March 28th, 2024 in Writing by April Michelle Davis 0

Transitions are the key to clarity, and making your writing flow well is important to your readers. Adding a few words or even passages can connect the gaps so readers can follow the story and understand your message. There are several types of transitions. Consider the ones below, and try using one or two that suit your manuscript.

  1. Date and Location Headings
    Write the specific date or location at the beginning of a scene or chapter. This will eliminate the need to include it elsewhere and keep your focus on the correct time period. This technique is most effective in works that span many years or that bounce between times and locations.
  2. Orientation Words
    A few words to indicate time and space is a simple transition technique. A small addition like “Two days later” or “Late the next night” will let readers know where they are in the story.
  3. Third-Person Narration
    A form of third-person narration can fill in details to connect the scenes. Even a couple of sentences can be enough to keep the reader informed.
  4. Inner Thoughts
    If writing in first-person narrative, let readers into the character’s head. Write some of the character’s inner thoughts to explain a situation.
  5. New Scene or Chapter
    If there is a big gap of information, a new scene or chapter may be necessary. Often this is the case with plot-driven stories, memoirs, biographies, or histories. The trick with this type of transition is finding the right place for such a large addition.


If you are stumped or want feedback, contacting a developmental or copy editor is always a good idea. An editor can help you identify what exactly you should insert, be it more dialogue or a different perspective that reveals another character’s point of view on a situation.