Transitions don’t just lead into the next thing; they make an impact.

My mom spent the last several months in the hospital—not improving—not able to care for herself at home anymore.

I went to the hospital to see her before Christmas. I brought her a red Poinsettia—her favorite color to brighten her gloomy room. But it was the Diet Coke I sneaked in that brightened her eyes with excitement. I inserted her straw and helped her hold it. She gripped it tight and sipped like a delighted child. Until that moment, she’d been moaning and depressed.

Mom and I experienced another transition before I left. She told me to give her a hug. When I bent forward, she grabbed me like the coke bottle. She pulled me into a deep, tender hug and, for the first time, I felt the love she’d withheld from me all my life. In this one instant, every hurt and doubt about her love for me vanished. She held on tighter and kissed me, then said, “I wish I could go home with you.”

Teary-eyed, I told her, “I wish you could too.”

My brother and I sorted through her belongings and transitioned her to a care facility.


Have you reflected on all the transitions your life has gone through this past year? What were your reactions like? Did you stay in control? Were you unemotional?


Read back through the major transitions in the life of your character/s and make sure they react emotionally, like a real person. Make your readers emote and feel connected to your characters.  

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