1. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Rapid Scene-Switching In Novels

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Flying Geese, Oct 23, 2014.

    So I've made it to one of my favorite scenes in my novel. It's actually comprised of two scenes taking place at the same time in two different locations. It is very important to me that the scenes go back and forth to show that the two events climax at the same moment. How should this be handled?

    How do you illustrate this with only words, I wonder? And is there a term for this?
     
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  2. passenger
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    Sounds a bit tricky, perhaps you could have some point of reference in each scene which actually counts down the timing of both scene's. i.e. a solar eclipse. This way it doesn't matter the location of the scene, as long as they both are completed at the exact same time the solar eclipse is. Just an example, I'm sure there are many different things you could use. Best of luck.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Each scene has to have a long enough section to be meaningful. And each switch needs to show something right away that lets the reader identify which scene you are in. The problem I see is you are taking something that might be easily done in a screenplay or in film, but it's much harder with words alone.

    I suggest you write it with those two principles, then get it critiqued by someone who is not invested in it like you are.
     
  4. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Good deal. Has anyone ever seen this done in a book before?
     
  5. jonahmann
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    jonahmann Active Member

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    Huxley does this in Brave New World. The paragraphs get shorter until the scenes converge.
     
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  6. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Thanks guys!
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Another way to synchronize scenes is to include an external event perceivable in both scenes. For example, in Lord of the Rings, the fall of the Chief Nazgul in the Pellenor is observed by Frodo and Sam in the plains surrounding Mount Doom. You don't have to strobe between scenes, which can be distracting to the reader.

    In a modern setting, a televised moment can serve as the synchronizing event.
     
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  8. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    thank you Cogito for giving another example I can go look up! I'll get on it. If you guys have any more that'd be great. Also, is there a term for this?
     

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