Logical Flow: How to Create More Meaningful Text in 5 Steps

Here’s how you can make your writing flow more logically so that you can communicate your ideas more effectively.

 

logical flow in writing nz writers college

Firstly, what is logical flow in writing?

Logical flow can be defined as the progression of ideas from one sentence to another. One of the most common issues in day-to-day writing is the poor linking of ideas. This usually takes the form of several unrelated phrases thrown together, with little or no sense for sequence or continuity. Smooth, orderly transitions between sentences and paragraphs are crucial to creating clear meaning and a smooth reading experience.

 

Why is logical flow important in your writing?

When the progression of ideas from one sentence to another follows a logical order, you make reading comprehension much easier for everyone involved.

 

Here’s how to create logical flow in 5 steps:

 

1. Use transition phrases to glue sentences and paragraphs together.

Examples of transitional phrases include the following: ‘in conclusion’, ‘furthermore’, and ‘besides’. You can also use linking words like ‘in other words’, ‘for example’ or ‘similarly’, because these will help people to better follow your thoughts!

2: Organise the information you are presenting in a logical order to ensure events follow each other sequentially.

For example, if you have three steps, make sure step A is followed by B, and then C.

Furthermore, if your plot jumps back and forth between two points of time in the past or future, it might be helpful to put a timeline on the page showing how much time has passed in the narrative. For example, ‘March to June’ above a sequence of events would help the reader to map and establish a time-frame in their mind.

Logical flow and effective transitions tend to work in tandem. For instance, if your ideas move naturally from one point to the next, it will be easier to find transitional phrases that connect two lines or paragraphs and avoid any disjointedness.

3. Ensure that your use of tenses is logical.

For instance, if you write your story in the present tense, check that you use the present tense consistently throughout. Here’s an example of faulty tenses:

Incorrect: I look at him. He turns away. I wished I could know what he was thinking.

Correct: I look at him. He turns away. I wish I could know what he is thinking.

4. Use pronouns consistently.

Don’t write in the first person, and then switch to third- or second-person narration. Choose one point of view, and stick to that. Compare these two examples:

Incorrect:

Sam and James arrived at the party five minutes apart. They both grabbed drinks and settled on the couch.

‘Sam,’ James said. He looked over at me.

Correct:

Sam and James arrived at the party five minutes apart. They both grabbed drinks and settled on the couch.

‘Sam,’ James said. He looked over at him.

5. Avoid holes in the plot.

For fiction, there needs to be consistency in how characters behave, speak, look, dress, etc. (unless you are purposefully making a character act out of character!).

For example, your character cannot be driving a red Honda in one scene, and then, in the next chapter, the car is a red Hyundai.

In the same way that you consistently portray your characters, you must ensure congruency of places, times, seasons, etc. The same applies to non-fiction writing: factual consistency is vital.

Check and double-check your logical flow using these five steps to ensure an easy, enjoyable read for your reader.

If you want to learn more about logical flow, sign up for one of our writing courses in fiction or non-fiction.

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