Change, cause & effect

Syntax of cause and effect

Getting caught up in it

In this snippet, the narrator doesn't do anything, specifically.

Instead they are caught up in an event that has an impact on them.

The accident had happened so fast. One minute I'd been sitting in Aunty Viv's sedan, everything normal. Then I'd heard the four-wheel drive ploughing through the bushes as it tore down the embankment. I'd looked up to see it hurtling at me, and … nothing. I didn't remember the actual dying part.

Catching Teller CrowAmbelin KwaymullinaEzekiel KwaymullinaSource

Situation + then, as, & and

This snippet uses a series of connectors to create the cause and effect chain. 

  • It sets up an ordinary situation 'then' interrupts it: they were sitting in a sedan, then a 4WD crashed into them.
  • It uses 'as' to create parallel action, adding detail to the scene: ploughing through bushes as it tore down the embankment.
  • It uses 'and' to connect to the consequences: the car crashed and... she blacked out.
The first sentence

It was just another night in the lab, until it wasn't. One minute Elena had been taking out the rubbish from the kitchen, because nobody else was going to. Then she'd seen two guys dressed like cleaners, but obviously not cleaners, swipe into C12 as the night security guard stood in the courtyard ostentatiously looking the other way through a cloud of vape smoke. Two minutes later the men wheeled a $70k autosampler on a trolley out of the lab, across the carpark, into a van, and Elena, astonished, wondered if she'd just witnessed a crime.

The striker came out of nowhere. One minute Tom had been running the ball across the midfield, with long strides, building up speed, chasing a clean break. Then he saw a flash of blue in the corner of his left eye as their striker came WAY out of position to tackle him. Tom flung his hands out, tried to pivot right, and… crunch. The striker wiped him out.

To write a variation
Your turn
It's a bit more complicated

Like what you see?

You’re not logged in!

If you want to save your writing, login and either assign this lesson to yourself or access it via your class.