Our goal as writers is to convey information clearly and concisely and avoid choppy quirky transitions on the page between ideas and grammar.
Transitions help achieve these goals by establishing logical connections between sentences, paragraphs, and sections of story. In other words, transitions tell readers what to do with the information you present to them. Whether single words, quick phrases or full sentences, they function as signs for readers that tell them how to think about, organize, and react to from beginning to end.
How can you tell whether you need to work on your transitions? Here are some possible clues:
- Your alpha reader has written comments like “choppy,” “jumpy,” “abrupt,” “flow,” “need signposts,” or “how is this related?” on your manuscript.
- Your readers (alpha and beta) tell you that they had trouble following your organization or train of thought.
- You tend to write the way you think—and your brain often jumps from one idea to another pretty quickly.
- You wrote your story or poem in several discrete “chunks” and then pasted them together.
Bring a particular troubling section of work to discuss alternative transitions.