Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I have to revise a "transitions" handout for the writing center, and thought I might get some examples from you all. What I really need is an example of a transitional sentence between two paragraphs, where the transitional sentence serves as a link between the two. I don't mean just a sentence with a transitional word like "however," but a whole sentence functioning as a transition.

Any ideas? I'm so bad with examples. I really believe in examples to help students understand how to apply lessons, but I have trouble coming up with them.



Edie Ramer said...

Something with a time transition in it? "The next day, the sun was shining, but the only thing shining in her eyes was anger."

You said you wanted a transitional sentence, but you didn't say it had to be a good sentence.

I like to ground my reader right away, so my transitional sentences might start with time or place phrases like: "By the time ..." "Ten minutes later ..." "When they reached Chicago ..."

makoiyi said...

I was trying to come up with a single sentence to 'show' but I think the whole para is a transition as the heroine goes from one life to the next and catches a first glimpse of something. So I included it all. Is this what you meant or am I totally out of whack?

Sue Curnow - thanks for this site btw. It's an enormous help.

Days later the sounds changed as the carriage wheels struggled up a rocky incline and then bounced over cobbles. When the door opened it wasn't an inn which met Cassidia's tired eyes but the gloaming walls of a castle. She stepped down onto cobbles of neglect, broken and weeded with grass. A sheer wind lanced through her cloak, tossing it behind her. As she grabbed at its billowing folds she saw she had exchanged one prison for another. Walls of moss-eaten granite rose all around her, kissing a bleak sky. Men's voices echoed between those walls, horses neighed, stamping their feet, shattering yet more brittle cobbles. The place looked like it had been deserted for a hundred years. Fienna had written to Cassidia of the place he husband had taken her to; a place of sunshine and flowers and birds and bright colors; of people in rich clothes and the perfumes they wore. Here, everything was grey and smelled of rot.

Edittorrent said...

Alicia, what about dialogue used as a transition? That's often done with pov switches. I know you have about nine million examples of that technique laying around somewhere. ;)

What about narrative fulcrums? You know -- when the narrative is focused on one element (such as description) and then a bit of another element (such as dialogue) is used to swing into a third element (such as action). These aren't classic transitions but might be useful. I have a humdinger from Cold Mountain if you want to use something like that.


Stephanie said...

How about a sentence or as Theresa put it a bit of dialogue? Here's a not so good example from my latest MS, And Sparks Flew:

At first he believed she was just playing the ole cat and mouse game. They flirted. They touched. They made eye contact and winked occasionally. She really kissed him when they were filming instead of the dead fish kiss most actresses gave him when they were working. But the night things went horribly wrong, Zach realized she was playing a game, just not the one he thought.

She was leading him on.

Deb showed up at the party that night wearing the most incredible gown he’d ever laid eyes on. It had a deep “v” in the neck that extended down to her rib cage with a tight fit bodice and a flowing train. The amber color of it had been amazing on her tanned skin and golden blond hair. And he was the first one she sought out, coming straight up to him with those beautiful blue eyes and full lips, flirting and saying all the right things. And then when he’d pulled her into a bathroom where cameras or prying eyes couldn’t see and kissed her senseless, he knew immediately he made a mistake.