• Give examples of descending paragraphs.• Provide various but interrelated definitions for descending paragraphs.• List steps on how to properly write descending paragraphs.
• The automobile accident resulted in serious damage. The passenger in the VW was hurled through the windshield; her throat was slashed and she bled to death before the paramedics arrived. The VW driver had both his legs broken. The driver of the Mercedes showed us his black and blue ribs from when his air bag deployed. My sister, who was sleeping on the back seat of the Mercedes, bumped her face and had a swollen lip. The front of the VW bug was crushed, and the Mercedes had scratches on its front bumper and grill.
• It also known as the anticlimactic paragraph.• It shows an abrupt shift from a serious or noble tone to a less exalted one--often for comic effect.• It also refers to an unexpected twist in the plot, an incident marked by a sudden diminishment of intensity or significance.• It is basically the anti-thesis of climactic paragraphs: descending paragraphs fizzle out with details that are so minor that basically seem irrelevant if not for their connection to the main idea.
• As he hesitated over the after-dinner drink, she intervened to say, Oh, let’s have sherry rather than brandy by all means. When I sip sherry, it seems to me that I am transported from the everyday scenes by which I may, at that moment, be surrounded. The flavor, the aroma, bring to mind irresistibly-- for what reason I know not--a kind of faerie bit of nature: a hilly field bathed in soft sunshine, a clump of trees in the middle distance, a small brook curving across the scene, nearly at my feet. This, together with the fancied drowsy sound of insects and distant lowing of cattle, brings to my mind a kind of warmth, peace, and serenity, a sort of dovetailing of the world into a beautiful entirety. Brandy, on the other hand, makes me fart." (Isaac Asimovs Treasury of Humor, 1971)
• Begin with the sentence that you think brings the most impact to potential readers.• As you work through the sentences, remember the flow of action. It should eventually diminish in effect.• As you near the end of writing the paragraph, make sure that you have made full use of your weakest sentences and included the most minor of details.• End the paragraph with the weakest sentence possible.
• "He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young men gave their lives. And so would Donny. Donny, who loved bowling." (The Big Lebowski, 1998)