What do a tour, a symphony, and a comic book have in common? Here's one answer: when they're good, they flow as part of a logical whole. You can't keep people's attention if you're showing them one random room in each of seven different homes, or playing a bunch of unrelated notes on a piano, or putting together a comic using panel after panel of random people doing unrelated things.
Writing is like that. If you can't create a sense of continuity by creating flow in your writing, be prepared for readers to give up in a huff. Flow lets readers know that they're moving through a single, logical document, with an end point and a message they can walk away with.
To create flow, pay attention to these elements:
- Use a logical structure. Make sure readers have grounding in what they need to know before introducing them to concepts that require that knowledge. Show the steps of your reasoning and build detail as you go.
- Maintain a tone and style . While parts of documents may be written at different times, do a final read-through before approving them to ensure that all the parts sound like they come from one document.
- Transition from paragraph to paragraph. Words and phrases such as "Therefore," "In addition," "Thus," and other transitions serve as signposts to help readers put new points in the context of old ones.
- Proofread, edit, and read aloud. Writing allows you to put much more thought into our words than natural speech does, which isn't always a good thing. Long, convoluted sentences (or long sequences of short, choppy ones) can all slip by you if you write in stages, and reading your work aloud can help bring these awkward passages to light.
Contact Hurley Write, Inc for more tips on communicating with your reader in an interesting and effective manner.
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