How to Cut Between Scenes
Writing a fast paced novel can be a good thing, but you need to make sure your readers know where they are in your story and what is happening in each scene. There needs to be some sort of transition, or explanation or what’s happening, before you can jump ahead. Here are a few tips on cutting between scenes—
Establish where your characters are. If you’re changing locations, you need to make that clear. Your story will get confusing if your characters are in the kitchen and then suddenly they’re outside without any explanation. Besides having the ability to teleport, you need to explain the location. A simple sentence like “Amy closed the door behind her and headed outside” will usually be a strong enough transition. Don’t assume your readers know what’s happening.
Use chapter breaks for extreme scene changes. If your novel has an extreme scene change, that’s a great time to start a new chapter. For example, if you’re going from one character’s POV to another, switch chapters. A new chapter lets your readers know that you might be switching up the focus of your novel or you’re entering a new scene. Changes won’t seem so abrupt if you tackle them this way. It helps to think of each chapter as its own mini story.
Avoid switching constantly between different POVs and storylines. Your novel needs to flow, so avoid cutting back and forth between different characters and plots. Game of Thrones solves this problem by following a specific set of characters and giving them their own chapters. Sure, there are stories each of us find more interesting, but they all add in to the main plot. Too many storylines and character POVs in one chapter will confuse your readers and make your novel feel disjointed. Decide what you want to focus on in each chapter and go from there.