Writing the "In-between Scenes" AKA Bridging Scenes

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Writing the "In-between Scenes" AKA Bridging Scenes

#1 Post by ririruetoo » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:21 pm

Lets say you have great idea for a story. You have fleshed out all the characters, their backstory/world/etc. In the process you've concreted certain scenes in your mind about the story, scenes that you have no trouble in writing or developing. Sadly, these few scenes cannot be the entirety of your story. You need scenes that come before and after in order for the story to be complete. You have this great concept and scenes, but getting from Scene A to Scene B with some finesse is difficult. This difficulty puts your story on hold.
My question or topic for discussion is this: What helps you get from Scene A to B to Z? Do you struggle with writing these bridging scenes, find them easy, or just have never really thought about them at all?

It's a random topic I know, but some writer friends have been discussing how these scenes are forever stalling their writing and I thought it would be interesting to hear the communities input.

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Re: Writing the "In-between Scenes" AKA Bridging Scenes

#2 Post by Asceai » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:33 pm

I'm not sure that's the right approach! If you write a story as a collection of scenes and then fill in the gaps between them it will read like a story that's a collection of scenes with the gaps filled in between them.

It might work, but I'd suggest to design things linearly when mapping out the story, keep in mind your awesome scenes and try to work out natural ways to shift things in that direction, but if it doesn't end up happening and your story ends up going somewhere else, it's not a big deal. Writing is about killing your babies, after all.

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Re: Writing the "In-between Scenes" AKA Bridging Scenes

#3 Post by MetaFrosty » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:24 pm

I struggle with transitions way too much. Getting characters from point A to point B is one of the more difficult things for me and things often become one long continuous stream of scenes that blur into each other. I try to flavor the transitions with character building where I can, but it's probably something I overall need to improve on after I'm done with the first draft. I'm sure the reader needs periods of downtime where they can stop and take a breather for a moment or even use as a stopping point, sort of like a chapter in a book.
I think it might be worth studying notable japanese VNs and seeing how they handle that kind of thing and learn from that.

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Re: Writing the "In-between Scenes" AKA Bridging Scenes

#4 Post by ArachneJericho » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:12 am

The thing is, if you are having trouble getting from Scene A to Scene B, readers are going to notice. Especially if you're using filler (i.e. anything that doesn't further the plot or develop the characters).

I recommend figuring out several paths from A to B and finding the missing scenes in that sequence. Figure out stuff that furthers the plot and/or develops the characters (ideally both). An interesting transition that comes to my mind is from Ouran High School Host Club—both the anime and the manga (there is no VN property).

In this example, Scene A is the host club deciding they need to visit Haruhi's place, and Scene B is them eating dinner at Haruhi's place. You'd think that Scene A and Scene B would be pretty easy---decision, visit, have dinner. But there are complications, like how her dad's not ready to serve eight people for dinner on a whim. So there has to be a shopping scene.

Okay. So we have a shopping scene. That could be really boring. But instead, the shopping scene is used to both humorous effect (characterizing the individual members of the host club), as well as revealing more about Tamaki's past, and developing the relationship between Tamaki and Haruhi in small yet significant and heartbreaking/warming ways. This scene has a different tempo to the impending-doom-humor of scene A or the hilarious meltdown of Scene B. It's a natural breathing point. And it's done several things for us that neither A nor B could do.

It's a bit of an art. You should take stories from anywhere and see how they deal with this sort of thing, for it happens in all kinds of storytelling, for VNs and games to anime and books.

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Re: Writing the "In-between Scenes" AKA Bridging Scenes

#5 Post by Gear » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:08 am

I'm all about characters when I write, so that's how this advice is going to be flavored:

Put each of your characters in each of these scenes. Imagine how you want them to be. Ideally, with each scene, the character should be a little closer to how you want them to be at the end - the final development. During these transitions, work on creating events that will work towards morphing them into their most developed form to coincide with each scene you already have planned.

For example, scene 1 - your character is a brat.
Scene 10 - your character is selfless.

So, between Scenes 1 and 2, maybe your character really wants a toy, but doesn't get it. This sets you up for some slight development by scene 2. Maybe do the same thing for a different character between 2 and 3.
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