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Thread: Where are the scene breaks if i am following one character around for a long time?

  1. #26
    writer, rider, reader...ex-pat! BethS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    In the land of cheese and chocolate
    Quote Originally Posted by Kallithrix View Post
    I also use scene breaks this way - I have 5 POV characters, so a scene break often indicates a new POV. I also use it to indicate a jump in time, as a way of skipping over extended lulls in the action. If I saw a scene break in the middle of continuous action where there was no time skip or POV change, it would seem like an unnecessary interruption or worse, a way to create false tension.
    I've run across that but it's definitely a bit weird and jarring.

    The only exception to the 'no interrupting continuous narrative' rule is for chapter breaks - you can use these where there's a moment of genuine tension to create a mini cliffhanger, and continue the next chapter right where you left off.
    I once interrupted a long, continuous scene with a chapter break, in order to change POV. I think it worked reasonably well, if I'm allowed to say that.

  2. #27
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Just north of the Deep South
    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    I use a single # for scene breaks. As I understand it, that's usually what SMF calls for, though I know people who use asterisks too, and it hasn't stopped them from being published.
    I don't think it's an issue of not getting published, but in general you want to do things that don't make your editor's life more challenging. (This is why learning how to set up page style for MS format - which is not a difficult thing to do - is really important. One of the editors over at Tor tweeted a year or so ago about a MS that came across her desk in which the double-spacing on the pages had been achieved by literally adding an extra blank line between each line of text. <-- is an unusual example of folks trying to do something to spec and just doing it all wrong, but in general you want to make it easy for an editor to read, manipulate and pass along your text rather than spend time fixing things that will cause problems down the line.)

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  3. #28
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Clovitide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Dark Side of the Moon
    I rarely use scene breaks, more accustom to just ending it with a chapter. It's hard to add anything when it's a straight line of action too, point A, B, C then why would you need a scene break anyway? It's not too long of a chapter and you aren't hopping from place to place. I think you are in the clear.

  4. #29
    practical experience, FTW Asha Leu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Generally, scene breaks should be used for a POV change, to denote the passage of time, or - particularly when writing in first-person - a change of subject.

    In the case of POV changes, it's pretty unambiguous. Unless you are writing in an omniscient POV, a change in POV should always use a scene break or an all new chapter.

    For the latter two uses, it is much more of an art than a science, and all about finding what feels natural. Basically, the scene breaks here are used in lieu of a written transition or segue. If it feels like there's a jarring shift from paragraph to paragraph or that something is just missing, a scene break is probably required.

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