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I am writing a scene where a character is performing a series of actions but for some reason the sentence flow isn't quite working for me. The problem is over-reliance on "Then". This is a problem especially since a lot of actions are happening.

Here is an example:

The next thing Winthrop did was group the torn halves of the paper together, slice them into four, and once more until he held eight congruous rectangles. Then he released them from his hand, letting the pieces fall to the floor like dead leaves from a tree.

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Remove the connecting words. Just use simple, active verbs.

The best advice I ever got for this kind of thing is that you don't need "then." Nor do you need "and," or any other connecting words that bog up the narrative. All they do is take up space and bloat your word count. Instead, do something called "The Paramedic Method" - cut out all extraneous connector words and just use simple, strong active verbs.

Instead of this:

The next thing Winthrop did was group the torn halves of the paper together, slice them into four, and once more until he held eight congruous rectangles. Then he released them from his hand, letting the pieces fall to the floor like dead leaves from a tree.

You could easily cut it down to this:

Winthrop grouped the torn halves of the paper together, sliced them into fours, and once more until he held eight congruous rectangles. He released them from his hand, letting the pieces fall to the floor like dead leaves from a tree.

And there's nothing wrong with how that reads - in my opinion it even flows better.

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