Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Transition Words

Tip of the hat to Larissa Ione, who tweeted about her synopsis this morning and reminded me that I wanted to post this list of transition words. (If you're not already reading her books, what are you waiting for?)

One of the most useful things you can do in a synopsis is spackle the chinks with transitions that demonstrate the links between the components. Of all transition words, my favorite is probably "because," because it shows the causal connection between sequential events. If you can communicate those connections in a synopsis instead of merely laying out the order of events, you'll be presenting a story synopsis with the illusion of coherence. This is a good thing.

So here's the list, shamelessly swiped from some of my teaching material from the uni. Some of these are academic in tone, so be careful before incorporating them unless the tone of your synopsis will support them.

TO SHOW ADDITION
and, also, furthermore, in addition, moreover, too, next

TO GIVE EXAMPLES
for instance, in fact, specifically, to illustrate

TO COMPARE
also, similarly, likewise

TO CONTRAST
but, on the other hand, nevertheless, yet, although, on the contrary

TO SUMMARIZE OR CONCLUDE
in other words, in short, in summary, therefore, that is, to sum up

TO SHOW TIME
after, as, before, next, later, finally, meanwhile, then, immediately

TO SHOW PLACE OR DIRECTION
to the left/right, beyond, above, farther on, opposite, nearby

TO INDICATE A LOGICAL RELATIONSHIP
consequently, therefore, if, so, as a result, for this reason, since, because


Now go spackle your syns. :)

Theresa

4 comments:

tinlizzie82 said...

Not a comment, but a question. Can these transitions be overused even if they are applied correctly and appropriately? I tend to use a lot of them and have been told that they sometimes make my writing seem too much like a logic exercise. How much is too much and what other ways of connecting thoughts can you suggest?

Jessica Lei said...

This is great, as always! I've been avoiding my synopsis for a month now haha maybe this will give me the right kick in the butt to tackle it. Thanks, Theresa!

Edittorrent said...

@Tinlizzie82 I haven't yet seen a synopsis with too much of this sort of thing. Are we sure the problem is in your transitions? Do you think the tone might be affected? If it reads like a logic exercise, it's possible the tone is off rather than the transitions. Just a thought.

Theresa

rachelcapps said...

This is a super list. I've bookmarked this post, lol!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Theresa.