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Thomas appeared behind Daniel and shook him by the neck, which brought him down to his knees. Thomas kicked him and then kicked away the gun that Daniel dropped making sure he wouldn't be able to surprise him any longer. He smiled seeing Daniel helplessly squirming on the ground. He took out a cigar out of his pocket and lit it. He took a puff and then another while waiting for Daniel to talk knowing Daniel would plead for his life as soon as possible if given the chance.

I decided to write a little paragraph to really show the problem I am having. As it turns out I really have an issue with the flow in descriptions of a sequence of events. How can you increase the flow between the sentences?

  • You seem to have confused your two characters halfway through. I'd suggested editing unless that's actually part of what you wanted help on. – Chris Sunami Feb 27 '19 at 20:44
  • Ah, yes, sorry for that. I literally took 30 seconds to write this down on a notepad. – yocu Feb 27 '19 at 20:49
6

Welcome to the exchange.

To my way of thinking, you need to expand the sequence out because as it stands you are listing a series of events and symptoms of the characters. There is no reaction, no interplay, no emotion.

Add in a snatch of dialog and some emotional cues, also internal thoughts and a few actions. These things will draw the reader in to engage them.

A quick example:

Thomas appeared behind Daniel and shook him by the neck. Daniel sputtered, choked, grabbed at Thomas's hands about his throat but couldn't pry them loose. He was on his knees now, unable to breathe.

"Doesn't feel great, does it?" Thomas said, before kicking Daniel in the small of the back.

Daniel was losing consciousness, almost welcomed it, the pain was too intense and a blackout would be better. He saw Thomas kick the gun away, but Daniel had no strength to grab it anyway. That smile on Thomas's face. The man was vile, pure evil, the devil incarnate. Daniel squirmed, using his last bit of strength, pleading with his eyes.

Thomas let go and Daniel took a long shuddering breath, seeing stars at the rush of oxygen back to his system. Thomas took a cigar out of his pocket, lit it and took a puff.

"That's for Beatrice. You don't treat my girls that way, punk."

Daniel couldn't speak, his throat still crushed from the assault, air rasped through.

5

There's no point of view here, which makes it difficult to care about, or even follow. (That's also probably why you initially confused the characters.) It's just a series of events. You don't have to have a point of view character, but you need to have a point of view.

I'd try writing three versions of this. One from Thomas' POV, one from Daniel's, and one from a third person watching from inside the room (they can all be written in third person, but they should follow one person's perspective, thoughts, mood, and so forth). I think you'll find it has a lot more flow.

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Your Sentences all have a very similar structure, which makes them stagnant to read together.

Thomas appeared behind Daniel and shook him by the neck, which brought him down to his knees. Thomas kicked him and then kicked away the gun that Daniel dropped making sure he wouldn't be able to surprise him any longer. He smiled seeing Daniel helplessly squirming on the ground. He took out a cigar out of his pocket and lit it. He took a puff and then another while waiting for Daniel to talk knowing Daniel would plead for his life as soon as possible if given the chance.

You can see each sentence starts as:

Thomas appeared...Thomas kicked...He smiled...He took...He took

You can see that the structure is bland, writing a bit of variety can help the flow. I try in my own writing as well to identify when a following sentence continues a character's action, in these cases I look at if the sentences can be combined.

Thomas appeared behind Daniel and shook him by the neck, kicking him as Daniel tried to draw his gun and swiftly pulling him to his knees before sweeping the gun well out of reach.

No doubt the above suggestion could be improved further but I believe it does illustrate my idea combining similar sentences.

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