Creative Writing Phrases

Review a novel you admire and look at the opening of any chapter after the first one. Now examine two back-to-back scenes and note which transitional words and phrases join them.

When it comes to creative writing, many of the phrases that are commonly used (especially by new writers and authors) are anything but creative. Now, let’s try that again: He heard the rumble of metal and concrete and an unusually loud whirring.

For example, two characters may meet on a bus and begin a conversation in one character's POV.

When the scene ends and the second character gets off the bus, the story may continues in his or her point of view, thus creating a natural transition from one perspective to another.

Read widely and develop the habit of analyzing how other writers move between scenes, and which transitional words they use.

Then aim to develop fresh constructions of your own.

He stopped to watch a woman pushing a baby carriage pass, on the sidewalk, and then he made his way up the front steps.

In this manner, a transition will not only signal a leap in time, but also a change in urgency or mood. For example, if someone plans to fly from one city to another, a transitional phrase such as They drove her to the airport and waited as she checked her luggage is unnecessary.

You may also write transitions using speech or actions that accelerate or slow the pace of your story.

For example, John bolted from the car and up the front steps of the house, has a much different effect than this opening: John slipped from the car and checked to make sure all the doors were locked.


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