Exclusive: Story “Shifting” Secrets of Bestselling Authors

Transitions are very important. This article has some handy ideas.

Christopher Kokoski

Story Shifting Secrets

The subtle textures of writing are often the most difficult. Beyond the macro elements of plot, character, setting, conflict, etc., the micro elements of storytelling sometimes stop us in our literary tracks. Yet, these story components are no less important to the overall experience of the beat, scene or chapter.

One of those fundamental facets of bestseller writing is the transition. Shifting the story from one character, setting or time period to another.

While these “shifts” or transitions can be managed in numerous ways, handled improperly, these moments in a story can confuse, distract and irritate readers. Here are some of the most common “offenses” when it comes to transitions:

  • Jumping from one point of view to another with no narrative explanation or book formatting (i.e. space or chapter breaks) to indicate a new character or perspective.
  • Progressing backwards in time, such as a memory or back flash, with too little or…

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