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The importance of grout

July 30, 2011

I’ve been working more on the old manuscript I’m retooling. Slapped another page on chapter three, and worked on internal scene transitions. What, may you ask, are you talking about, Jeff? Aren’t transitions between scenes, not within them?

I think you can have transitions within scenes. Scenes flow from start to finish, but they don’t always do so along the shortest possible path. A scene that starts with one character setting the pace can end up with another taking over halfway through. The pivot in the middle, as it were, requires a transition. Other circumstances can drive internal transitions as well–I briefly considered some diagrams for this post, one of which looked a lot like an Evel Kneivel jump, but I’ll trust my readers to get the idea without visual aids.

At any rate, I hadn’t fully grasped the need for internal transitions way back in 2003. There are blocks of speech and action within scenes I’d written that looked like tiles without grout: there were nasty gaps between them, gaps big enough to distract the reader from what I was trying to do. Hell, they distracted ME. They needed attention, and I’ve been slathering it on. I’ll see if the passages work better Monday when I read them to WUTA.

Speaking of Writers under the Arch: we continue with what I hope will be a brief nomadic period with a test run at MoKaBe’s Monday night. If we like the space, the notion is to do a first/third v. second/fourth Monday rotation with the Barnes and Noble at Crestwood. Months with a fifth Monday will prompt a party. It’s a fine plan.

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