1. bc1
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    bc1 New Member

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    scene changes

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by bc1, Jun 5, 2009.

    I have a question or two. I change scenes quite a bit in my writing. Should I go back and try to fill in the gaps with dialogue or something? And, do you think it looks bad if the scenes abruptly change more than once or twice in a chapter, or should the scene start a new chapter? Just looking for opinions! thanks.
     
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  2. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    I only have one scene in each chapter. It doesn't matter how short the chapters are, they're there to change the perspective, time, and place, so use them.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's a very workable approach. However, you could also separate chapters at POV changes, or major time transitions (e.g. each day is a new chapter), or any of a number of cut points.

    If you need to change scene within a chapter, you can either handle it with a new paragraph, with the opening sentence showing the change, or with a section break consisting of a single # centered in a line by itself.

    A scene change does at least call for a new paragraph.
     
  4. bc1
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    bc1 New Member

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    Thank you. I do start a new paragraph at a scene change or with a section break, but what if I have three within one chapter? Does it look bad? Or should I just start a new chapter? I know I am repeating myself...sorry:confused:
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I've seen plenty of novels with several scenes within a chapter, and no section breaks. Neverteless, there is no doubt that a scene change is taking place.
     
  6. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    It doesn't matter so much if the scene changes multiple times within your chapter so long as they are logically linked...if the two scenes aren't similar in terms of tone/theme/subject then it may not make sense to have them in the same chapter...
     
  7. Carbon
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    Carbon Member

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    Also, make sure to let your reader know that a scene is changing. There are a few ways to do it, but it really depends on what viewpoint the story is being told from.
     
  8. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    Yeah, exactly. I change scenes lots of times within a chapter, and other times a chapter is only one scene, it just depends. It's more the overall flow of what the chapter is trying to show that matters to me (At least with how I define chapters). For example, if in a given chapter I am trying to demonstrate tension between two characters, I might start with some narration of the MC thinking about how the other character annoys her, and then I might go into an action/dialogue scene from later in the same week demonstrating the tension somehow. It just depends on what's going on. I don't think there are really any rules, you just want it to flow and make sense.
     
  9. Atma
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    Atma Member

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    Section breaks aren't bad. They're in pretty much every book. Just don't overdo them, imo.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No, they aren't bad, but best practice is to only use them where you need the scene change to stand out more than usual, but not enough for a chapter break.
     
  11. Velvet Muse
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    Velvet Muse New Member

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    In my opinion, section breaks interrupt the flow of things. If it means having to have shorter chapters, I'd do it. I believe the book Holes had well over fifty chapters, and it wasn't that thick of a book.
     
  12. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    It's a story. If you need to change scenes to tell it better then do so. If your changes flow well into each other and aren't so sudden, then you're fine.
     

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