How many of us have been telling a story, gotten through one part and said, “And then…” I think we’ve all done it. I know I have. And it works to keep the story moving. In writing, it’s a bit different. I attended a workshop this past weekend and while I learned a lot of things, the most important was to substitute “and then” or to know that if my scene ends and you would say “and then,” that it’s not working as well as it should be.
So what should we be saying? The answer is “but” or “therefore.” It’s an important concept that I hadn’t grasped in quite the same way as I did sitting listening to someone else talk about it. And then (pun intended), they referred us to a short clip of Trey Parker and Matt Stone talking about how they write their episodes and the importance of this concept. See below.
So, what do you think? Does this make you think about your chapter endings or scene endings and what comes next? Do you have other tools you use?