A while back, we discussed transitions from a paragraph to paragraph basis, but it’s different when you move from scene to scene, chapter to chapter. In the case of While Beauty Slept, chapters were like different scenes from the main character’s life as the reader followed her life story. And it made for very different transitions as Elizabeth Blackwell tried to capture only the most important parts of Elise’s story.
I did not meet the woman who was to transform my life until my second week at the castle. It was an encounter that remains vivid in my memory to this day, for it was the first time I glimpsed the darkness that lurked beneath the pageantry of court. The first tiny step in my loss of innocence. (Blackwell 57)
Every chapter started out like almost a thesis, laying out what was going to be the topic of focus for the following chapter. For the one mentioned above, it was a specific woman, and although she was our focus, the chapter remained oriented from Elise’s perspective and showed us a detailed scene of when the woman first appears.
I liked this organization because it showed us Elise’s whole life, but it only showed the most important parts, like a selective biography rather than a diary that showed every little aspect, which can drag and get boring at times.
This book showed that the organization of your novel/story is just as important as the story itself and can lend a great deal to the narrative of your book.
Blackwell, Elizabeth. While Beauty Slept. New York, NY: Berkley Books, 2014. Print.