Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in a village near the forest. Whenever she went out, the little girl wore a red riding cloak, so everyone in the village called her Little Red Riding Hood. She’d spent the first part of her childhood living in Africa with her missionary parents, but after they returned to their home town, she adapted to her new life as a cloak-wearing villager. No one would have ever known that she missed Africa every waking moment of her days. After all, she’d had to leave her best friend Genette behind. Genette was a giraffe. For those who have never had the pleasure of having a friend like Genette, a bit of introduction to the species might be in order. The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all extant land-living animal species, and the largest ruminant.
Some of the basics of transitioning can be taught, but a lot of them are caught through exposure. Transitions are all around us – from those awkward segue-ways during local newscasts (“Speaking of hot, how about them Cubs?”) to the fades and dissolves in every video, TV show and movie to the way most of us move from topic to topic in unstructured conversation.
As a writer, I want to create bridges and carry readers to the places God has carried me. I don’t ever want to leave a reader behind because my bridge is poorly constructed.
There is one group of people who don’t always do much thinking about communication transitions – to their detriment. Next time, I’ll take a look at who these people are and what they can do to carry their audience with them.