What is flow and what does it have to do with writing? Flow is simple. It’s also known as cohesion. According to The Writing Center of Gustuvas College, it’s the seamlessness of one sentence flowing into another. There should be no changing of the subject in a paragraph. The sentences should flow or run together seamlessly into one another without jerking the reader around. The changing of a paragraph should be done the same way with a transition, so your flow doesn’t break up and jerk your readers around.
Start your transition to your next paragraph by making your last line in the earlier paragraph about what you want the next paragraph to be. For example, they last sentence in your first paragraph could be something like: “They had to climb the mountain to arrive at their destination.” The next paragraph would show them climbing the mountain, stepping over or around obstacles in their way. Maybe the obstacle is an attacking mountain lion? This would be a surprise for the reader. It would also be a plot twist since fighting your main character is fighting the mountain lion. That would hinder the climb over the mountain, but the flow or cohesion hasn’t broken since they’re still climbing that mountain.
Look at the picture of the river above. See how the river flows without breaking? It gently makes it way to the ocean flowing over rocks and other obstacles in its way. Now, imagine that you’re rowing a boat down that river. The river doesn’t jerk you around at all. In your rowboat, you gently and seamlessly flow down the river passed the woods on the riverbank. What happens when the river comes to a rock in the river does it stop its flow? No. It takes a detour by going around the rock or splashes over it. I like to think of this as putting a twist in the plot.
The same can be done with chapters with one small difference. The end of a chapter should be like the season finale of a TV show. You can’t wait for the next season to start to see what happens next. End your chapter the same way you do a paragraph but with something jaw dropping. So, your reader keeps turning those pages. That’s what you want them to do!
At the end of this post is a video I found on the subject that I hope will help you.
For more information see:
Five Ways to Make your Writing Flow Better