Walking scenes, Enviroment + Transitions

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Walking scenes, Enviroment + Transitions

Postby HawkEliz489 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:49 am

Hey guys. The title probably talks about three different thing, but I just seem to find these three altogether in my problem.
I don't know how to exactly put this by words, but I have a problem with showing Character walking down the street or any environment, doesn't really matter. I just really struggle with character's surrounding and I also get confused about when or how to make scene Transitions from paragraph to paragraph.

Here is an example from my draft:

“I’m telling you, he likes you,” said Sally the moment they passed through the gates and followed the market street.
“Knock it off.” Karen rolled her eyes. “He’s like that with every girl.”
“Yeah, but I don’t think you’re in that every girl list.” Sally chuckled slyly and she exchanged her looks with James. “What do you say, James?”
“Yeah, Kar.” he jerked an elbow at her. “I think Michael is in love with you.”
“He's not the only one...” Sally hissed as she exchanged another significant look with James.
“Please, don’t start it now.” Karen hit the back of her hand at Sally's shoulder. She tried to sound indifferent but she felt her cheeks flush with embarrassment.
“But it’s true,” Sally merrily continued. It seemed like she had just forgotten what has been awaiting for them in two hours. “Many boys got a huge affection for you.”
Karen rolled her eyes boringly; she then glanced at James and together they both burst out in laughter.
They finally reached their quarters and entered inside.
“So hungry, I’m dying,” said James and he pushed the double doors to the dining hall.


Stupid girl, Karen thought as she crossed the empty hall. Did she really think she would become her toy? No, she didn’t need anyone’s help; especially Jessica's who must have been Michael's admirer just like her own mother.

I know I must have many grammar errors, but most of all what I dislike about these parts are in motion parts. Do I need to extend the showing of environment while characters walk and talk? And how should I do that? It's just very weak and short when I write about Character surroundings. I know I must avoid unnecessary infodump and descriptions, but that's not the one I'm talking about, I'm talking about those necessary elements which got to create general picture for the reader.

To sum it up:
How do I extend and enrich the environments? Should I add more specific things about the surroundings? Any details I'm missing?

How do I make smooth transitions between paragraphs? (ect. In above example when Characters reach the Quarters, it is very rough and short transition from scene to scene. How do I make such scenes better?)

And most of all (probably a bit off-topic) How do you deal with fictional locations? Do you create MAP (location map) to describe them in the future? I mean, when you put REAL cities and streets in your story, it's kinda easier to describe them, but what about the fictional streets and cities that have never existed? Do you have to make a map before you start an actual writing?
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Re: Walking scenes, Enviroment + Transitions

Postby heyharris1 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:12 am

I know I am probably not the best at giving advice as there are a lot smarter people than me, but when I write something along those lines I run the script through my head as if I'm watching a movie and try to describe what each person is doing in my mind first before writing it. Think about it for a minute, when you are walking down the street there are many things going on around you, cars driving by, other people walking, some may be standing at a window looking at items on display. use all this to bring the scene to life. As you describe them point out how one of them glances over to the couple holding hands looking at a new tv set. or how a classic car drives by catching their eye off the glint from the bumper. When you walk down the street you do not have blinders on and I think it should be the same for them. At least that's how I did it, unless they are being chased then all that goes out the window and you don't notice all the smaller details, just the heat of the moment trying to escape.
hope this help you

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Re: Walking scenes, Enviroment + Transitions

Postby shadowwalker » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:50 am

I had no problem with your second example re: "motion". Your first one, however, was hard to get through. Is it really necessary to tell the reader every little movement the characters make as they talk? The constant stage managing was annoying and I probably would toss a book that was filled with that.

Ask yourself what's important to the story. If someone is walking down a street, why does the reader need to know what's on that street? Does it add to the emotion of the scene? Is there something significant on the street, something that comes into play later on?

I was a bit confused about the transitional question, but assuming you're talking about transitions between scenes and not paragraphs, it comes down to what the reader needs to know to 'acclimate'. When the characters walk into this new building, describe it. How much detail? Well, enough so we know it's more than a big room, but do we really need to know what the silverware looks like? Again, what's important to the story? How do the surroundings affect the characters in their actions, speech, emotions?

As to fictional places, I base them on places I've been to or lived, but only so I can describe the location of the current scene appropriately. Frankly, I haven't found many writers (even among The Greats) who can describe travel from location to location with any coherency, so it's really only important (IMO) that you don't have a swamp on top of an ice-capped mountain.
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