Use Transitions

My previous post looked at the importance of the topic sentence to a paragraph.

Now it’s time to string those paragraphs together to get your manuscript going.

My first piece of advice is to write short paragraphs. Your writing will be more reader-friendly, faster, more alive, and have more clarity. I think every reader sees white space on a page as a welcome break from all that black text.

My second piece of advice is to build bridges (use transitions) between your paragraphs so your reader can move along your writing with you.

Transitions should be quiet, quick, and logical. That means they should be so  smooth that the reader doesn’t realize he or she is being carried along from one idea to the next.

Some transitions use time:

  • After the storm
  • Ten years later
  • The following week
  • In April
  • By the time Sally got home

Some transitions use place:

  • Meanwhile
  • Across town
  • From my window I could see
  • When we got to the murder scene
  • In Minneapolis

Some transitions use adverbs or prepositional phrases:

  • Subsequently
  • On the other hand
  • Despite all she meant to him
  • In comparing the two opportunities

Some transitions use devices instead of words:

  • Chapters
  • Break lines
  • Headers/subheaders

Your reader made a decision to read what you have to say. You owe it to your reader to make it easy to follow you. Use transitions and you’ll do just that.

Happy writing!

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