Author Topic: Paragraphing  (Read 1250 times)

Offline Butterfly21

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Paragraphing
« on: July 14, 2011, 02:18:17 AM »
What is the correct way to set out a paragraph, what information is grouped into a paragraph, and when do paragraphs need to break?

 ???

Offline PretzelGirl

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Re: Paragraphing
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 02:51:06 AM »
What is the correct way to set out a paragraph,

In novels, it's a new line with an indent. Here, and possibly when submitting manuscripts, a blank space

what information is grouped into a paragraph,

You'll get a feel for this as you write. Information that is related is grouped into a paragraph.

and when do paragraphs need to break?

Again, you'll develop a feel for it. When there is dialogue, each new person speeking will have a new paragraph. A new thought, new concept, new idea, new image

Smoke me a clipper, I'll be back for Christmas!
- A. J. Rimmer, Red Dwarf

Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Paragraphing
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 04:35:01 AM »
Thanks, Pretzel, I'm gunna write this down.
 ;D

Silt

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Re: Paragraphing
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 08:23:49 AM »
Don't strap your writing down worrying about this. Each reader has a taste which varies in sizes. When we start worrying about that, then next is chapter length, sentence length, book length. And there are more important things to consider in writing.

Offline C.M.

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Re: Paragraphing
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 08:36:09 AM »
I agree with everything above. In the early drafts it's more important to get words down on paper. Later, you might want to consider how the length of sentences/paragraphs/chapters lend themselves to the pace of the read. During times of peak crisis/action/suspense write shorter sentences/paragraphs/chapters and when you want to give the reader a break between peaks, write longer sentences/paragraphs/chapters

Offline PretzelGirl

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Re: Paragraphing
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 09:04:27 AM »
Thanks, Pretzel, I'm gunna write this down.
 ;D

O, and do you read? Keep an eye out on paragraphing. You'll soon learn the right time, and take in this information subconciously. I mean, I know the technicalities of when to start a new paragraph in my academic work, and sometimes that applies to fiction - but not always. In fiction, you can be creative with your paragraphs, but you do need to pay attention to dialogue and POV.
Smoke me a clipper, I'll be back for Christmas!
- A. J. Rimmer, Red Dwarf

Offline Maimi

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Re: Paragraphing
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 11:23:49 AM »
Hello Butterfly,

To save time when indenting paragraphs, set up paragraph indents instead of using the tab button on the keyboard. From what I gather, another reason to do this is because using the tab button to indent paragraphs doesn't convert to e-reader. I've come across submission guidelines that say they'll send your manuscript back to be formatted properly if the tab key is used.

Paragraph Indents is under Inspector/Text/Tabs/Paragraph Indents in Pages, Mac's version of Word.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 09:18:17 AM by Maimi »

Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Paragraphing
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 03:01:31 AM »
Thanks, guys.
Some really valuable information.  :)

Offline Taylor

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Re: Paragraphing
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2011, 02:21:40 PM »
The third part of Pretzel's first reply is probably the best advice to follow when considering your paragraphs. That and following your instincts...

One theme or topic per paragraph is the traditional rule. But, then again, that doesn't really explain how to define a theme or topic or episode. My advice would be: narrowly. The tighter the limits, the safer you are. It all depends on whether you want to play safe.  :)

Beware the long paragraph. Editors and publishers nowadays frown on it, and often insist on subdividing it into two or more smaller paragraphs, even if this means splitting up a single 'theme'. The converse doesn't hold good, though. Two distinct topics need two distinct paragraphs, no matter how short these paragraphs may be. That's the traditional rule anyways.  ;)
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Philip K. Dick

Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Paragraphing
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2011, 06:46:54 PM »
Thanks, Taylor. Great Advise

Offline JanTetstone

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Re: Paragraphing
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2018, 07:49:11 AM »
Great advice about writing pargraphs.      jt

Offline Mark T

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Re: Paragraphing
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2018, 04:08:41 PM »

Indeed. I wonder where those members are now?