph? or Do I put some sort of break in?
     
  2. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Remember to make the paragraphs connect to each other, and don't attempt too many 'flashes' and abrupt changes of scene. It's okay on screen but it can be difficult for a reader to keep up with.
     
  3. Spidermonkey
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    Spidermonkey New Member

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    Thank you, that is what I was worried about.
     
  4. TheIllustratedMan
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    TheIllustratedMan Active Member

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    For me it comes pretty naturally where to put new paragraphs and full breaks. If I were to analyze it, I would say that in general, change paragraph with a new thought and do a full break between scenes. Also change paragraph every time a new character speaks. For instance:

    Does that help?
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I had the oposite challenge when I wanted to try to write one of my novels as a movie. One place to start is by watching movies that were adapted as faithfully as possible (not as common as it should be), then reading the source material. That way you can see the differences between the movie and the book or short story and why the film makers made the changes that they did. I suggest watching the movie first because since it takes longer to read the book, you're more likely to have a chance to think about the changes. When you're watching the movie, it's so easy to see something different and instantly get annoyed by the change. Before you have a chance to really think about the change, they've moved on to a different part of the story.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    When there is a scene shift/break in a short story (just as in a novel within a chapter) all you do is use a scene break mark, usually a centered '#' in the manuscript will do.

    Publishers of magazines may have their own scene break symbol, or often just use a blank line between the paragraphs to signal to the reader that it is a scene break.

    Terry
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    just remember to indent the paragraphs/dialog... the sample above may be confusing to you, since indents don't work in posts... which is why we insert line breaks instead, when posting prose excerpts...
     
  8. Sekiko
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    Sekiko Member

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    yep yep. Makes sense. Reading a lot of literature will help you get a feel for the craft as well. Remember, just because you're a writer doesn't mean you can't read literature! :D
     
  9. TheIllustratedMan
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    TheIllustratedMan Active Member

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    Whoops, yeah, didn't think it was really necessary to mention indenting paragraphs. I suppose you could manage an indent on here with 5 spaces, but certainly no tab.
     

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