New answers tagged

3

Confusion arises when readers can not orient themselves in the story. While complex storylines, lots of characters or multiple parallel events can lead to disorientation, they are not the source of it. What you need are anchor points so the reader is never lost. The more rapid your pace or scene switching, the stronger they need to be. Cyn is right that ...


-1

Watch S4E2 episode of Game of Thrones entitled The Lion and The Rose. It tells the story of a very complex scene (Joffreys wedding) covering disparate events and storylines of tens of characters. It seamlessly jumps between groups of people and events that take place in a common area.


3

Index event(s), things that either happen to everyone or that everyone is expecting to happen will help keep the timing of the various POVs synced up. Examples of things that happen include loud noises, physical motions of the setting such as a house shuddering or a ship turning, or completely non-physical event that makes the characters collectively react ...


6

This rapid scene-switching works in film because you can establish exactly where you are and who you are with in an instant, with a framing shot or something else that recalls one. In a novel, you either have to re-describe the setting or you need shortcuts for recalling it. Lauren Ipsum's example of starting each short scene with the primary character's ...


31

You could try using a common element outside of any of the scenes themselves to establish a common reference point in time. For example describe Alice and Bob having a heated marriage argument but being forced to resume their happy facade by the dinner gong calling everyone together. Charlie and Danielle are describing their plans to murder the Countess ...


18

If your goal is hectic momentum, then two-sentence paragraphs with a visual indicator of "scene change" might work. Colonel Mustard frantically wiped up the table. No one would believe he hadn't done it. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Miss Scarlett straightened her dress, patted her hair, and checked her makeup in her compact. She had to look impeccable or the detective ...


Top 50 recent answers are included