Transform Your Writing Style: prompt and question area

Post your prompt responses and questions about the course here!

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I’m feeling like the line between flow and “double up” is very nuanced and I might be missing it. I say this because when deepening with a “double up” detail, in a sense, this is answering some questions that the previous sentence prompts. Maybe the distinction is what type of question is being answered by the sentence that follows. I’m not sure.

From the lesson:

Sentence 1: “I’m worried about the future.”

Small sample of potential questions provoked: What does that look like for you? What impact is that having on your life and in what manner? What sort of specific things are you worried about or is it a generalized anxiety? Is it something global, personal or in between (ie, should I be worrying too beyond just empathy or sympathy)?

Both responses provided in the lesson answer one or more of those questions.

How is it impacting you?: “Some nights I can’t sleep.”

Is it specific or generalized and what is the scope; personal or global?: “My country is so full of hate.” (Specific and wide scope)

Even the examples from the first lesson on the “double up” technique still feel like a question is answered. “The vampire was enormous.” This provokes a question, how enormous, at the very least; unless a frame of reference for this author has already been established earlier in the piece?

Am I missing a component or do I just ask too many questions naturally?

P.S. They are both great lessons and frameworks. I just need a little guidance to understand how they are substantially different.

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See what you think of this response… Helpful?

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Mostly repeating what was said in the course but it is still helpful. There are a lot of parts to this and you can get trapped into focusing too much on something like ‘questions’ and forget about the effect on tone or pace.

So, I think I would still struggle if only given a pair of sentences and tasked with assigning which technique of the two was in effect. Some, like the vampire’s size, would be fairly obvious. I think the reason for this is good writing is going to have ‘flow’ even when you are “doubling up”. It just isn’t going to move forward as quickly, like you say. Good writing always needs to move forward at some pace, even if the increment varies and might be small. And, my feeling at the moment is that moving forward essentially equates to provoking, anticipating and answering reader questions.

Overlap is probably good. The extreme for “doubling up” where every sentence in the paragraph was literally just rephrasing without deepening or layering the sensation or idea would be so stagnant from a “flow” perspective that hardly anyone would enjoy reading it. Conversely, a change from one sentence to another with excessive “flow” would hop from idea to idea so quickly that many readers would quickly get lost.

I like that in your response video, you brought it back to the idea of fascination and pondering for “doubling up”. That helps separate them as much as highlighting how pace is affected by each technique.

Do I sound like I’m sort of getting a handle on it? And would it be fair to say that from a ‘question’ perspective, both techniques answer questions but maybe “flow” tends to answer more cause and effect type questions where “doubling up” answers questions that help narrow down and get more specific on an idea or sensation?

P.S. This is really great. I think it is another tool in the pacing toolbox when trying to evaluate pacing problems or craft specific pacing in the first place.

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Dear Argent,
So glad you asked the Q that prompted Daniel’s video reply!

Dear Daniel,
The bit you said at the end I found did supplement the Doubling Up and Flow videos. It was where you mentioned that doubling up can make a paragraph sound denser and slower than a flow-ed one. Helpful for varying pace.

best,
Farriz

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So, I’m re-reading The Magic of Recluce series with Daniel’s Transform Your Writing Style course fresh in my mind. I wanted to share this paragraph I just read because I enjoy the clear example of doubling up and flow it demonstrates.

For context, the protagonist is a young man, about 15, and is riding toward the ruins of an old city that was devastated by an earth-shattering magical mishap.

“By now I could see the so-called gates. Under a light covering of dirt, the hillocks were a dead pure white. Nothing grew on them. Nothing. As we rode closer, I realized why. Something had melted the stone. Melted it like sugar candy at a carnival.”

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And no one is upset that “melted” is repeated in consecutive sentences!

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