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My second chapter was terrible! I wanted to show time passing, and cover a few events along the way, but it wound up a bunch of disjointed scenes jumping for one place to the next. It’s a balancing act, showing enough for world building, but without boring readers with unnecessary travel. (Unfortunately I’m a klutz and that’s how this chapter came off, clumsy.)

After working on it for a week (yes, an entire week for one 5000 word chapter) I’ve ironed it out quite a bit. It now reads more like a chapter instead of a bunch of scenes haphazardly stuck together.

Here’s how I did it.


First cut out any scenes that aren’t necessary. I keep asking myself, okay I like this scene, but how important is it? I keep everything I cut just in case, but some things have to go.


The next step is rearranging and combining scenes. Which scenes can be changed to go together? If I move this scene from down here, I can add it to this one up here, and ta-da no more jumpy scenes, but one longer one.


Finally smoothing out the last of the bumps and making sure the transitions are clear. When there a change in time, location, or character it has to be obvious to the readers.

I added parts to make it continuous instead of lots of little scenes and some lines of narration could be told by the characters instead. (Wallah! (not sure how to spell that) Instant showing instead of telling.)

I have to keep telling myself, ‘this story isn’t set in stone, I can change it.’ Just because I wrote it this way the first time doesn’t mean that’s the best way to tell my story.

Curious what I did? Click on the image above for an example. 🙂 (Note: I’m still not happy with this chapter, but it’s certainly better than it was.)

What do you think the best method is for showing time passing?