Create suspense in your writing with this trick from the creators of South Park

… there is one 45-second bit that popped out to anyone who is interested in writing or telling stories. When talking about the frantic rewriting process of their script, Trey reveals his simple rule for rewriting and improving the story. “I call it the rule of replacing ands with either buts or therefores.” Trey says that a common trap a lot of writers fall into is describing actions and events in a typical “this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened….” This kind of X and then Y and then Z progression—similar to creating a list of things—is not engaging. This approach to writing (or speaking) is dull and does not generate momentum, let alone sustain it. Therefore, Trey says, “whenever I can go back in the writing and change that to “this happened, therefore this happens. But this happens…” In other words, says, Trey, “Whenever you can replace your ‘ands’ with ‘buts’ and ‘therefores,’ it makes for better writing.”

Source: Presentation Zen: The Key to story structure in two words: Therefore & But

Although South Park is entirely inappropriate for school, Matt Stone and Trey Parker are geniuses when it comes to writing biting satire.

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