Bridges…I don’t like ’em…

I hate bridges.  Long ones make you wanna jump off.  Those that are too short are probably unnecessary.  Others are too narrow and some too wide–neither make much sense to me.  And then there are those that are rickety and unstable and sway from side to side…don’t even get me started…

Huh?  What?  Oh, no, I’m not talkin’ about those useful structures, solid methods for crossing a gorge or a spanning river or a big ole empty space.  No, the bridges of which I write are devices for moving the story from here to there; not sure “bridges” is the technical term, but yeah, I have trouble with them.  They’re necessary, and useful, and I’m seeing there is an art to them.  If the bridge is too long, we could lose the reader and they’ll find something else to do; too short, then its not really needed, I think, and there’s probably a better way to make the transition.  If they are too narrow, they won’t provide enough of the right transitory info and details needed if the bridge signals a relevant change in the story, and if they are too wide in what they provide, again, it could lose the reader.  Unstable bridges, those that don’t really give you a clue as to where you’ve been or where you’re going are the worst…  Yep, bridges need to be just right.

A good bridge has to effectively shuttle the reader from where they were / the story was, to where we as writers want them to be, while keeping them interested and engaged.   I’m still learning how to do this…and it’s a challenge, and sometimes frustrating.  I just finished a rather long but important bridge in The Hidden that signals a big shift in the story.  It ties what has been to what is about to be without giving away too much of the “what’s about to be” stuff, I hope.  It took me a good three weeks to revise this important section, this two or three page bridge and finally, I’m happy with it…mostly.  Of course, I’m sure when it’s time to publish, I’ll need to edit it once more, but right now, finally, that bridge is stable, not too long, not too short, not too wide, not too narrow, a direct link to the previous pages and an engaging path to the rest of the story, and perhaps, maybe, it’s just right!


About malcolm2030

I started my formal study of a traditional Japanese martial art during my freshman year in college in late 1990 and in early 2017, I took a leap of faith and have been teaching traditional martial arts and fitness on a full-time basis. I enjoy researching and exploring topics ranging from health and fitness, brain science and quantum physics, to relational dynamics, energy, and optimum living. I believe that we all should be daily evolving toward our true potential; while there will be times when we fall back, or get pushed back, or knocked down, the sum of our steps over a given period of time should be forward.
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